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Once.

That is how many times the New York Jets have beaten the Patriots since the start of the 2011 season.

But, five of those eight games have been decided by three or fewer points. The last four have been decided by an average of 2.25 points, with the Patriots going 3-1 in those meetings.

This offseason, the Jets fired coach Rex Ryan, hired Todd Bowles from the Arizona Cardinals, re-signed cornerback Darrelle Revis, and saw their quarterback’s jaw get broken in a preseason locker room fight.

Now, with journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick and running back Chris Ivory leading the offense and Sheldon Richardson back from suspension to further bolster the league’s top defense, it seems the Jets have as good of a chance as ever to land a gut punch on the Patriots and mar their 5-0 record.

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“The Patriots are still king — not only of our division, but the league,” offensive lineman Willie Colon said this week. “We’ve played those guys enough to know what type of football they play. If we’re not on our p’s and q’s, we’re going to get embarrassed.”

Here is a closer look at the Jets this season:

How they got here

The Jets are off to their best five-game start since they won five of their first six in 2010.

They have beaten the Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, and Washington Redskins by a combined score of 112-51. They have a plus-7 turnover margin in those games and averaged 170.6 yards on the ground.

Their lone loss came against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 3. Though the defense held the Eagles to 231 yards in the 24-14 loss, the offense turned the ball over four times and mustered just 47 yards on the ground, mainly due to the absence of Chris Ivory, who missed the game with quadriceps injury.

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The Jets have outscored opponents 58-21 in the second half and have blanked opponents in the third quarter while putting up 34 points themselves.

Player participation chart
Who has started, who has played (XXX), and who has been inactive through five games.
Player Position vs. CLE at IND vs. PHI at MIA vs. WAS
Dion Bailey S W/ SEA W/ SEA W/ SEA XXX XXX
T.J. Barnes DT XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX
Tommy Bohanon FB XXX START XXX START XXX
Stephen Bowen DE XXX XXX XXX XXX INACTIVE
James Carpenter G START START START START START
Willie Colon G START START START INACTIVE START
Quinton Coples LB START START XXX XXX XXX
Antonio Cromartie CB START START START START START
Jeff Cumberland TE START XXX START INACTIVE START
Demario Davis LB START START START START START
Kellen Davis TE XXX XXX XXX START XXX
Eric Decker WR START START INACTIVE XXX START
Leger Douzable DT XXX XXX XXX START XXX
Dakota Dozier OL XXX --- XXX XXX ---
Quincy Enunwa* WR XXX XXX XXX XXX START
D. Ferguson T START START START START START
Ryan Fitzpatrick QB START START START START START
Nick Folk K XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX
Breno Giacomini T START START START START START
Marcus Gilchrist S START START START START START
David Harris LB START START START START START
Damon Harrison DL START START START START START
Jarvis Harrison OL INACTIVE INACTIVE INACTIVE INACTIVE INACTIVE
Erin Henderson LB XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX
Ben Ijalana T INACTIVE INACTIVE INACTIVE INACTIVE INACTIVE
Chris Ivory RB START START --- START START
Jaiquawn Jarrett S XXX XXX XXX XXX INACTIVE
Jeremy Kerley WR XXX XXX START XXX XXX
Jamari Lattimore LB XXX XXX XXX INACTIVE XXX
Nick Mangold C START START START START START
Brandon Marshall WR START START START START START
Ronald Martin S XXX XXX XXX WAIVED WAIVED
Lorenzo Mauldin OLB XXX INACTIVE XXX XXX XXX
Dexter McDougle CB INACTIVE XXX XXX XXX XXX
Chris Owusu WR START START INACTIVE INACTIVE INACTIVE
Calvin Pace LB START START START XXX START
Bryce Petty QB --- --- --- --- INACTIVE
Bilal Powell RB XXX XXX START XXX XXX
Calvin Pryor S START START START START START
Tanner Purdum LS XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX
Ryan Quigley P XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX
Brent Qvale T XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX
Trevor Reilly LB XXX XXX INACTIVE XXX XXX
Darrelle Revis CB START START START START START
S. Richardson DT SUSPENDED SUSPENDED SUSPENDED SUSPENDED START
Wes Saxton TE P. SQUAD P. SQUAD P. SQUAD XXX P. SQUAD
Deon Simon DT INACTIVE INACTIVE INACTIVE P. SQUAD P. SQUAD
Buster Skrine CB XXX XXX START START XXX
Devin Smith WR INACTIVE INACTIVE START START XXX
Geno Smith QB INACTIVE INACTIVE --- --- ---
Zac Stacy RB INACTIVE XXX XXX XXX XXX
K. Thompkins** WR W/ NE W/ NE W/ NE P. SQUAD P. SQUAD
Darrin Walls CB XXX INACTIVE INACTIVE INACTIVE XXX
M. Wilkerson DL START START START START START
Leonard Williams DE START START START START START
Marcus Williams CB XXX XXX XXX XXX INACTIVE
Brian Winters G XXX XXX XXX START XXX
*serving a four-game suspenion; **promoted from practice squad for Week 7

Marquee matchup

Sunday’s game pits one of the league’s most productive offenses against its stoutest defense. Here is a look at each team’s stats on both sides of the ball:

