Highlighting importance of red zone

When looking back on the Patriots' last trip to the Meadowlands, a 16-9 loss last September, one statistic jumps off the page: 0 for 3 in the red zone.

The Patriots had moved the ball against the Jets' attacking defense, but couldn't cash in for touchdowns once advancing past the Jets' 20. It turned out to be a season-long challenge for the Patriots.

In their 2010 season opener, the Patriots were 3 of 5 in the red zone in terms of scoring touchdowns, although those stats are somewhat skewed because it includes the final drive when the game was well in hand and the Patriots were running out the clock and turned the ball over on downs.

The offense went heavy with its tight end usage in 16 red-zone plays against the Bengals, which reflects the importance of the tight end position in Sunday's game against the Jets:

Three TEs -- 5 of 16

Two TEs -- 8 of 16

One TE -- 3 of 16