The Patriots head into a Week 3 matchup with the Jets riding a 14-game winning streak against their AFC East rival. Asked about his team’s recent dominance against New York, Bill Belichick was unimpressed.
“I don’t think any of those games in the past matter,” he said during a Wednesday morning press conference. “Worried about this week’s game.”
New England enters the game — which will kick off at MetLife Stadium on Sunday at 1 p.m. — holding an 0-2 record. It’s the first time since 2001 that the Patriots have gone winless in the opening two weeks of an NFL season.
One unexpected advantage for the Patriots will be the Jets’ reliance on backup quarterback Zach Wilson, which was necessitated after Aaron Rodgers ruptured his left Achilles (ruling him out for the season) on the first series of the first regular season game.
Belichick was asked about not facing Rodgers.
“All that’s out of my control,” he said of the injury. “Like Aaron, hope he has a good recovery, wish him the best health-wise but focused on the Jets now, the guys we’re going to be playing.”
One of the problems that the Patriots have encountered in the tough start to the season has been production on offense.
Do the Patriots still need to establish an “identity” on offense?
“That’ll fluctuate a bit game to game,” Belichick responded in discussing the run-pass balance. “We’ll do what we think is best each game, and try to score as many points as we can.”
He expanded on his response, reminding reporters that his Patriots teams have won all manner of games during his multiple decades with the team.
“What do you want to do? Run the ball 50 times? Like, is that a goal? Alright, well if you win, that’s great,” Belichick explained.
“We’ve won games throwing three passes and we’ve won games throwing 50 passes, so do what you need to do to win,” he added.
Belichick’s comments referenced a 14-10 win over the Bills in a 2021 game in which the Patriots attempted only three passes (with Mac Jones completing two) amid high winds. The Patriots ran the ball 46 times for 222 yards.
Conversely, the most passes the Patriots have ever attempted in a game during Belichick’s tenure was, notably, the remarkable comeback in Super Bowl LI. Overcoming a 28-3 deficit, New England threw the ball 63 times to rally for a 34-28 overtime win over the Falcons.
Facing the Patriots offense on Sunday will be a plethora of capable Jets defenders, led by cornerback Sauce Gardner.
The 23-year-old defensive back drew a few superlatives.
“Good player, really long, good ball skills,” Belichick said of the second-year cornerback. “Make a mistake around him, he’s going to turn it over.
“He’s definitely a problem,” Belichick “Hard guy to throw on.”
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