David Butler II/US Presswire
Patriots vs. Jets: 2011 Sequel on Sunday.Hype for Sunday night's Patriots-Jets rematch will ramp up Wednesday, but members of the Patriots' staff took a glimpse ahead during Tuesday's conference calls (before all the hype shifted to New England's roster moves). New York has won three in a row since the Patriots emerged with a 30-21 triumph in Week 5, while New England has dropped two of three (and needed a late rally to top the Cowboys).
So what's changed for the Jets?
"I don’t think there are a whole lot of new things, just they’re doing a good job," said Patriots coach Bill Belichick. "It’ll be a big challenge down there for us this week. I’m sure it will be a very lively crowd emotional atmosphere -- at night, Sunday night so we have to do a good job of having a solid week of preparation and being ready to go against a good football team. Both teams know each other well, I’m sure there won’t be a whole lot of surprises. It will come down to good solid football, whichever team does the best job executing [and] avoids any bad plays probably will certainly help their chances."
Defensively, Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien echoed Belichick's sentiment that little has changed.
"I don’t really see a lot of changes," said O'Brien. "I see a really good defense, a lot of guys contributing to their success right now. And obviously, with [Antonio] Cromartie and [Darrelle] Revis, two really solid corners and a really good safety in Jimmy Leonhard in the secondary and their front with Bart Scott, David Harris and Calvin Pace –- those guys are doing a good job at linebacker and the defensive line, obviously, is playing very well right now. Like it is every week in this league, it’s going to be a real challenge for us."
Personnel director Nick Caserio focused on a Jets' offense that has topped 100 yards rushing in each of the last three games, suggesting a renewed focus on ground and pound.
"They’ve just been consistent with what they’re doing," said Caserio. "They’ve run the ball well here over the past three weeks. [Shonn] Greene has done a nice job running the football. [Jeremy] Kerley has kind of found a niche there in the slot, kind of taking over that third receiver role with the departure of [Derrick] Mason. They are getting contributions from a lot of different people -- from [Plaxico] Burress, from Santonio [Holmes], from [Dustin] Keller, from Kerley, Shonn Greene, [and] LT [LaDainian Tomlinson]. So they’ve played well offensively and have moved the ball."