"A defense has three levels," argues Hall of Famer Dan Dierdorf, who'll call the game with Greg Gumbel for CBS. "They lost their best player on Level 1 in Vince Wilfork. Now they’ve lost their best guy in the second level in Jerod Mayo, and the best guy they have in the third level, Aqib Talib, is hurt. This is a Patriots team that is kind of limping into MetLife Stadium. I’m sure the Jets’ confidence is very high."
But the Jets had better not be cocky. They have their own injuries and absences to cope with, and these after all are the Patriots, winners of five in a row in the rivalry.
"As players, if you play this game long enough, you can respect the way they win," LB
Here are 10 things to look for in Sunday's Jets-Pats game.
1. Sea of Green — We're undertaking what is believed to be the most extensive greening of our home stadium in franchise history. Head coach Rex Ryan encouraged all fans to wear as much green as possible and every ticket holder will get a "Jet Up! Green Out" towel upon entry. Remember to drink the green beer responsibly, enjoy the Green Day music appreciatively, and wave the towels only to provide maximum distraction to the visiting team.
2. Odd Man In — Like clockwork, in our odd-numbered games (all wins),
3. Corner Health — Ryan said other than WRs
4. Gronk Sighting — Rumors are that TE Rob Gronkowski will make his long-awaited season debut after offseason back and forearm surgeries. Bill Belichick wouldn't confirm anything this morning, but "Gronk" wore the scout team's black jersey last week impersonating Saints TE Jimmy Graham for the Pats' first defense (which then held Graham catchless), and he's listed as questionable for the Jets in this afternoon's report. In his five games against us, he's had 20 catches for 248 yards (12.4-yard avg.) and four TDs.
|First Downs Gained/Game||17.7||19.7|
|First Downs Allowed/Game||16.3||19.2|
5. Mangold's New Dance Partners — C
6. Jets on Edge — LDE Rob Ninkovich has been a rushing and coverage thorn in our side for several years. RDE Chandler Jones got his first two sacks against the Jets on back-to-back second-quarter pass plays in Game 2. Geno has been sacked an average of 3.5 times a game. Everyone involved in pass protection but especially LT
8. Fifteen-Minute Men — Ryan made a point about New England that's been made many times but bears repeating. "You get behind this football team as we did [in Week 2] and try to rally back — it's about as tough as it is. They close out games extremely well. Hopefully we're not in that situation." The rivalry's track record underscores this observation: Since 2002, the team that leads after three quarters always wins the game. The Pats have won 19 of these meetings, the Jets six. Look for the team that's up after 45 minutes to prevail.
9. Inspiration from 80 — The last Jets team that violated that end-of-third-quarter rule was the 2000 squad, which roared from a 19-7 fourth-quarter deficit to a 20-19 MNF triumph, thanks to two late TD catches by Wayne Chrebet. Who better to be on hand Sunday as the Jets' "pilot" than No. 80? Chrebet will lead the Green & White on the pregame walk along the Jets Runway into the stadium and serve as honorary captain for the coin toss and other inspiring duties.
10. The Cribbs Factor — The new No. 16 in green,
|JETS-PATRIOTS RIVALRY FACTS||Record/Score|
|Regular-Season Series Record||Patriots 54-51-1|
|Last Game||Patriots 13-10, 2013|
|Last Jets Win||Jets 28-21, 2010 PO|
|Regular-Season Record @Jets||Jets 27-25|
|Last Game||Patriots 49-19, 2012|
|Last Jets Win||Jets 28-14, 2010|
|Postseason Record||Patriots 2-1|
|Last Game||Jets 28-21, 2010|