4:25 PM ET, October 21, 2012
Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
Nothing unusual in that.
The fact his banged-up squad has the same record as New England, however, may be a bit more odd.
Two of the four AFC East teams knotted at 3-3 continue their tense rivalry Sunday when the Patriots host the Jets.
Facing the Patriots always seem to bring out an even more boisterous side of Ryan, who again expressed confidence despite his team being outscored 112-40 in losing the last three regular-season meetings.
"I want them to know, and they know, that I think we're going to beat them," Ryan said. "I don't buy into all that other stuff. Look, I recognize they're a great football team and (Bill) Belichick's a great coach. I've never once said he wasn't, OK, but we're not going to back down or concede anything."
Sunday's contest will give the winner an upper hand over the other in the division race, with the Jets trying to improve to 3-0 against East rivals.
"I've never stopped not thinking about them," Ryan said. "That's the team you have to beat to win our division. You always think about them."
Tom Brady took a more leveled approach to the importance of this matchup. New England has won three of the last four overall meetings, falling 28-21 at home in the divisional playoffs Jan. 16, 2011.
"A division opponent is critical. We've only played one of those games this year," Brady said referring to a 52-28 win over Buffalo on Sept. 30. "We play a team that we know pretty well that always gives us challenges defensively. They're always a very good team. They're very much a game-plan defense. They're going to try to figure out what they need to do to stop us and we've got to figure out ways to move the ball and really put the ball in the end zone."
Brady completed 36 of his career-high 58 attempts for 395 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions Sunday, but Seattle's 46-yard touchdown pass with 1:18 remaining dealt New England a 24-23 defeat.
Wes Welker caught 10 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown for the Patriots, whose losses have come by a combined four points. They fell 20-18 to Arizona on Sept. 16 after Stephen Gostkowski missed a field goal as time expired, and 31-30 at Baltimore on Sept. 23 when the Ravens made their winning kick with no time left.
"We're 3-3. We haven't earned a better record than that," Brady said. " We haven't played well enough and consistently enough to be better than that, but I don't think six games defines a season and I think that what will define our season is what we do over the course of the next 10 weeks."
While the Patriots may be disappointed with their mark, the Jets may feel a bit more proud given their struggles with injuries.
In fact, health issues led Ryan to say this week that quarterback Tim Tebow could see time at running back Sunday. Backups Joe McKnight (sprained ankle) and Bilal Powell (separated shoulder) are likely to miss the game, leaving starter Shonn Greene as the only active running back who has received a carry.
Tebow has carried the ball 18 times for 64 yards, but Ryan says he's "got power," and as a quarterback, he "knows all the positions."
Among the more serious injuries New York has had were shutdown cornerback Darrelle Revis (ACL) and top receiver Santonio Holmes (foot) being lost for the season in September. Additionally, tight end Dustin Keller (hamstring), rookie wideout Stephen Hill (hamstring) and center Nick Mangold (ankle) all have been nursing injuries.
Nothing slowed the Jets last week, though, as they routed Indianapolis 35-9 to end a two-game skid. Embattled quarterback Mark Sanchez finished 11 of 18 for 82 yards and two touchdowns, including a five-yard scoring pass to Hill.
"It was big, especially having some losses like we did," said Keller, who had one catch in his first game back since the season opener. "This is a big win for us. ... It's going to give us a little momentum going into this next game."
The star, though, was Greene, who rushed 32 times for a career-best 161 yards and three touchdowns. He had 49 attempts for 123 yards and no touchdowns in his previous four games combined.
"I think we can do it every week against any team," Greene said. "It's just a matter of us executing, not stopping ourselves and working hard during the week."
Greene rushed for 61 yards and Sanchez threw two interceptions in a 37-16 loss to New England on Nov. 13 in the most recent meeting. Brady, who has a 112.7 passer rating and 10 touchdowns in his last four games versus the Jets, threw for 329 yards in that contest, including 113 and two TDs to Rob Gronkowski.
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After watching film of both teams, Scouts Inc. breaks down key elements of the Week 7 Jets-Patriots matchup.
• New England's balanced offense: The Patriots are the top-ranked offense in the league and showing great balance (152.3 yards rushing, 293 yards passing per game). They had a tough time establishing the run in their loss to the Seahawks (87 yards) but should have more success versus a Jets front seven that yields 150.5 yards per contest. Look for offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to attack the New York defense with a good mixture of run and pass on early downs.
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New England Patriots
|Avg Points Allowed||24.3||23.3|
Team Averages & NFL Ranks
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||NYJ|
|Rush Yds Allowed||NYJ|
Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)
|New England leads 19-7|
|Nov 13, 2011||NYJ 16, NE 37|
|Oct 9, 2011||NYJ 21, @NE 30|
|Jan 16, 2011||NYJ 28, @NE 21|
|Dec 6, 2010||NYJ 3, @NE 45|
|Sep 19, 2010||NYJ 28, NE 14|
|Nov 22, 2009||NYJ 14, @NE 31|
|Sep 20, 2009||NYJ 16, NE 9|
|Nov 13, 2008||NYJ 34, @NE 31|
|Sep 14, 2008||NYJ 10, NE 19|
|Dec 16, 2007||NYJ 10, @NE 20|
|Sep 9, 2007||NYJ 14, NE 38|
|Jan 7, 2007||NYJ 16, @NE 37|
|Nov 12, 2006||NYJ 17, @NE 14|
|Sep 17, 2006||NYJ 17, NE 24|
|Dec 26, 2005||NYJ 21, NE 31|
|Dec 4, 2005||NYJ 3, @NE 16|
|Dec 26, 2004||NYJ 7, NE 23|
|Oct 24, 2004||NYJ 7, @NE 13|
|Dec 20, 2003||NYJ 16, NE 21|
|Sep 21, 2003||NYJ 16, @NE 23|
|Dec 22, 2002||NYJ 30, @NE 17|
|Sep 15, 2002||NYJ 7, NE 44|
|Dec 2, 2001||NYJ 16, NE 17|
|Sep 23, 2001||NYJ 10, @NE 3|
One area Mark Sanchez has actually improved this season is the deep ball. Sanchez has nine completions on throws more than 20 yards downfield this season, just two shy of his total from 2011. The Patriots have allowed a league-high 16 completions on such throws this season and the second-most touchdowns (5).[+]
Mark Sanchez Passing More Than 20 Yards Downfield - Last 2 Seasons
Tim Tebow has played a total of 45 offensive snaps this season. The most consecutive snaps Tebow has played in a game is three in Week 2, his only three offensive snaps in the game. Tebow has played back-to-back snaps four other times this season (twice in Week 3 and Week 5).
The Patriots have the most rushes against defenses featuring at least five defensive backs this season and are averaging a 10-yard gain once every 6.5 rushes against such defenses. Against defenses with four or fewer defensive backs on field, the Patriots are gaining 10 yards once every 15.3 rushes.[+]
Patriots Rushing by No. of DBs on Field - This Season
Tom Brady has faced the Jets seven times since Rex Ryan took over as head coach, with Brady going 4-3 in those games. Brady has thrown five touchdowns on 55 attempts against five or more rushers in those wins, compared to no touchdowns on 48 attempts in the losses.[+]
Tom Brady Facing 5+ Pass Rushers - Last 4 Seasons vs Jets
ESPN Stats & Information