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Storm to blow into New England; Jets to blow

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Storm Threatens to Level the Field
Will Weather Be Jets' Best Friend?

In about 84 hours, your New England Patriots will take the field against the New York R-A-T-S Rats Rats Rats. But a classic nor'easter threatens to level the field and make it a game. Snow, rain, sleet, wind, everything but fire and brimstone.

It's the wind that will probably have the greater effect. Wind makes passing and kicking more risky, and that may mean the Patriots have to alter their game plan.

Less important to the general game plan, but what could certainly have an impact on play is the precipitation, regardless of form. Players are simply more likely to be injured in poor playing conditions.

So while the oddsmakers' lines are set anywhere from 23 to 26 points or so, and while many people have expected New England to threaten the single-game scoring record and beat the Jets by 40 points or more, the weather could be a great equalizer.

Of course, New England "meteorologists" have been known to be wrong before. I know it's hard to believe, but this isn't Phoenix where the weather is the same 365 days a year. Maybe the storm will arrive earlier and blow through quicky. Or maybe it will get hung up over the great lakes and arrive after the game. Or maybe it just won't be as brutal as many have forecast -- that goes for the game and the weather.

As good ol' Samuel Clemens said, "If you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes."

The Patriots and their fans should be so lucky.

But they should take heart. One thing we're pretty sure: Rats hate snow.