Patriots at Jets: It doesn’t get any bigger than Sunday

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TOM HAUCK/GETTY IMAGES

It’s amazing what one month can do.

It was just about that long ago when the Jets came to town, losers of two in a row, with reports of the team imploding.

There were arguments between teammates. There was frustration with team production and results. It seemed like Rex Ryan was losing grip on his cast of characters — Antonio Cromartie, Plaxico Burress and Bart Scott, to name a few.

Of course, New York lost to the Patriots, dropping to 2-3 on the season. Immediately, they “just weren’t that good” and “didn’t do enough in the offseason” to remain legitimate contenders.

New England, on the other hand, improved to 4-1, and things were looking up. Wes Welker was on a historic pace, and Tom Brady’s offense was good enough to overcome a terrible defense.

Now fast forward to Nov. 11.

It’s the Patriots, not the Jets, who are reeling going into the rematch. Back-to-back losses to the Steelers and Giants have shown that a well-rounded opponent can easily exploit New England’s defense — and stop their offense just enough times. In a copy-cat league like the NFL, the blueprint may just be out on stopping the “juggernaut” in Foxborough.

With failed draft picks, poor offseason signings and a team that seems to have lost its mojo, the Patriots are in danger of losing their third game in a row for the first time since 2002.

Ryan challenged the rest of the league to beat the Pats this season. Three teams have done it.

Ryan is going to do his all to become the fourth. Bill Belichick is going to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Consider Week 10 a season-altering one.



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