This is what football is all about: December battles for the top of a division between two teams with the best record in the league, as the 9-2 New York Jets take on the 9-2 New England Patriots in Foxboro.

While the Jets won the first meeting in September, the Patriots are a significantly different team. WR Deion Branch has replaced Randy Moss and LG Logan Mankins has returned from an injury. RB Danny Woodhead, a former Jet, has emerged as real threat in both the running and passing games. QB Tom Brady leads the NFL with a rating of 105.8 in front of the league’s highest scoring offense with a 5-0 record at home this season. The defense has been suspect,however, and will have to stiffen against the Jets' running game. CB Devin McCourty will have to have another game like he did against Detroit when tasked with covering Santonio Holmes.

While the Patriots are 5-0 at home, the Jets roll into Foxboro 5-0 on the road this season with a team that has also seen a lot of changes since the last meeting in September. The Jets lost SS Jim Leonhard to a broken leg in practice which will certainly impact the defense. On the positive side, WR Santonio Holmes was not available in the last meeting while OLB Calvin Pace is back in the lineup from an injury and CB Darelle Revis is back to full speed. The Jets will have to overcome a poor kicking game and look to their two-headed running game behind LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene to pound it out and keep the ball out of Brady’s hands. More touches by multi-role Brad Smith could add another spark to the offense.

FOX Business has evaluated the win/loss and stock market statistics over the past 20 seasons of Monday night NFL games and come up with a Monday Night Markets (MNM) rank for each team based on their record and the prior week’s market activity. Let’s take a look at what the markets have to say.

The major indexes were up last week with the Dow Industrials gaining 2.62%, up two of the last three weeks. The S&P 500 was also up, closing out the week with a 2.97% gain on a two-week winning streak and up seven of the last nine weeks. While a disappointing November jobs report and ongoing concerns about European debt continued as S&P analysts put Portugal’s sovereign debt on negative watch, stocks were buoyed by positive consumer confidence and Midwest manufacturing data as well as stronger Chinese factory data and better than expected retail sales numbers.

Over the past 20 years, the Jets have played 20 Monday night games and based on our calculations have a Monday night rank of .467 when the Dow closes the prior week up and .438 when the S&P 500 is up giving them a MNM rank for this week of .453. During the same 20-year period, the Patriots have played 24 Monday night games and have a rank of .667 when the Dow and S&P 500 is up giving them an MNM rank this week of .634.

Monday Night Markets picks the New England Patriots over the New York Jets at home.

2010 Monday Night Markets picks: 7-6.

 

 

Week 13 FBN Staff Picks:

Chris Cotter

This is going to hurt some folks at FBN headquarters but I am going with the Pats this week. I expect a tough, hard- fought game but the Jets late game magic will have little effect on the Pats at home.

Season: 9-4

 

Sandra Smith

New England will take this one at home.

Season: 7-2

 

 

Robert Gray

The Jets stunned the Patriots in their first meeting this season and a win tonight would be a defining moment for Rex Ryan’s club. But despite a secondary that will give up passing yards with reckless abandon, the pick is New England. QB Tom Brady is playing his best football of the year—and putting up plenty of points as he knows they must put up lots of points to win, which is basically true, and has the weapons (including the reacquired Deion Branch, a rejuvenated Wes Welker, and scatback and former Jet Danny Woodhead) to get it done at home on Monday Night.

Season: 4-3