Big rematches in NFL, grudge matches loom large in week 13

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As NFL teams jostle down the stretch with the finish line fast approaching, several division grudge matches loom large in Week 13, games that will help shape the playoff picture.

OK, guys, once more with feeling.

The San Diego Chargers play host to the Oakland Raiders, who beat them in Week 5. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play host to the Atlanta Falcons, who beat them in Week 9. Pittsburgh plays at Baltimore, looking to avenge a Week 4 loss to the Ravens.

And, on Monday night, the teams who share the NFL’s best record at 9-2 (with Atlanta) — New England and the New York Jets — meet in Foxborough to decide who gets the upper hand in the AFC East. The Jets beat the Patriots in Week 2.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s only the fourth time in the history of “Monday Night Football” that two teams with 9-2 records or better will meet head to head. It has not happened since 1990.

For now, the only salvos between the Patriots and Jets have been cotton balls, but things have a way of heating up between the bitter rivals.

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