Toronto Sports Media Game of the Night

New York Jets (9-2, 5-0 away) vs New England Patriots (9-2, 5-0 home) @ Gillette Stadium on TSN, 8:30 PM ET

Line: NE by 4

Total: 45

Reason To Watch: In the second meeting of 2010, the Jets/Pats game will have a playoff atmosphere and implications tonight. New York won game one this year on Sept 19th, 28-14. The Jets were also playing without WR Santonio Holmes (serving a four game suspension) and LB Calvin Pace (injury). Holmes has continued to his big play making ability with two game winning touchdown catches, while Pace has been a force on third downs.

In 2008, the Patriots linebackers were a depleting group. Willie McGinest had left to Cleveland, Larry Izzo signed with the Jets, Teddy Brushci only played 13 games then retired in the offseason and Mike Vrabel signed with the Chiefs. The leaders of three championship teams gone, from a team that prided themselves on a defense that made big plays in big moments cause of a certain veteran savvy.

Enter Jerod Mayo, with the 10th pick of the 2008 draft (acquired from the 49ers) the Pats selected a player described in the Sporting News as a “perfect fit to play one of the inside spots” in a 3-4 defense. Mayo came in right away, and played every snap for the defense in his rookie season. At the end of 2008 season, Mayo has 128 total tackles and took home the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Mayo received 49 out of 50 votes cast.

Mayo sprained his MCL in the 2009 preseason and limited his ability last season, cooling some of the hype around him. Well, in 2010 Mayo’s been a monster, leading the NFL with 132 tackles (before yesterday was 20 more then the next guy) and deserves serious consideration for Defensive MVP. This guy could break 200 tackles this year and not have it mentioned till week 17.

On a side note…did anyone see Ben Roethlisberger get his nose mangled by Haloti Ngata. Those fist’s should be considered illegal, I have never seen a nose get destroyed like that on first impact…if anyone has a good nose smashing story please share.

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