Top Five Games of 2011

GWR's Matt Whitfield eyes up the must-watch regular season games of the year. Aren't they all?

While everyone hopes there's football this coming season, here's a look at the Jets top five regular season matchups for 2011, SHOULD IT HAPPEN.

1. Rex Ryan's Baltimore Return – Jets at Ravens Oct 2nd

The jovial Ryan was a big part of the Ravens success for much of this past decade. How will the Jets outspoken coach be welcomed the first Sunday of October when the Ravens play host to Rex, Sanchez, and company? Last year the Jets lost the season opener at home by one point to this same Baltimore team in a game that was filled with big hits, pregame trash talk, and a lot of field goal attempts. Don't expect anything less in this game.

2. Jets Return to Foxboro – Jets at Patriots October 9th

The Patriots were bummed and heated after last year's loss in the divisional round of the playoffs. Making it tough for New England to swallow was the fact that the Patriots had beaten Pittsburgh and New York during the regular season – the teams that advanced to the conference championship game. And to lose to their arch rival and to see Rex Ryan run on the field to celebrate with his players with several minutes remaining didn't make things any easier. The Jets can expect their coldest reception of the year when the travel to Massachusetts on October 9th, a week after the Ravens game. We're predicting the Patriots to be close to a touchdown favorite in Las Vegas for this game.

3. Scott, Harris, and Co. Get tested by Michael Vick - Jets at Eagles December 18th

Eagles fans are known for their hatred of the Giants and Cowboys so it isn't a stretch to say that the Jets will get a chilly reception as well. Vick led all quarterbacks in rushing yardage last season while the Jets allowed the third fewest rushing yardage last season. The Eagles may add Plaxico Burress however, so that could make this matchup even more interesting as they'd have DeSean Jackson on one side and Plaxico on the other. If that's the case Rex and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine will definitely have their hands full and a lot of preparing to do for that game.

4. Season Opener on 9/11 - Cowboys at Jets September 11th

While everyone's thoughts and prayers will be with those who lost their lives 10 years ago in the terrorist attacks on this country, the Jets will open up their season with extra pride on the line. Undoubtedly many members of the armed forces as well as those that lost loved ones on that tragic day will be in attendance, so the Jets can really expect a rocking crowd because not only will they be playing for their rabid fans but New York City as well. Plus, Sanchez's grandfather was a military man, which always makes these moments extra proud for him.

5. The Battle of New York – Giants at Jets Dec 24th

Twas the night before Christmas and all was quiet in the house, except for our house! In the Rex Ryan era the Jets have eaten up the headlines and many Jets fans feel their team is now the better of the two - and their coach has said as much. Giants players and even reporters have grown sick of the attitude Ryan has embroiled his team in, so bragging rights will be on the line that Saturday night. Expect a close, passionately played football game as this game would be higher up on my list had it not been played so late in the year.

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