Jets' chance to upset Patriots doesn't get much juicier than this – New York Post


Shortly before noon Thursday, the power went out at the Jets training facility in Florham Park, N.J., leaving the building with only generator power for a couple hours.

The Post could not confirm if there was any truth to the rumor Bill Belichick or his mysterious consigliere, Ernie Adams, were behind the glitch in an effort to prevent the Jets from watching film of the Patriots’ awful defense in advance of Sunday’s AFC East first-place showdown against the defending Super Bowl champions at MetLife Stadium.

Only one team (the Colts with 159), has allowed more points than the 142 the Patriots have allowed this season — and New England is coming off its best defensive performance of the year in a 19-14 win over the Buccaneers on Oct. 5.

You know what that means for the 3-2 Jets, who are riding a modest — but unexpected — three-game winning streak?

It means they must take advantage of the Patriots’ vulnerabilities on defense Sunday.

Much the way no one expected the Jets to win more than a game or two all season, no one expects them to beat the Patriots. They’re 9 ½-point underdogs at home. That’s the ultimate oddsmakers disrespect.

The Patriots defense has allowed the second-most points in the league.AP

Though the Jets are basking in the feel-good aura of their winning streak, the critics have been quick to point out against whom those wins came — a jet-lagged Dolphins team, the schizophrenic Jaguars and their mistake-prone quarterback Blake Bortles and the 0-5 Browns, who have won one game dating back to the 2015 season.

So the theme now is about how the Jets are embarking on the varsity portion of their schedule after a run of games against some JV competition.

That portion, which includes upcoming games against the Falcons, Panthers, Bills and Bucs, starts with New England. And the easiest path for the Jets to shut up the naysayers now is to take advantage of the porous Patriots defense that ranks last in the NFL.

A look at the New England numbers can make an opposing offense overconfident.

The Patriots rank last in the league in five defensive categories — total yards allowed (447.2 per game), yards per play (6.9), passing yards allowed (323), passing yards per play (8.91) and first downs per game (24.6).

To borrow a Rex Ryan-ism, Jets offensive coordinator John Morton should be jumping out of his skin in anticipation of Sunday.

Jets quarterback Josh McCown, who’s having a solid season with his 71.4 percent completion rate, more touchdowns than interceptions (5-4) and a 90.5 passer rating (his career rating is 79.0), should be licking his chops at the opportunity he’ll have Sunday.

So, too, should receivers Jermaine Kearse, Jeremy Kerley and Robby Anderson and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

Oh, yes, the New England rushing defense isn’t what you would call special, either. The Patriots are ranked 24th in rushing defense, allowing an average of 124.2 yards per game at a clip of 5.0 yards per carry.

Of course, the Jets, to a man, insist they’re not being seduced by the statistics.

“I don’t even look at those stats,” Morton said Thursday. “We’ve got to be prepared for these guys. They’ve had 10 days to prepare for us, and knowing Coach Belichick, who knows what we’re going to get? All the times that I’ve gone against him, you’ve got to be prepared for every little thing that can happen. I mean, he might change the whole defense.”

Seferian-Jenkins said he’s seen the big plays the Patriots have yielded on film, but he’s not allowing that to cloud his preparation.

“They’re improving every week,” he said. “The next 11 weeks of the season, they can be the No. 1 defense. You can definitely count on them to get it right.”

One thing the Jets are trying to get right is their start to games. In five games, they’ve produced only seven points in the first 15 minutes. In last week’s 17-14 win in Cleveland, they didn’t score a touchdown until the third quarter.

Start that slowly against the Patriots, who average 29.6 points per game on offense (the third-highest in the league), at your own peril.

“I think we’ve been struggling on offense,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “We haven’t been playing up to the level and standard we know we’re capable of. Can we start fast? Can we not wait until the third quarter?”

Morton, in Thursday’s practice, shook up his approach, creating more of a game-day atmosphere for the offense.

“We made a big emphasis, started practice a little bit different coming out like it’s the beginning of the game,” Morton said. “There are flashes, and when we do [flash], we’re pretty good. We haven’t hit it on all cylinders yet.”

If they’re going to beat the Patriots, win a fourth consecutive game and reside in first place through six weeks, the Jets are going to need every last one of those cylinders.


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