Young Jets using Patriots as measuring stick for organization

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are still chasing that elusive fourth Super Bowl ring, eight seasons after their last. Credit: Getty Images
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are still in New England, but the playmakers are lacking in 2013.
Credit: Getty Images

The Patriots are there for the taking.

These are not the Patriots of old, the feared New England team that has been the division’s dominant side and even the best team in the AFC since 2001. However, the Patriots still have the most talent in the AFC East and the Jets are in a rebuilding year.

Since winning the Super Bowl in 2001, the Patriots have won the division an astounding nine times and the Jets have not done well against New England in recent stretches. In their last six meetings with the Patriots, the Jets have only won once — in the playoffs in 2010.

“Anytime you play New England, yeah, it is special there’s no question because that is the one you’re gunning for,” head coach Rex Ryan said. “You’re not gunning for second place, you’re gunning for first place and that team has won our division the four years I’ve been here. That clearly would make it a special game and a big game.”

But even though the Patriots are 1-0 this season and still the defending division champions, there isn’t the air of invincibility there once was. The once-vaunted wide receiver corps is without Pro Bowler Wes Welker and tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski have been cut and injured, respectively. It took a last-gasp field goal Sunday for the Patriots to beat the Bills, a team with a rookie starting at quarterback.

Wide receiver Stephen Hill said, “we still respect them for being the New England Patriots,” but drew the line at that.

“No intimidation. I hope no guys are intimidated by another man,” Hill said. “Other than that, most of us can’t answer what has happened in other years.”

Hill has only played the Patriots twice and has never won. Last year’s two losses were tough, especially the home blowout on Thanksgiving Day.

“That came with certain things that happened last year but this year, we’re definitely going to make sure we change things up a little bit,” Hill told Metro. “Make sure we get this win, starting this Thursday, and hopefully we’ll get better with not having the losses.”

But the Patriots’ name means something to young players like Hill and the rookies, such as first-round pick Sheldon Richardson. The young defensive lineman out of Missouri is part of the Jets’ youth movement — a movement the organization hopes will topple the Patriots’ historic run.

That makes Thursday night a measuring stick for the young Jets.

“We’re going up there to make a name for ourselves and shape some things up,” Richardson told Metro. “We like being the underdog. You keep going off history and we’re trying to make history; it’s as simple as that.”

He acknowledges the Patriots as a “great team” and refused to call the injured team vulnerable, even if there are questions with their playmakers being healthy for this game. Receiver Danny Amendola is unlikely to play after injuring himself in the opener. The same goes for running back Shane Vereen, who is out after he underwent surgery this week.

“Those are names to y’all. We respect them, but they have to come out and play like they’re Tom Brady and they got to coach like they’re Bill Belichick,” Richardson said. “Just like we have to come out and play like we’re the New York Jets.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…