By Abraham Gutierrez

Through the first six weeks of the 2015 NFL season, the (4-1) New York Jets have proven to be a major player, not only in the AFC East, but also in the American Football Conference as a whole. If the NFL playoffs started today, Todd Bowles’ team would punch its ticket into the postseason as the conference’s fourth seed, trailing only the Cincinnati Bengals (6-0), Denver Broncos (6-0) and New England Patriots (5-0).

On Sunday afternoon, Gang Green will get a golden opportunity to make up some of that ground. However, New York will have to go into Foxborough and beat the defending Super Bowl champions. Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, will be the site for a showdown between bitter AFC East rivals, as the Jets take on the mighty Patriots with first place in the division on the line.

This Week 7 affair will mark the 113th time these old foes have faced one another. New England comes in leading the overall series, 58-53-1, has won two straight and seven total of its past eight meetings against the Jets. Opening kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET and it will be broadcast live on CBS Sports.

Patriots 2015 NFL Season Record

As stated above, Bill Belichick’s Pats have steamrolled through their opposition in 2015, kicking off their title-defense with a huge statement. Poised for back-to-back titles, New England has bested the five teams it has faced by an average of 16 points per game, including the Steelers, Bills, Jaguars, Cowboys and most recently the Colts.

Patriots On Offense

There are many sayings that could be used to describe the Patriots offense, but the best ones have to be: “The more things change, the more they stay the same,” and of course, “If it aint broke don’t fix it.” That’s because for over 15 years, the head coach/quarterback duo of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady has been the one constant in the franchise’s success.

This season, the Pats’ offense enters Week 7 of the 2015 NFL season ranked first in points scored (36.6), second in both total yards per game (422.4) and passing yards per game (325.2), and coming as no surprise, the running game is the weak point, currently ranked 20th in the NFL at 97.2 rushing yards per game.

Patriots On Defense

If there were ever a vulnerable spot in this team’s armor, it would be on the defensive side of the football. Under the tutelage of assistant head coach and defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia, the Pats defense ranks 10th in the league in points per game allowed (20.6), 16th in both total yards (355.8) and passing yards (241.6) and a disappointing 22nd at defending the rush (114.2), which could play right into Jets running back, Chris Ivory’s hands.

Patriots Players To Watch

Much like it’s been for almost two decades, everything starts and ends with the play of perennial Pro Bowl quarterback, Tom Brady. In his 16th season out of Michigan, the 38-year-old is showing no signs of slowing down, as he’s off to one of the best starts of his first-ballot Hall of Fame career. With the third best quarterback rating in football (118.4), Brady has connected on 71 percent of his pass attempts (139-for-197), racking up 1,699 yards, 14 touchdowns and only a single interception.

On the other side of the rock, New England’s defensive player to watch is none other than stellar defensive end, Chandler Jones. Destined for greatness right from the start, the former 21st overall draft pick has taken the league by storm. In his fourth year out of Syracuse, the 25-year-old is terrorizing defenses week in and week out, recording 16 tackles (10 total, 6 assist) and a pass defended. He currently leads the team in sacks with 5.5, which is good enough for second best in the National Football League.

Jets vs. Patriots 2015 NFL Week 7 Betting Odds

Given the way New England has been demolishing folks, NFL Week 7 oddsmakers aren’t giving Gang Green much of a chance on the road. According to NFL point spreads, the Patriots [-9] come into this game as betting favorites to defeat the Jets [+9] by a minimum of three field goals. Also worth noting is the fact that defense is not expected to be a major factor in this one, as the OVER/UNDER is set at a combined total of 48½ points.

Abe Gutierrez’s (Twitter: @GutierrezAbe) passion led him to ditch law school journey in order to launch his own publishing company. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com, AXS.com and the CBS-Sports family. Some of his work can be found on CBS-Miami (Dolphins), CBS-LosAngeles (Chargers), CBS-BayArea (Raiders), CBS-NewYork (NY Jets), CBS-TampaBay (Buccaneers), AXS.com, Examiner.com and other online publications.