Most of the current Jets players were in high school the last time the team beat the Patriots. Heck, some of them were in middle school.
It’s been that long since December 2015, when Ryan Fitzpatrick connected with Eric Decker in overtime at MetLife Stadium to give the Jets a 26-20 victory.
Since that day, the Patriots have beaten the Jets 14 times.
On Tuesday, Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson called that streak “unacceptable” on ESPN Radio.
The Jets face the Patriots on Sunday at MetLife with a chance to end the streak.
No one in the Jets’ locker room was as strong as Wilson about what it would mean to end that streak, but it clearly would be an added benefit to winning this one.
“Of course that’s something we think about. It’s a whole streak we haven’t beat them. Fourteen games or something?” cornerback Sauce Gardner said. “I wasn’t here. I don’t think none of the coaches, none of the players were here for all 14. We can’t really feel for the whole 14 but it’s just like the perception. We want to look at the positive. We want to end that.”
A Patriots win would extend the streak to 15, tying the longest streak in Patriots’ history against one opponent.
The NFL record is 20 straight wins, achieved by the Dolphins over the Bills in the 1970s.
Jets coach Robert Saleh did his best “just another game” routine on Wednesday.
Saleh is 0-4 against the Patriots and Bill Belichick.
Some of those losses have been humiliating (54-13 in 2021) and the two losses last year were soul crushing.
The Jets lost 22-17 at home after Zach Wilson threw three interceptions and a roughing-the-passer call negated an interception return for a touchdown.
Then, the Patriots returned a punt for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to beat the Jets 10-3 in Foxborough.
Despite the tortured history, Saleh wants the focus to remain on the present, not the past.
“I don’t know if 90 percent of the locker room was in there for even two of these losses,” Saleh said. “I guess that’s the point I’m trying to make. It’s acknowledged. It’s appreciated. We understand, but we’ve got to move on. This is the 2023 Jets and the focus is on today.”
The Jets may want to downplay the streak, but this one also carries more importance because of the Jets hope to be more of a factor in the AFC East.
The Jets have not won the division since 2002. New England dominated for most of the next two decades and the Bills have won the division the last three seasons.
The Jets feel like they have closed the gap in the division.
They beat the Bills in Week 1.
Beating the Patriots this week would equal the number of division wins the team had all of last year.
“If you’re a person that needs a little extra motivation, there’s plenty of it there for you against these guys,” center Connor McGovern said. “I agree it’s kind of that next step in turning this tide. We need to attack every week. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Patriots or whoever. It’s definitely one that if we want to lead this division that we’ve got to win.”
Saleh has spoken about closing the gap in the AFC East.
Sunday feels like a huge game toward determining whether the Jets can be a factor in the division this season.
“I still think we’ve got a damn good football team,” Saleh said. “I know last week didn’t go the way we wanted to but we’ve played some tough division games especially last year. I know we only got two of them, but every single one of those games went down to the wire. We have a chance to take a step forward. Division games, like we’ve always said, the quickest path to the playoffs is to win your division. We haven’t, obviously, even come close to that around here.”
Credit: Source link