When the New York Jets recovered an onside kick with 23 seconds left, down a touchdown, in a Week 7 matchup vs. the Patriots, it took a New England defensive stand in the final seconds to preserve a victory.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick is expecting an even tougher matchup this time around when his team travels to the Meadowlands Sunday to take on a Jets team fighting for a playoff spot.
“[They’re] probably a more dangerous and harder-to-defend group than we saw in the first game,” Belichick said Tuesday. “They can attack you with speed, they’re one of the better teams with time of possession. They can make tough yards when they need them, and that’s always a good thing to have offensively.”
The Jets are 9-5 and have won four straight.
The Patriots only rushed nine times the first time they faced the Jets, and four were by Tom Brady. The Jets’ run defense is allowing just 82.8 yards per game, second best in the NFL.
“Even a couple of the runs that Tom had were called pass plays,” said Belichick. “I think coach Bowles and the defensive staff, they’ve done a great job with the defense. They’re strong against the run, strong against the pass, they turn the ball over, they pressure the passer well, they’re well coached [and] they’re disguised well.”
Belichick also thinks the Patriots have a tough task ahead of them defensively.
“They have a lot of guys to throw to, a very experienced quarterback who is playing with confidence. The passing attack has been challenging. A good (running) back and a quarterback who can run on third down well enough to move the chains,” he said.
Joshua Brown can be reached at email@example.com.