Offensive output
The Patriots lead the league in many offensive categories, while the Jets boast the top rushing attack.
NE Rank NYJ Rank
Points per game 36.6 1 25.8 7
Margin of victory 16 1 10.8 3
Yards per game 422.4 2 379.8 8
Yards per play 6.4 T-2 5.7 8
Rush yards per game 97.2 21 146 1
Pass yards per game 325.2 2 233.8 21
Third-down conversion percentage 51 1 43 8
Penalties/yards 39/350 22/19 33/341 T-29/22
Time of possession 29:22:00 24 32:24:00 6
Fumbles/lost 4/2 T-28/T-21 6/3 T-20/T-16
Turnover margin plus 4 3 plus 5 2
Sources: pro-football-reference.com, NFL
Defensive production
The Jets have the league's best overall defense, producing 15 turnovers in five games, while the Patriots' pass rush is among the best.
NE Rank NYJ Rank
Points per game 20.6 10 15 1
Yards per game 355.8 17 269.2 1
Yards per play 5.4 T-7 4.3 T-1
Rush yards per game 241.6 16 186.6 2
Pass yards per game 114.2 22 82.6 2
Fumbles 1 T-26 7 3
Interceptions 6 T-9 8 T-3
Passes defended 26 21 35 8
Sacks 19 T-3 8 T-28
Third-down conversion percentage 40 T-20 32 T-2
Sources: pro-football-reference.com, NFL

Familiar faces

Three former Patriots will be on the opposing sideline Sunday.

Cornerback Darrelle Revis, running back Stevan Ridley, and receiver Kenbrell Thompkins all landed in New York this offseason, though each under vastly different circumstances.

Revis signed with his former team for five years, $70 million total and $39 million guaranteed.

The New Deal
Breakdown of Revis's salary in his five-year contract with the Jets.
2015
$16M*
2016
$17M*
2017
$15M
2018
$11M
2019
$11M
*fully guaranteed

Of the Jets’ eight interceptions, Revis has three. He also leads the defense with three fumble recoveries.

Ridley agreed to a one-year deal with New York, though he has spent the first five games of the season on the physically unable to perform list after tearing his ACL and MCL last season while with the Patriots. He is eligible to be added to the active roster this week, though Bowles did not commit one way or the other.

Kenbrell Thompkins spent all of the 2013 season and half of 2014 with the Patriots before the team released him last October. Soon after, he landed with the Oakland Raiders before they cut him in September. The Patriots re-signed him to the practice squad before cutting him a second time at the end of September. The Jets signed him to their practice squad Oct. 2 and promoted him to the active roster Monday after receiver Quincy Enunwa was suspended for four games.

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Journeyman lands in New York

Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown nine touchdown passes and seven picks in five games this season.
Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown nine touchdown passes and seven picks in five games this season.Seth Wenig/Associated Press

Ryan Fitzpatrick is with his sixth team in his 11 years in the league and his third team in three seasons after spending four years in Buffalo.

He wasn’t supposed to be the Jets’ starter, but after Geno Smith’s jaw was broken in a training camp locker room fight, Fitzpatrick got the nod.

He has posted a 83.4 rating, 17th among quarterbacks who have completed at least 100 passes this season, higher than Peyton Manning’s (72.5) and Cam Newton’s (83.2), both of whom are leading undefeated squads into Week 7.

“He’s a really smart player. They put a lot on him in terms of running the offense,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday. “He throws into some tight coverage situations, but he’s got big receivers like [Brandon] Marshall and [Eric] Decker and is giving them a chance to make plays on the ball, and they’re making them.

“You’re not really going to fool this guy too much. We have to do a good job of executing what we do, in the running game and the passing game. He’s hurt teams scrambling, so we’re going to have to handle all that.”

His longest, and perhaps gutsiest, play of the season came in the third quarter against Washington in Week 6. On first and 10, one play after a Revis interception set the Jets up on the Redskins’ 18-yard line, the play broke down and Fitzpatrick powered his way into the end zone, showing off those scrambling skills.

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“So on plays, designed or improvised, that demand his running expertise, Fitzpatrick tucks the ball into his armpit, lowers his shoulder and girds himself for contact,” The New York Times’s Ben Shpigel wrote of Fitzpatrick this week. “The way he dives headfirst, it sort of looks as if he is trying to break down a door at knee level.”

But Fitzpatrick is 1-6 in his career against the Patriots with 13 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions.

Middle of the road
Examining Fitzpatrick's statistics and where they fall in league rankings.
Ryan Fitzpatrick League rank
Completions 107 20
Attempts 171 21
Completion percentage 62.6 16*
Yards 1,177 22
TD 9 T-9
Int 7 T-5
Yards per game 235.4 26
Rating 83.4 17*
Sack 2
Sources: pro-football-reference.com, NFL; *of QBs with at least 100 completions

New year, new coach

This is Todd Bowles’s first year as an NFL head coach.
This is Todd Bowles’s first year as an NFL head coach.Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

It did not take long for the Jets to clean house last December.

The Jets had been on the decline and fell to 4-12 in 2014.

So owner Woody Johnson fired general manager John Idzik and head coach Rex Ryan, who was revered by players despite his 46-50 record in six seasons. He has just one winning season in that time period.

Two weeks later, new GM Mike Maccagnan hired Todd Bowles as the Jets head coach. Bowles spent two seasons as the Arizona Cardinals’ defensive coordinator, and New York gave Bowles his first head coaching gig, signing him to a four-year deal.

“We have to teach them our culture,” Bowles said at his introductory news conference. “Not that the other culture was bad, but they didn’t win. So our culture is going to be to try to instill different things in them from a winning organization, from a different point of view, to make us go forward and get to the playoffs.”

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Bowles hasn’t made any guarantees, unlike his predecessor, and has remained calm during some rather frustrating offseason and preseason incidents.

“Bowles does not seem to have an act,” The New York Times’s William C. Rhoden wrote after the Jets’ lone loss. “Whether responding to a player’s off-the-field trouble, a starting quarterback having his jaw broken by a teammate, mounting injuries or a loss like Sunday’s, Bowles’s demeanor remains the same. The message is also the same. The season is a journey filled with wins and losses.”