That the Vikings acquired the top deep threat in the AFC East from the New England Patriots for a meager third-round pick next year is good news for the Jets. The only bad part of the deal for Gang Green is that they face Randy Moss twice in five weeks.
But the likely return of all pro cornerback Darrelle Revis and linebacker Calvin Pace combined with Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre's penchant for throwing to opposing teams this season gives the Jets a ripe opportunity to simultaneously defeat their one-time gunslinger and long-time foe at home on Monday night.
The seven-time pro bowler's departure from the Patriots also depletes the AFC East's most frequent divisional winner in recent years of a significant target downfield (and a distraction for defenses). As the Jets offense has explosively demonstrated in recent weeks, Mark Sanchez can – and will – throw downfield. And the much anticipated return of suspended wide receiver Santonio Holmes to the gridiron on Monday only offers more options for the emerging quarterback.
Moss spent the first seven seasons of his career in Minnesota. The 33-year-old was a first-round draft pick of the Vikings in 1998. He was traded to Oakland in 2005 and languished for two years before being revitalized in New England, where he developed a chemistry with Tom Brady that, before this season, was integral to the team's success.
The Patriots maintain an every-down threat in the elusive Wes Welker, and they appear to be pleased with the performance thus far of second-year wideout Brandon Tate. But the gap between a player targeted twice with no receptions last year and a seven-time pro bowler can hardly be overlooked, especially for a quarterback with Tom Brady's skills.
The Jets convincingly took out Bill Belichick's Patriots one time this season. And Moss' absence gives them an even better chance of doing it in Foxboro come December.