So on a conference call Wednesday, Woody spoke about Sunday’s matchup between the Patriots and the Jets at Gillette Stadium in what has become an intense rivalry, partially fueled this week by New York’s 28-21 demolition of New England in a first-round playoff game last season.
Woody said he will not be surprised if the Jets, who enter Sunday’s game at 2-2, having lost two in a row, turn back to their running game, which New York coach Rex Ryan refers to as his “ground and pound” philosophy, especially given the struggles of quarterback Mark Sanchez in the passing game this year.
“You have to stay true to your identity,” said Woody. “With Rex, it has always been that his teams play great defense, special teams and they run the ball.
“I don’t think it will be three yards and a cloud of dust, no. It won’t be the (Vince) Lombardi Green Bay Packers running the football, but you have to try to have some semblance of balance with your running game. That helps you in your pass protection. Running the ball is a state of mind. It has to be a staple from day one. I’m not sure that’s the case right now,” he said.
Woody said he expects there to be a little extra motivation for the Patriots, given last season’s playoff setback, which occurred at Gillette Stadium.
“You can listen to the comments Tom Brady made in the offseason and early in training camp. He said that game gnawed at him,” said Woody.”You know in their minds they’ll be looking for retribution for what happened in the playoffs.”
And Woody didn’t mince words when asked his prediction for Sunday’s clash.
“I think the Patriots will win,” said Woody. “I don’t know the score but I think the Patriots will win because, for one, they really play well at Gillette. They are hard to beat at home. And I don’t think the offense the Jets have can keep pace with New England.
“Tom Brady is in such a zone with his receivers and what they’re doing offensively. The Jets are not in sync offensively. I don’t think they can keep pace,” said Woody.