Patriots' running game may be key to beating Jets
FOXBORO, Mass. (WHDH) -- Relying more on the running game and less on Tom Brady’s right arm may be the key for the Patriots to get back over .500 this Sunday.
In their three wins this season, the Pats have averaged over 40 carries and 200 rushing yards -- numbers they could duplicate against a Jets defense that's struggled against the run all season.
“These are the current teams, current rosters. You know, we’re not playing against Joe Namath,” said Brandon Lloyd.
Insert your favorite Mark Sanchez joke, but regardless of who's playing quarterback or even what the records are; if it’s Jets versus Patriots, it’s a rivalry.
“Always seems to have energy, you know just kind of like the Ravens and every time we play them it’s -- everybody’s just ready to roll,” said Rob Ninkovich.
“Anytime you play in division it’s a rival. Especially when you’re tied in the division. So there’s a lot riding on this game
Tom Brady would argue there’s always a lot riding on these games.
“It’s a great rivalry. It’s a fun game for us players and it always has meaning behind it. This won’t be any different,” said Brady.
One wrinkle to the rivalry: the presence of Tim Tebow. And while people around the world were “Tebowing” from the mountaintops, this years the multi-dimensional will ride into town on a more subdued saddle.
But even in a limited role, Tebow still demands attention.
“Tebow is Tebow. He’s a play maker, he’s a winner -- he likes to win,” Wilfork said.
Tebow also likes to play and right now he isn't playing that much -- but the Pats know that could change any game including on Sunday.
“You never know what game they’re going to, you know, keep him in there longer or more of a focus on him. Defense has to respect the wildcat-type offense,” Ninkovich said.
And keep Tebow from being the wildcard.