The AFC East champion New England Patriots host the New York Jets in the Divisional Round of the 2010 NFL Playoffs this Sunday, Jan. 16 at Gillette Stadium. It will be the third time the AFC East rivals will meet this season, but this game obviously has significantly more importance this time around, with the winner earning a spot in the AFC Championship Game.
The Jets advanced past the Wild Card round with a 17-16 win over the Indianapolis Colts last weekend (as the No. 1 seed in the AFC, the Patriots had a bye).
The two AFC East teams have already played twice during the 2010 regular season: the Jets handed the Patriots their first loss of the season in Week 2, while New England got their revenge with a 45-3 rout in Week 13.
Additionally, it will mark the third time New England and New York will meet in the playoffs: The Patriots won a first-round game 26-14 at Giants Stadium on Dec. 28, 1985 to begin their run to the 1985 AFC Championship. The Patriots 2006 team beat the Jets, 37-16, at Gillette Stadium in a first-round game on Jan. 7, 2007.
Unsurprisingly, with so much history between the two sides, the animosity and war of words has already begun, with Rex Ryan even criticizing Tom Brady, saying, "Peyton Manning would have been watching our game."
The Jets and Patriots play Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET, on CBS. The winner will face the winner of the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship.