The New York Jets have stayed alive longer this season under Matt Robinson than Joe Namath did with the Waverly Wonders.

For the first time since 1972 the Jets are involved in a game against the New England Patriots today in Foxboro, Mass., that has a bearing on first place in the second half of the season.

Robinson, who replaced injured regular Richard Todd, has the Jets rolling with a four-game winning streak, the best since 1974, when they won the final six games of the season.

The Patriots are leading the American Football Conference East with a 6-2 record, one game ahead of the Jets and Miami Dolphins, 5-3.

The Dolphins are host today to the Baltimore Colts, 3-5 and tied with Buffalo.

The Patriots trying for their sixth straight victory showed new depth last week Horace Ivory ran 23 yards for the winning touchdown among an aggregate of 123 yards in a 33-34 conquest of Miami.

Andy Johnson with 359 yards and a 3.9-yard average and Ivory are the New England running backs among the conference rushing leaders Ivory has 312 yards and a 5.1-yard average, but quarterback Steve Grogan has 312 yards for a 7.2-yard average.

Grogan has completed only 48.6-percent of his passes and has been intercepted 15 times. He has no wide receivers or running backs among the pass-catching leaders, only tight end Russ Francis with 22 receptions for a 15.7-yard average.

But the Patriots have balance in their depth and rank as the No. 1 total offense in the AFC, second behind Kansas City in rushing and fifth in passing, just ahead of of the Jets in that department.

New England complements that with the No. 1 rushing defense, the No. 5 total defense, 11th against the pass.

There are important AFC West games - Denver (5-3) at Seattle (4-4) and San Diego (2-6) at Oakland (tied for first place with Denver).

Newly risen Green Bay leading the NFC Central at 6-2, is host to Tampa Bay (4-4).

In other games, Buffalo (3-5) plays at Cleveland (4-4); Houston (5-3) is at Cincinnati (0-8); Kansas City (2-6) at Pittsburgh (7-1); Detroit (2-6) at Chicago (3-5); New York Giants (5-3) at New Orleans (4-4) St. Louis (0-8) at Philadelphia (4-4); San Francisco (1-7) at Washington (6-2) and on Monday night Los Angeles (7-1 at Atlanta (4-4).