Jets keenly aware of lengthy struggles against Patriots

Most of the current Jets players were in high school the last time the team beat the Patriots. Hey, some of them were middle school students.

It’s been a long time since Ryan Fitzpatrick scored against Eric Decker in overtime to give the Jets a 26-20 victory at MetLife Stadium in December 2015.

Since that day, the Patriots have defeated the Jets 14 times.

On Tuesday, Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson called the streak “unacceptable” on ESPN Radio.

The Jets will play the Patriots on Sunday at MetLife with a chance to end their winning streak.

No one in the Jets’ locker room thought more strongly about what it meant to end the streak than Wilson, but it’s clear this streak will be even better.

“Obviously, that’s what we’re thinking. We haven’t beaten them yet in this one. 14 games or something?” cornerback Sauce Gardner said. “I wasn’t here. I can’t believe all 14 were here, coaches and players. I can’t really feel how all 14 feel, but it’s just a perception. We want to look at the positive side. We want to finish it.”

Sauce Gardner is ready to end the Patriots’ reign.
Bill Kostron/New York Post

If the Patriots win, their winning streak will increase to 15, tying them for the longest winning streak against an opponent in Patriots history.

The NFL record is 20 consecutive wins, set by the Dolphins over the Bills in the 1970s.

Jets coach Robert Saleh had his best “one more game” routine on Wednesday.

Saleh is 0-4 against the Patriots and Bill Belichick.

Some of those losses were humiliating (54-13 in 2021), and two losses last year were soul-crushing.

The Jets lost 22-17 at home after Zach Wilson threw three interceptions and the interception return for a touchdown was invalidated due to a roughing the passer decision.

The Patriots then returned a punt for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, defeating the Jets 10-3 in Foxboro.

Despite his troubled history, Saleh wants to keep the focus on the present rather than the past.

“I don’t know if 90 percent of the locker room was there even after just two losses,” Saleh said. “I think that’s what I mean. It’s acknowledged. Thank goodness. I understand, but we have to move on. This is the 2023 Jets and the focus is today. It is in.”

While the Jets may want to downplay this streak, it’s also more important as the Jets want to be a bigger factor in the AFC East.

Mack Wilson Sr. #30 of the New England Patriots sacks Zach Wilson #2 of the New York Jets during the fourth quarter.
Zach Wilson and the Jets went through a heartbreaking tragedy against the Patriots last year.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

The Jets haven’t won the division since 2002. New England dominated for most of the next two decades, with the Bills winning the division each of the past three seasons.

The Jets feel like they have closed the gap in the division.

They defeated the Bills in Week 1.

A win against the Patriots this week would match the number of district championships the team won last year.

“If you’re a guy that needs a little bit more motivation, playing against these guys will give you plenty of motivation,” center Connor McGovern said. “I agree that this is kind of the next step to turn this tide. We need to attack every week. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Patriots or whoever. If we want to lead this division, we’ve got to win. There is no doubt that it must be done.”

Saleh talked about closing the gap in the AFC East.

Sunday feels like a big game to determine if the Jets can contribute in the division this season.

“I still think we have a great soccer team,” Saleh said. “I know last week didn’t go the way we wanted it to, but we’ve had some tough divisional games, especially last year. I know we only won two games. , those games were all no good. We have a chance to take a step forward. In divisional games, as we always say, the quickest path to the playoffs is to win the division. Obviously. , we haven’t even come close to that here.”

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