FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady dissects the team's next opponent, the New York Jets, it reminds him of a team he's used to seeing every day.
"You know, they’re very similar to us in a lot of ways -- a big, tough, physical team," Brady said Wednesday, pointing out how that type of makeup can help while playing in Northeast weather conditions.
The first meeting between the Patriots and Jets in 2015 had Brady reflecting on the rivalry between the clubs, with Brady recalling his second career NFL game -- Sept. 11, 2000. Brady, of course, was a fourth-string quarterback at the time and inactive for the team's 20-19 loss to the Jets at Giants Stadium.
The Patriots had led 19-7 early in the fourth quarter after quarterback Drew Bledsoe connected with tight end Eric Bjornson on a 6-yard touchdown, but Vinny Testaverde led the Jets to the comeback win with back-to-back touchdown tosses to receiver Wayne Chrebet.
The Patriots had won the time of possession, 38 minutes to 22 minutes that night, running 83 plays to the Jets' 56. It was the second game of Bill Belichick's Patriots coaching tenure, and the team was still learning how to win.
"It was a Monday night game in the old Jets stadium and it was a great atmosphere for football," Brady reminisced. "We’ve had a lot of great games against them, some real meaningful games."
For those keeping track, Sunday will mark the 113th meeting between the teams, as the series began in 1960 (New England has the overall edge 58-53-1). Brady has a 20-5 career record against the Jets in the regular season, but this is his first time facing them since Todd Bowles was hired as coach.
"They’re very well coached. Coach Bowles has them playing really well," Brady said, calling them "very aggressive defensively."