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Jared Goff trying to become first rookie QB to beat Bill Belichick, Patriots in first start against New England in Foxboro since 2001 11.30.16 at 10:43 am ET
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Jared Goff will make his first career start against the Patriots Sunday. (Harry How/Getty Images)

Jared Goff will make his first career start against the Patriots Sunday. (Harry How/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Jared Goff is facing an uphill battle this weekend against the Patriots.

Since 2001, no rookie quarterback in his first or second start against the Patriots has beaten Bill Belichick in New England. Overall — both home and away — Belichick has faced 22 quarterbacks in that time, and he’s 17-5 against them.

Goff, the first overall pick in the 2016 draft, will be making the third start of his career. In his first two starts — both losses — he’s gone 37-for-63 (59 percent) for 348 yards, three touchdowns, one interception and a passer rating of 83.3. Belichick said Wednesday he’s been impressed with Goff’s development to this point in his career.

“He’s very talented,” Belichick said. “He’s athletic. There were times where New Orleans had guys coming free, he was able to escape them in the pocket and get outside and buy extra time on the play. He’s athletic, has a good arm [and] can make the throws. [He] threw a post down there that they just missed on, but it was a good throw, 50, 55 yards. I don’t think talent is the issue here. I’m sure he’s going to get better each week, like most young players do.”

When it comes to knocking off the Patriots, Goff would be wise to consider some of the best performances by rookie quarterbacks against Belichick over the last dozen-plus years. The rookies who had the most success against the Patriots? Geno Smith was the last first-year signal-caller to beat Belichick and New England, with that victory coming in 2013 at MetLife. Russell Wilson did the same in 2012 with the Seahawks in Seattle, while Colt McCoy (2010) and Mark Sanchez (2009) also pulled off early wins over New England.

But the most impressive was probably in 2004, when Ben Roethlisberger, in his first start against the Patriots as a rookie, went 18-for-24 with 196 yards and a pair of touchdowns. That contest, a 34-20 win over New England, also halted the Patriots’ 21-game win streak.

Here’s the complete list of rookie quarterbacks against Belichick and the Patriots since 2001:

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Read More: Ben Roethlisberger, colt mccoy, Geno Smith, Jared Goff
Report: Geno Smith, IK Enemkpali locker room altercation stemmed over $600 08.11.15 at 7:15 pm ET
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Geno Smith will be out six to ten weeks with a broken jaw. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Geno Smith will be out six to ten weeks with a broken jaw. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Now we know what started the Geno Smith, IK Enemkpali fight in the Jets locker room on Tuesday.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the fight stemmed from Enemkpali believing Smith owed him $600.

Schefter says Smith was supposed to attend a football camp run by Enemkpali July 11 in Texas, but because of a friend of Smith dying in a motorcycle accident, Smith couldn’t attend the camp. Enemkpali demanded Smith refund him the $600 he allegedly used to purchase a plane ticket for Smith to travel to the camp.

After Smith hadn’t paid Enemkpali the money, he confronted Smith in the Jets locker room Tuesday leading to him sucker-punching Smith in the jaw. Smith’s jaw is broken and he will be out 6-10 weeks, according to head coach Todd Bowles.

Enemkpali was drafted by the Jets in the sixth-round of last year’s draft. He appeared in six games and made three tackles. The linebacker was immediately released from the team.

Ryan Fitzpatrick will now likely take over as the Jets’ starting signal-caller.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Geno Smith, IK Enemkpali,
Jets QB Geno Smith punched out by teammate, will miss 6-10 weeks with broken jaw at 1:43 pm ET
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Geno Smith will be out six to ten weeks with a broken jaw. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Geno Smith will be out six to ten weeks with a broken jaw. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Jets quarterback Geno Smith has a broken jaw after a fight with a teammate and will be sidelined for the next six to ten weeks, according to New York head coach Todd Bowles.

“He got cold-cocked. Sucker punched, whatever you want to call it, in the jaw,” Bowles said of Smith, who had been anointed the starting quarterback earlier this summer by the Jets’ coaching staff.

The injury, reportedly the result of a locker room fight Tuesday with linebacker IK Enemkpali, means that veteran journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick will take controls of the Jets offense going forward.

While Smith will almost certainly miss the start of the regular season (set to open in roughly four weeks), his status for the Oct. 25 game against the Patriots in Foxboro is certainly in doubt.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Geno Smith,
What to make of: New York Jets 07.23.15 at 10:01 am ET
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Jets head coach Todd Bowles doesn't seem to be concerned with the Patriots. (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles doesn’t seem to be concerned with the Patriots. (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

With Patriots camp opening up on July 30 at Gillette Stadium, WEEI.com takes a quick look at each of the Patriots’ rivals in the AFC East, their additions, losses and what each team needs to accomplish in camp.

New York Jets

2014 finish: 4-12, 4th in AFC East

Key additions: Head coach Todd Bowles, GM Mike Maccagnan, CB Darrelle Revis, CB Antonio Cromartie, CB Buster Skrine, WR Brandon Marshall, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, RB Stevan Ridley, DE Leonard Williams (Rookie)

Key losses: Head coach Rex Ryan, GM John Idzik, CB Phillip Adams, CB Kyle Wilson, FB John Conner, NT Kenrick Ellis, QB Michael Vick, LB Nick Bellore

Camp goals: Give Geno Smith one more chance at the starting quarterback job and see if his spring OTA and minicamp work has earned him frontrunner status at the start of camp over Ryan Fitzpatrick. Leave Rex Ryan drama behind and get in step with the no nonsense approach of Todd Bowles. Have Darrelle Revis and Brandon Marshall step up and take leadership roles.

What to make of the Jets:

There’s a lot to like about what the Jets did this offseason. They seem finally ready to shift the focus from the entertaining and melodramatic head coaching style of Rex Ryan to the hard-nosed approach of Todd Bowles.

They had the chance to interview Doug Marrone after he stiffed the Bills to collect his 2015 salary guarantee. They did not jump at the first chance to hire away a fellow AFC East rival head coach. Reports out of New York were that they were not impressed with Marrone and that they were looking for more of a seasoned coach with NFL experience, someone who could lead the Jets back to respectability.

Bowles played eight seasons in the NFL as a safety, including the Redskins where he started in Super Bowl XXII. Bowles was the defensive coordinator for the Eagles in 2012, and then for the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 and ’14. He was the interim head coach for the Miami Dolphins for the final three games of the 2011 season with a 2-1 record after the firing of Tony Sparano.

With the firing of general manager John Idzik and Ryan on Dec. 29, the Jets began the process of rebuilding their roster. New GM Mike Maccagnan identified several players, along with some help from owner Woody Johnson. Of course, that’s a thinly veiled reference to the Jets’ owner’s infatuation with all-world corner Darrelle Revis, who was busy with a Super Bowl run with the Patriots.

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Read More: Brandon Marshall, Darrelle Revis, Geno Smith, Mike Maccagnan
Jets HC Todd Bowles: ‘You can’t beat the Patriots in February’ 02.18.15 at 8:27 pm ET
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Jets head coach Todd Bowles doesn't seem to be concerned with the Patriots. (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles doesn’t seem to be concerned with the Patriots. (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Former Jets head coach Rex Ryan loved to talk about the Patriots, and wasn’t afraid to let it be known he wouldn’t back down to the team led by Bill Belichick.

New Jets head coach Todd Bowles seems to have a different approach, as the new coach said Wednesday at the NFL combine the rivalry doesn’t mean anything right now.

“I don’€™t think it means anything to us right now,” Bowles told reporters at the combine. “Right now, we’€™re trying to become the New York Jets and we’€™re trying to become a winning ballclub. We’€™re going to concentrate on us. You can’€™t beat the Patriots in February. Just beating the Patriots is not going to cut it if you lose to everybody else. We’€™ve got to have a growth process of how to win while we’€™re winning and trying to win and beat more than just the Patriots”.

With New York coming off a 4-12 season, the Jets have a lot of things to worry about besides the Patriots.

Bowles said the team first off needs to come together as one, working together to improve on a rough 2014 season.

“€œI would say belief. Belief,” Bowles said. “We’€™ve got to get them to play together. We’€™ve got to have accountability. We’€™ve got to jell as a team. They’€™ve got to be allowed to let the coaches coach them and we’€™ve got to understand what our players can and can’€™t do. The faster we can get that done, hopefully the faster we can turn this thing around.”

It would seem the first issue Bowles will need to address is what to do at quarterback, and if he wants to continue with Geno Smith, who turned the ball over 14 times this past season. Bowles said ultimately he will need to sit down and see him first-hand in order to make any kind of long-term decision.

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Read More: 2015 NFL combine, Geno Smith, New York Jets, Rex Ryan
Adam Schefter on MFB: Patriots better off playing meaningful games to end season 12.19.14 at 12:46 pm ET
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Adam Schefter

Adam Schefter

ESPN’s Adam Schefter made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Friday to talk about the Patriots, the Jets and other NFL news. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

It’s expected that Rex Ryan is in his final days coaching the Jets, who are in last place in the AFC East at 3-11 as they prepare to host the Patriots on Sunday. Schefter said he does not believe Ryan will latch on with another team for the 2015 season.

