Might as well just get it out of the way Monday.
This week, New England dealt Moss to the Minnesota Vikings (1-2) for a third-round draft pick, and the elite vertical threat will be available for Brett Favre Monday night when the Vikings visit the Jets (3-1) at New Meadowlands Stadium. Jets head coach Rex Ryan jokingly recommended the Vikings rest Moss Monday since he will be without a bye week this season, but it's doubtful that will happen.
WHEN THE VIKINGS HAVE THE BALL: The addition of Moss should bolster a passing attack that has felt the effects of Pro Bowl wide receiver Sidney Rice's absence. Rice is recovering from hip surgery. Running back Adrian Peterson leads the team in receptions – something that has to be eating at Favre. The Jets are probably expecting the 40-year-old gunslinger to get Moss involved early in the game, not only to break him in but to test cornerback Darrelle Revis, who should be back from a hamstring injury.
It's unclear whether Revis will be on Moss all game or if he will be limited to the left side, but he is expected to be very active. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie limited Moss to zero catches in the second half when New England visited the Jets Week 2, so New York feels pretty good about its matchups with Moss.
The key for the Jets will be to pressure a non-mobile Favre. Outside linebacker Calvin Pace will help that cause as he will return from a foot injury. The Jets rank second in the league in opposing quarterbacks' completion percentage (53.4), so if New York can force that kind of statistic on Favre, interceptions will be inevitable. Favre already has thrown six in three games. The Jets, who rank fourth against the run, do have to account for Peterson. Peterson is averaging 130.7 yards per game.
WHEN THE JETS HAVE THE BALL: Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez enters the weekend without an interception through four weeks. He's the only "starting" NFL quarterback besides Michael Vick without a pick. Sanchez, who has tossed eight touchdown passes, will also have wide receiver Santonio Holmes at his disposal in addition to Braylon Edwards and tight end Dustin Keller, who have been outstanding through the first quarter of the season. The Vikings are ranked fourth in overall defense and eighth against the pass, but they have only two interceptions and four sacks despite a stacked defensive line led by Jared Allen. Jets left guard Matt Slauson has drastically improved since his poor Week 1 performance, though he will have his hands full Monday night.
As usual, New York will try to establish the run early, and LaDainian Tomlinson will help them do that. He's averaging 6.1 yards a carry and found the endzone twice in his 133-yard performance last week against the Buffalo Bills. Running back Shonn Greene also picked up his game over the past two weeks. If Minnesota stuffs the run, the Vikings pass rush will get after Sanchez. Sanchez said an interception is "inevitable" at some point throughout the year, and it will be interesting to see how he responds to it, especially if it happens on the Monday night stage against an elite defense.
THE X-FACTOR: Third-down defense. The Vikings rank sixth in third-down defense, yielding first downs 32 percent of the time. The Jets, on the other hand, were ranked 31st in that category entering their game against Buffalo. They improved to a 22nd rank after shutting the Bills out on third down, as Buffalo went 0-10 last week. New York is still giving up first downs 42 percent of the time, something Ryan said will drastically improve.