The Jets have an opportunity to claim sole possession of first place in the AFC East on Sunday, and to do that they’ll need to beat the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
And though the Patriots, which entered the season with the belief they could run the table and go undefeated, share a 3-2 record with the Jets (and Buffalo Bills), Jets head coach Todd Bowles said he knows what his team will be up against despite New England’s slow start.
“They are still the same Patriots,” Bowles said on Monday. “You have to knock them off the ladder. They are kings of the division right now, they won the Super Bowl. We have to come out and work on us and play hard and go into the game and try and compete and win.”
The Jets have lost five of their last six games against the Patriots, including a 41-3 loss on the road in Week 16 last season. However, New York’s three-game winning streak puts them in a three-way tie for the division lead, and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick commended the Jets for their early success.
“You’ve got to be impressed with what the Jets have done,” Belichick said, according to the New York Daily News’ Daniel Popper. “I have a lot of respect for Coach Bowles and the job that he does down there and the way that they’ve been playing.”
Though the Patriots have lost as many games through Week 5 this year as they did all of last season, Bowles said he knows better than to underestimate them.
“They’re scary because they’re still winning,” Bowles said.
While the Jets forced three turnovers in Sunday’s win, they were outgained 419-212 and lost the time-of-possession battle, and Bowles said he thinks the team can improve in all facets.
“[It’s] good to get a win on the road, but obviously we have to correct a lot of things on both sides of the ball and we have to get the penalties down, which keeps hampering us every week which has to change,” Bowles said.