Catching up with … the Jets
|07.17.13 at 7:30 am ET|
As we count down to the start of training camp, we’ll take a look at all 13 opponents on the Patriots’ regular-season schedule and break down each one of them. We opened with the Bills. Next up, it’s the Jets.
Specifics: The Patriots host the Jets in a Thursday night matchup on Sept. 12, and will travel to Jersey for an Oct. 20 date with Gang Green.
Say goodbye to … cornerback Darrelle Revis, offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, running back Shonn Greene, quarterback Tim Tebow, tight end Dustin Keller, safety LaRon Landry, defensive linemen Mike DeVito and Sione Po’uha, linebacker Bart Scott.
Welcome … GM John Idzik, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, quarterback Geno Smith, cornerback Dee Milliner, running backs Mike Goodson and Chris Ivory.
Recent history: While this was consistently one of the best rivalries in the game from 2006 through 2010, a recent run of Jets’ ineptitude has led to a stretch of dominance for New England. The Patriots have won six of the last eight games between the teams, including the last four contests. That includes an average margin of victory of 15 points in those four games and a 49-19 beatdown last Thanksgiving night in Jersey, a game that included the infamous buttfumble.
The Patriots should be worried if … new offensive coordinator Mornhinweg can help Mark Sanchez reach the next level. The Jets have wide receiver Santonio Holmes returning after the pass catcher spent almost all of last season on the shelf because of injury, and while his availability for camp and the start of the season is cloudy, if he’s healthy he could provide Sanchez with another valuable offensive option. There are also new faces at running back, and Smith remains an intriguing prospect who could step in if Sanchez struggles.
The Patriots shouldn’t be worried because … as we’ve previously stated, they have dominated this matchup in the past. Even though the Jets took them to overtime in Foxboro last year, there seems little doubt that the chasm between these two teams is just as wide as its ever been, even with the Patriots hitting the reset button at wide receiver this offseason. While Milliner was highly regarded coming out of college — and Antonio Cromartie showed impressive skills after taking over as the lead corner last year when Revis went down — New York likely will struggle to replace Revis, a world-class corner who now is plying his trade with the Bucs.
The skinny: The Jets were relatively competitive in their first game against the Patriots last year but looked awful on Thanksgiving night against New England and lost their last three going into the offseason to finish 6-10. That does not bode well for 2013, and if an improving young Dolphins team continues its upward trend, the Jets could struggle to reach .500 this upcoming season. Keeping in mind it’s all relative, when it comes to going head to head with the Patriots, it couldn’t get much worse for the Jets than the Thanksgiving buttfumble, so it should be a little less embarrassing than it was in 2012. But when it comes to competing with New England on a consistent basis, New York still has a ways to go to make up some of the ground between the teams.