Depending on the outcome, one of two questions will be raised after the Patriots-Jets game on Sunday.

“Yeah, but can the Pats beat them in the playoffs, too?” or “Why can’t they figure out a way to beat the Jets?”

It’s a lose-lose situation for New England this week. And to be honest, they deserve it.

The Pats manhandled the Jets 45-3 last year, only to lose just over a month later in the playoffs. It was a completely different-looking offense, and a Jets team fired up for revenge.


Through four weeks this season, the Pats have been pretty easy to figure out: Give up tons of yards on defense and hope that Tom Brady can bail them out on the offensive end.

Here’s the problem: That only works for so long. New York figured it out last season, and if they lose Sunday, they have at least one more try to get it right.

The Pats offense isn’t a problem right now. But until the defense shows up and stays, wins will be littered with: “Yeah, but ...”

“Inconsistency at times, and it cost us,” Vince Wilfork said of the defense. “A handful of plays in each game really cost this team from being a really good defense.”

The Pats give up an average of 477.5 yards per game, by far the worst in the NFL. That’s certainly no recipe for success.

“Like I said, we don’t have anyone here saying, ‘We’re the greatest defense and there’s nothing else we can to do to get better,’” Wilfork said. “Everyone sees exactly what each other sees — that we can get better. There are some things we can change.”

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