The Patriots have embarrassed the Jets plenty of times in prime-time games. There was 45-3 in 2010. The Buttfumble in 2012. The “ghosts” game last season. Things have not gone particularly well for the Jets when facing the Patriots on national television.
Is it time to repay the favor and embarrass the Patriots on Monday night at MetLife Stadium?
New England is vulnerable for the first time in two decades. Tom Brady is in Florida. The Patriots have lost their last four games and are 2-5. The offense is struggling. The defense has been decimated by free agency and opt outs.
For the 0-8 Jets, shockingly this may be their best shot at victory this season. The remaining schedule is pretty loaded. But win this one and the Jets could stop the bleeding on this miserable season for a moment and hand their rivals an embarrassing loss.
The Jets are trying to avoid the first 0-9 start in franchise history. Even the awful 1996 Jets found a way to win their ninth game on the way to 1-15. The Jets have never had a nine-game losing streak during one season. A nine-game losing streak would be the second-longest in franchise history, trailing only the 12-game streak that stretched between the 1995 and ’96 seasons.
The Jets go into this game with their backup quarterback running the show again. Joe Flacco will make his third start after Sam Darnold’s shoulder acted up this week. The veteran Flacco, who seemed to battle the Patriots on an annual basis when he was the quarterback in Baltimore, said the Patriots look different, but he is not writing them off.
“I think when you played as many games and seen as many games as I have, nothing really surprises you,” Flacco said. “This league doesn’t give anybody any room to breathe. If you make mistakes, then you usually don’t win. It’s not forgiving anybody, doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past. It’s a year-to-year league, you have to prove it each year that you’re a team that deserves to be at the top. and I’m sure they’re fighting and practicing hard and doing all the right things just like we are to come up here and try to get a win.”
While the Patriots are wounded, the Jets will still have to play a near-perfect game to win. That is the state of their team. They get a week off after this to catch their breath. Can they do it riding the high of a win and dishing out some prime-time embarrassment to their rivals?