Tom Brady and the New England Patriots dominated the Miami Dolphins last week, and now the defending champions get another chance to beat a struggling divisional opponent.
Brady and the Patriots host the winless New York Jets on Sunday afternoon in Foxborough, Mass., seeking their seventh straight win in the series.
As a starter Brady is 28-8 all-time (including playoffs) against the Jets, and New England has not lost to New York since Ryan Fitzpatrick connected with Eric Decker for a 6-yard touchdown in overtime on Dec. 27, 2015. Brady and the Patriots also have won the past eight regular-season meetings in Foxborough since a 28-14 loss on Sept. 19, 2010. The past three have seen the Patriots outscore the Jets 105-12.
“All the way across, we’ve got a lot of work to do,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “I’d say mentally this is not the easiest game because of the amount of things that they do and how well they do them. So that’ll be a challenge for us here, as well as just what normally comes with preparation for the game.”
During those past three home blowouts over the Jets, Brady has completed 59 of 97 passes for 654 yards and nine touchdowns.
Brady, who was limited at Wednesday’s practice with what’s believed to be a minor calf injury, and the Patriots put up similar numbers through two weeks in easy wins over Pittsburgh and Miami. Attempting to open 3-0 for the first time since the 2016 season, they have outscored their opponents 76-3, and Brady has completed 44 of 64 passes for 605 yards and five touchdowns.
One of those TDs was to Antonio Brown, who had four catches for 56 yards in his New England debut last week. Brown’s status for Sunday’s game is unclear, as he is being investigated under the NFL’s personal conduct policy following accusations of sexual assault.
Since Brady became the starter in 2001, the Jets have used 11 different starting quarterbacks against New England, and Luke Falk will be the 12th. The Jets were hoping Sam Darnold would make his second career start against New England, but he was diagnosed with mononucleosis last week.
“They’re rolling pretty good,” Jets coach Adam Gase said of the Patriots. “It seems like they have really good continuity going on right now in a short period of time, playing well off each other, unselfish football. Guys are playing with energy, playing violent. Nobody’s consistently moved the ball on them yet. So. it’s going to be a challenge.”
Darnold’s fill-in, Trevor Siemian, suffered significant ligament damage in his left ankle while absorbing a hit from Myles Garrett in Monday’s 23-3 loss to Cleveland. Siemian was ruled out for the season Tuesday, and Falk will make the start in New England.
Falk, who starred at Washington State, completed 20 of 25 passes for 198 yards without committing a turnover in his NFL debut after spending last season with Gase in Miami.
Falk will be hoping to keep the Jets from their first 0-3 start since they lost their first four games in 2003. Darnold told reporters Wednesday he is targeting a return in Week 5 in Philadelphia after New York’s bye week, which would limit Falk to just one start.
New York gave up 325 yards to Baker Mayfield and has been outscored 40-3 since Le’Veon Bell scored the Jets lone offensive touchdown in the third quarter of Week 1 against Buffalo.
The Jets lost linebacker C.J. Mosley to a groin injury in the second half of their season opener. He sat out Monday, did not practice Wednesday and may be out this week. Top rookie Quinnen Williams (ankle) and wideout Demaryius Thomas (hamstring/knee) also sat out Wednesday.
—Field Level Media