The New York Jets and New England Patriots have one of the NFL’s most heated rivalries, and the widespread media coverage of both organizations ensures that no storyline remains unexamined. Whereas the Patriots have consistently been one of the league’s best teams and the kings of the AFC East, the Jets flip-flop between playoff contention and mediocrity, with the hope that they can become a consistent playoff franchise again.
Jets outside linebacker Calvin Pace has faced the Patriots plenty of times during his lengthy career thus far, and he stated that the Jets can’t be satisfied with only winning one game over their bitter rivals. He told ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini, “It’s not enough to split with them. We’ve got to find a way to beat ‘em twice. I think everybody understands, if you want to go far, you have to go through New England. I’d love to sugar-coat it, but it is what it is.”
Pace and guard Willie Colon, who stated that the Jets aren’t going to be intimidated by the Pats, understand how great the Patriots are, but the mentality of this Jets team is clearly a “win-all” one. After losing a pretty close game, the Jets pushed past the Pats in an ugly victory a few weeks later to split the series. With big improvements on the offensive side of the ball, the Jets are hoping to complete an unlikely sweep of the Patriots. It’s never easy to beat an elite team twice in a season, and even the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks have a rough time sweeping the other.