The League

Doug Farrar
Writer

Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

It's Ali Without Frazier

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The Pats-Jets rivalry might be the best right now, given the ramifications of Spygate (New England defensive end Ty Warren called Jets head coach Eric Mangini "Fredo" this week, which was hilarious), but it's more an internal rivalry. The national eye is still waiting for Tom Brady to return, and for Peyton Manning's offense to get fixed up, so that the real rivalry can begin anew.

There's no question that Pats-Colts has been the NFL's greatest rivalry over the last five years. It is our Yankees-Red Sox and whatever else you care to compare it to. The Jets spent million over the offseason to get their team within shooting distance of what looked to be another near-insurmountable New England squad until Brady's knee went off-script. Brett Favre and Kris Jenkins have put the Jets in the catbird seat, but Mangini's still playing second fiddle to Bill Belichick. This isn't the first time Belichick has taken a ravaged roster past its own expectations, and it probably won't be the last.

The Jets would like this to be the game's greatest rivalry, because it would put them on equal footing with the Pats from a relevance standpoint. However, it's not like that yet. The Jets want this to be Ali-Frazier, while the Pats are fighting Gerry Cooney and waiting for the "real guy" to show up.

By Doug Farrar  |  November 13, 2008; 12:32 PM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Pats Yes, Jets No | Next: More Than Spygate

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