That’s exactly what the New England Patriots head coach did in a conference call with reporters Tuesday, declining to acknowledge New York’s deficiencies or reminisce about his past history with Jets coach Rex Ryan.
“We have a lot of respect for the Jets. They’re a good football team,” Belichick said. “We had a real competitive game with them earlier in the year. I’m not really that concerned about what happened five, 10, 15 years ago. (I’m) more concerned about this matchup this week.”
Belichick might have a point in not overlooking the Jets. Four of New England’s last five games against New York have been decided by three points or less, the most recent coming in the Patriots’ narrow 27-25 victory in Week 7 at Gillette Stadium.
“They played another tight, tough game last week and beat the Titans at the end,” Belichick added. “They’ve been in a lot of close games — won some, lost some. We were in one with them and expect a tough, 60-minute battle.”
Still, it’s hard to expect a “tough battle” from a team that’s averaging just 16.4 points per game to date and ranks dead last in the NFL in total passing yards. Yet Belichick insisted that Sunday’s matchup will present a challenge — particularly in defending the Jets’ rushing attack.
“They have a very extensive and diverse running game,” Belichick said. “We’re going to really have to — this will probably be the most volume of running game schemes and run game issues that they create that we’ve had in quite a while, certainly all year.”
Thumbnail photo via Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports Images
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