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Robert Kraft: Tebow to New York makes Patriots-Jets rivalry 'even bigger'

Robert Kraft: Tebow to New York makes Patriots-Jets rivalry 'even bigger'

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer
You'd think that the Patriots-Jets rivalry couldn't possibly become any more hyped than it already is; every time the two teams play, we endure a week (or more) of smack-talk and/or podiatry-focused press conferences.

But starting in 2011, things are really going to get out of hand. Why? The addition of Tim Tebow to the Jets. Don't believe me? Just ask Pats owner Robert Kraft.

"I think it's exciting; I think it's a lot of fun," Kraft told James Walker of ESPN's AFC East blog when asked about Tebow's addition. "You know, the NFL is about rivalries ... And I'm a big fan of Tim Tebow. I love that he's into spirituality, and I think it makes the rivalry an even bigger rivalry."

Kraft's correct in that the media focus will quadruple on that game. If you don't believe me, just look at what happened when the Tebow-led Broncos squared off against the Patriots during the 2011 season. Ratings soared during a blowout playoff game on CBS, with that game being the highest-rated, prime-time playoff game in 11 years. The regular-season matchup was CBS highest-rated game since 2007, when the Pats and Colts played.

Next year, the Jets and Patriots will play twice. Those buzz around those games is cranked up anyway, thanks to the divisional rivalry and the fact that the two teams hate each other. The willingness of Rex Ryan and his players to run their mouths won't hurt things either.

And while Tebow himself might not say anything particularly spicy, his presence is only going to magnify what is already one of the NFL's most scrutinized rivalries.
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