Patriots-Jets Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 09, 2011

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - MAY 02: Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets speaks to the media during minicamp on May 2, 2009 at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
It's been barely a month since the New York Jets suffered a third straight loss - at the hands of their archrival, no less - and had their playoff hopes widely called into question. Rex Ryan would love nothing more than to give the New England Patriots the same experience. The surging Jets, 4-0 at home this season after beating the Patriots in New Jersey the last two years, have a golden opportunity Sunday night at MetLife Stadium to send suddenly struggling New England to its first three-game losing streak in nine years. "Both teams are going to be humming for this one, no question," Ryan said. "You can sugarcoat it all you want, but they know they need it and we know we need it. Both teams are going to be hungry." New York (5-3) faced a chorus of critics after it allowed at least 30 points in three consecutive losses earlier this year, culminating in a 30-21 defeat in Foxborough on Oct. 9 that dropped the Jets two games out of the AFC East lead. Three straight victories later, however, Ryan's team has regained a share of first place with the Patriots (5-3) and Buffalo. New York has allowed just 38 points while forcing eight turnovers during its win streak, smothering the Bills in a 27-11 road win last Sunday. "We definitely have been getting better these last three weeks," Ryan said. "But we're going to see how much we've improved." Defenses have long faced a stiff test against New England, which still ranks second in the league with 437.3 yards per game. But the Patriots have failed to score more than 20 points in any of their last three games. They managed just 213 yards two weeks ago in a 25-17 loss at Pittsburgh and were shut out in the first half of last weekend's 24-20 home loss to the New York Giants. They also turned the ball over four times against the Giants - the third time they've had that many giveaways this year. Last season, they had a total of one turnover in their final eight regular-season games. Tom Brady already has 10 interceptions - tied for the league's third-most - after throwing four all of last season. "Just decision making," Brady said. "I've just got to make better decisions." The Patriots haven't lost three in a row since a four-game skid in 2002 - the last season they failed to win at least 10 games and the only time a Brady-led team has missed the playoffs. Bill Belichick's biggest concern for most of the season has been his defense, the NFL's only unit allowing more than 300 passing yards per game. The Giants stormed down the field to score the winning touchdown with 15 seconds remaining Sunday. "I think everybody can do a better job," Belichick said. "That includes everybody - it includes me, it includes all the coaches, it includes all the players. There's room for improvement for all of us." The Patriots hoped Albert Haynesworth would help when they acquired the often-troubled defensive lineman in July, but they released him Tuesday. Chad Ochocinco is still with the Patriots, but so far the veteran receiver's tenure with the team has been equally unsuccessful. Brady targeted Ochocinco five times last week, but he failed to catch a pass for the third consecutive game. "He's continued to do a great job in practice in his role that he's really carved out for himself," Brady said, "and he's going to continue to be out there and, hopefully, make a bunch of plays." New England's offense has been extremely reliant on Wes Welker and tight end Rob Gronkowski, who got a combined 25 targets against the Giants. Welker's job may be even tougher than usual this week against All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis. Although he did manage a 73-yard reception when he was lined up opposite Revis last month, Welker was otherwise limited to four catches for 51 yards. "Sometimes I was throwing him on the ground, sometimes he was catching some balls on me," Revis said. "I call him the 'Energizer Bunny' because he never stops - it doesn't matter what you do to him, he just keeps on coming and coming." Despite the Patriots' beleaguered pass defense, the Jets may remain dedicated to their resurgent running game. Led by Shonn Greene, New York has averaged 130.7 yards on the ground during its winning streak after averaging 76.2 before that. The improvement has coincided with the return from injury of All-Pro Nick Mangold, whom Ryan called "the best center in football." Ryan also said the Jets had been throwing the ball more than they were accustomed to. "Obviously, we have our identity back," Greene said. Ryan may not want to put the game in Mark Sanchez's hands too often, but he has five touchdown passes and no interceptions in his last two starts against the Patriots, including last season's playoff upset. Sanchez is also 2-0 at home against New England, posting a 114.5 passer rating.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jordan speaks out against shootings, donates $2 million

Report: Cromartie may be forced to retire due to hip issue

Greg Jennings announces retirement from NFL

Vikings OT Phil Loadholt retires after seven seasons in NFL

Report: Yankees, Cubs in 'final stages' of Chapman trade

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Fitzpatrick got ‘multiple contract offers’ from Jets

A-Rod: Ortiz deserves Fenway statue, street named after him

Report: Bosh's camp 'angry and suspicious of Heat's intentions'

JJ Watt pens dramatic letter to fans about back injury

Le’Veon Bell vows to win appeal: ‘I’m not going to miss games’

Dallas Cowboys' team employee bus involved in fatal crash

Cubs to acquire Aroldis Chapman from Yankees

Aldon Smith denies appearing in video with marijuana blunt

Twitter signs deal with to stream live MLB and NHL games

Julian Edelman is dating Adriana Lima?

NFL reportedly determines Peyton Manning didn't use PEDs

KD, Draymond Green booed in L.A. during Team USA exhibition

Top storyline for each NFL team heading into training camp

Eight MLB veterans that need to be traded before deadline

Andre the Giant drank six bottles of wine before match?

Cristiano Ronaldo spars with Conor McGregor in gym

Adam Silver is the new standard-bearer for league commisioners

Iowa football player held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker