When the New York Jets clashed with the New England Patriots in Week 8, it looked as if the Jets were in prime position to shake a 12-game losing streak against their AFC East rivals.
New York was riding a four-game winning streak, quarterback Zach Wilson was playing with confidence, and the Jets were playing at home — which happens to be the only place they’ve been able to win a regular-season game against New England over the past 13 years.
The result? A 13-game losing streak against the Patriots.
However, New York will have another chance to snap the skid when it travels to Foxborough, Mass., on Sunday for a meeting with the Patriots.
Both teams are coming off their bye week.
The Jets (6-3) bounced back from their loss against New England (5-4) with an impressive 20-17 home victory over the Buffalo Bills on Nov. 6.
James Robinson scored his first touchdown as a Jet late in the third quarter against Buffalo. After Tyler Bass’ field goal leveled the game at 17-all, the Jets’ Greg Zuerlein made good on a 28-yarder with just under two minutes remaining for the winning points.
With the Jets coming off the win and a week of rest, coach Robert Saleh said his team is better than it was the last time out against the Patriots.
“I feel like we’ve gotten better every week,” Saleh said. “It still comes down to being able to execute and do our job and do right longer. You’d like to think with every passing day, you get a little bit better.”
Getting better as the season progresses has been something New England has been able to accomplish, as the Patriots have won four of their past five games after a 1-3 start.
The Patriots went into their bye week on a high note following a 26-3 romp over the visiting Indianapolis Colts.
Matthew Judon and Josh Uche headlined a masterclass defensive performance, as they each recorded three sacks. Jonathan Jones blocked a punt and returned an interception 17 yards for a TD as New England prevented the Colts from converting any of their 14 third-down opportunities.
It might be harder for the Patriots to apply pressure against New York, though, as New England coach Bill Belichick noted that the Jets have tuned up their offensive line since the teams last met.
“They played Buffalo — that’s the only game we’ve seen — (and they) did a good job defensively against a very explosive Buffalo offense,” Belichick said. “Did a good job in the kicking game, protecting the ball, especially their quarterback.”
The Sunday game will open a busy stretch for the Patriots, who will play three games in a 12-day span. Following the meeting with New York, New England will visit the Vikings on Thanksgiving before returning home to play the Bills on Dec. 1.
“We’re focused on the Jets right now,” Belichick said. “Worry about next week next week.”
Defensive lineman DaMarcus Mitchell could miss the beginning of that stretch, as he did not practice on Wednesday due to an illness. Fellow defensive lineman Christian Barmore (knee), safety Kyle Dugger (ankle) and Uche (hamstring) were all limited.
Wide receiver Corey Davis didn’t participate in the Jets’ practice on Wednesday because of a knee injury. Defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins (elbow) and guard Nate Herbig (shin) also sat out.
–Field Level Media