“I think the chances of Rex Ryan staying in the NFL are slightly better than Jim Harbaugh going to Michigan,” Schefter said after predicting Harbaugh will not leave the pro game to coach his alma mater. “I think Rex Ryan is going to wind up on TV next year. That’s what I’m expecting. I think he’ll be in a studio somewhere. I think he’ll be dishing out opinions. He’ll be about being Rex. To me, just like I’m expecting Jim Harbaugh to be in the NFL, I’m expecting Rex Ryan to be in TV.”

Schefter predicted both Ryan and general manager John Idzik will be fired at season’s end, but he isn’t sure what will happen with inconsistent young quarterback Geno Smith.

“I think that they’re both going to be gone. That’s my read into the situation. I think they’re going to clean house,” Schefter said. “And depending on who they bring in as a head coach and a GM, then they can decide what they’re going to do with the quarterback. But I think that’s the direction that organization is moving right now. When you speak to people around the league, that’s what they believe will happen in New York.”

If the Patriots win Sunday and the Broncos lose to the Bengals on Monday night, that would make New England’s final regular-season game against the Bills unimportant. While it might be good for the Pats to protect some players by having them sit out the final, Schefter isn’t sure that would be the best situation.

“I think Denver wins on Monday night. Would I be surprised if they went into Cincinnati and lost? No. And you know what, I’ve got news for you: I almost think the Patriots are better off that way, with Denver winning,” Schefter said, adding: “To me, the best thing that could happen for the Patriots is that Denver wins out and New England wins out. If Denver loses and New England wins this week and you wrap up the [No. 1 seed], and then essentially you’re not playing for anything next week, and then you get a bye week, that’s three weeks [without a meaningful game].”

Added Schefter: “It just doesn’t come and go. You just can’t turn it on. You’ve got to go play. And the teams usually that fare the best in the postseason are the teams that are just rolling along at the end of the regular season and they just keep rolling into the postseason. And even the teams that start out that first weekend with a wild card win, they get some momentum going and start moving.

“So if you’re the Patriots and you wrap up home-field advantage this weekend and now you’re got a meaningless game next weekend against the Buffalo Bills, that means essentially you’re not playing a meaningful game for the three weeks. I don’t like that. That’s me. Now, Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots, they may want to sit him out, rest him and not give him any opportunities to be hurt. But every game they play is an opportunity for anyone to be hurt. That’s the way it goes. That’s the sport they play.”

Looking to the postseason, Schefter said the Patriots should feel confident against any opponent if the game is in Foxboro.

“The fact of the matter is if you’ve got them in New England, the Patriots should win every playoff game they play in New England,” Schefter said.

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

Read More: adam schefter, Geno Smith, John Idzik, Rex Ryan
Tim Hasselbeck on D&C: Tom Brady ‘making a pretty good supporting cast look a lot better’ 10.27.14 at 9:40 am ET
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ESPN NFL analyst Tim Hasselbeck joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday to discuss the Patriots’ big win over the Bears and next week’€™s battle against the Broncos. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

New England’€™s offensive outburst and Brady’€™s 30-for-35 passing performance has given the Patriots a lot of confidence heading into the second half of the season. Next Sunday the Patriots will face off against Peyton Manning‘€™s Broncos, a game that will pose another midseason challenge.

Said Hasselbeck: “It doesn’t need hype. … In terms of the tune-up, with the way [the Patriots] played offensively, just the points they had, they end up with over 50 points in that football game. So now everyone looks at it as if New England has solved all of the offensive woes that they had early in the season. And now it’€™ll be billed as a big shootout between the two star quarterbacks.”

New England’€™s wide receiving corps and Brady’€™s supporting cast during Sunday’€™s win, and over the last few weeks, have stepped up since the early part of the season. The hosts wondered whether it’€™s time to stop talking about the possibility that they are a weak group.

“I don’€™t know if a couple of weeks changes it,” Hasselbeck said. “Now, [Rob] Gronkowski is healthy, I think that all of us would agree, Gronkowski’€™s healthy versus what we saw from Rob Gronkowski after very little work in the preseason and playing about 30 snaps a game at the beginning of the year, versus what we saw yesterday is totally different. Tim Wright, I think we’ve seen very little from Tim Wright. They threw him a touchdown pass down near the goal line, but you probably could’ve taken Jim Dray from the Cleveland Browns and had it sneak out. I don’€™t that that was a matchup that was won necessarily by Tim Wright. Shane Vereen‘€™s a nice player, but he’€™s not Le’€™Veon Bell.

“I still don’€™t look at the supporting cast as this unbelievable group surrounding  a very good quarterback. I see a very good quarterback making a pretty good supporting cast look a lot better than they did earlier in the year.”

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Read More: Geno Smith, Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson, Tim Hasselbeck
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