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How evenly matched are Jets and Patriots?

LaDainian Tomlinson

LaDainian Tomlinson Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Jets have home run talent; they just need a pitch to hit.

In the estimation of CBS Sports analysts Phil Simms and Dan Dierdorf, who spoke on a conference call yesterday, Tom Brady and New England (14-2) are unlikely to give the Jets (12-5) that chance during their AFC divisional playoff contest on Sunday.

Jets coach Rex Ryan, after framing the game as struggle between him and Patriots coach Bill Belichick this week, said the rivals’ rosters “are very even.”

Simms laughed that off.

“The Patriots had the better record during the season. They won the last contest 45-3. That’s where we’re at,” he said. “If they’re evenly matched, then somebody did a bad job.”

However, Simms credited the Jets with possessing “as many potential game-winning players as anybody in the league.”

Deirdorf agreed.

“You can make an argument that the Jets might have the most talented roster in the league, in terms of from 1 to 53,” said Dierdorf.

Here is a look at the two teams head to head:

Quarterback: Pats

A career-best Tom Brady looks primed to reach his fifth Super Bowl with the Patriots.

Running backs: Jets

LaDainian Tomlinson helped the Jets roll for 152 yards last week in Indianapolis.

Receivers and tight ends: Jets

The Jets’ talent is dangerous, but Brady distributes to everyone from tight ends such as Rob Gronkowski to his fourth receiver.

Offensive line: Jets

With two Pro Bowlers on each line, the edge goes to the Jets by reputation only.

Defensive line: Jets

The Jets’ line brings more pressure and allows fewer yards per carry.

Linebackers: Pats

Jerod Mayo led the NFL with 175 combined tackles.

Secondary: Jets

No team matches the technique and ability of Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie.

Special teams: Jets

Nick Folk has been increasingly solid for the Jets; the Pats switched kickers at midseason.

Coaching: Pats

Until Ryan takes it away from him, Belichick is modern football’s greatest coach.

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