* The line: New York by 6
* Story line: Bill Belichick didn't make a lot of friends in the Big Apple when told the New York Jets he did not want their coaching job Jan. 4. Then, three weeks later, he became the coach of the New England Patriots. Just another chapter in the bizarre recent history of these two franchises. Including playoffs, the Jets have a 43-36-1advantage in the series, and have wonfour of the last five games.
* Key matchup: Belichick's defense vs. the Jet offense. While there aren't many secrets between these teams, the Patriots don't have enough balance in their offense to compete with the Jets' well-rounded attack. As long as Drew Bledsoe has to throw 40-plus timesbehind a patchwork line, the Patriots will be in trouble.
* Injury report: NE--Guard Max Lane (hand, questionable), safety Tebucky Jones (leg, probable). NYJ--Running back Curtis Martin (knee, probable).
HOW THEY COMPARE NE NYJ Points scored 16 (T16) 20 (T13) Points allowed 21 (T19) 16 (T11) Passing Off. 216 (11) 261 (8) Rushing Off. 88 (20) 118 (13) Passing Def. 167 (9) 152 (6) Rushing Def. 140 (T22) 62 (4) Time of Poss. 28:25 (19) 37:52 (3) Turnover Ratio 0 (T13) +1 (T5) Red Zone TD%. 0.0 (T26) 50.0 (T11)
* The pick: New York, even though Bledsoe and Belichick won't have to contend with Bill Parcells.