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Curran's Hard Truths Game Preview: When the Jets have the ball

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Curran's Hard Truths Game Preview: When the Jets have the ball

The Patriots surrendered 34 points to the Titans two weeks ago in a disappointing loss. After their bye week, along come the offensively challenged Jets. Should be just what New England needs...

By Land: With much-traveled and slowly deteriorating Josh McCown in for injured rookie starting quarterback Josh McCown, the 3-7 Jets are going to need to do business on the ground. Their main back is Isaiah Crowell (552 yards, 4.8 YPC, 6 TDs) since Bilal Powell landed on IR with a neck injury.  Since running for 323 yards against Denver on Oct. 7, the Jets have rushed for more than 83 yards as a team just once (107 vs. Indy on 10/14). As a team, they haven’t been over 282 total yards in their past four games. New York doesn’t have the change-up back that gives the Patriots fits and their left guard, James Carpenter, is doubtful to play. the New England defense is very healthy overall, so look for a superior game against the run for the Patriots.

By Air: Astounding stat? The Jets are 8-for-52 on third down in their past four games. That’s the combination of Darnold and McCown for you. McCown made his first start two weeks ago against Buffalo and was 17 for 34 for 135 yards with two picks. For the season, New York is completing 54.5 percent of its passes. Quincy Enunwa is a talented receiver but he’s about it on the outside. He’s got 29 catches and an 11.9 YPC average. Robbie Anderson has been their field stretcher (16.5 YPC on 21 catches). New York’s scored 43 points in its past four games and – because of their inability to convert third downs at a decent rate – have punted 55 times this year. By contrast, the Patriots have punted 38 times in what’s been a down year offensively for them.

Kicking Game: The Jets’ punt return game has been a bright spot with Andre Roberts averaging 16.8 per return. Look for the Patriots – who’ve been allowing 13.1 on punt returns (29th in the NFL) – to try and keep it clear of Roberts. Their kicker, Jason Myers, is having a very good year with four field goals outside of 55 yards. He’s missed just two field goals and one PAT this season.

Key Matchup: It’s safe to assume the Patriots will try and get Stephon Gilmore on Enunwa after Gilmore’s poor game against Tennessee’s Corey Davis before the bye. The solidly-built, 6-2 Enunwa is a versatile player and dangerous after the catch so it’s a good chance for Gilmore to get back in the saddle against a talented wideout and return to the outstanding level he’d been playing at.

Who’s Hurt: Darnold, as we mentioned, is out with a foot injury. Left guard James Carpenter is doubtful with a shoulder injury. Anderson’s ankle has him listed as questionable. Enunwa’s ankle caused him to be a limited participant at practice Wednesday and Thursday but he was a full participant Friday.

Recent Past: The Jets (3-7) fell behind Buffalo 24-0 and lost 41-10 before their bye. Matt Barkley was the Bills’ quarterback. They lost to Brock Osweiler and the Dolphins in Miami 13-6 three weeks ago. They also lost 37-17 to the Vikings and 24-10 to Chicago.

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Adam Gase explains what Jets were looking for in Demaryius Thomas trade

Adam Gase explains what Jets were looking for in Demaryius Thomas trade

The New England Patriots hadn't made a trade with the New York Jets during Bill Belichick's 20-year tenure in Foxboro until the defending champs dealt veteran wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to the Big Apple after their Week 1 win.

Thomas was signed by the Patriots in May, but after the addition of elite wide receiver Antonio Brown last week, they moved on from Thomas and sent him to the Jets for a 2021 sixth-round pick

Jets head coach Adam Gase was asked about the trade during his media conference call Wednesday, and he explained what New York was looking for when it made the call to the Patriots.

"I think when (Jets general manager) Joe Douglas came to me, and when (Antonio Brown) got there, we were kind of in a situation where if we could find somebody that had knowledge of the system, that could help us, that was somebody that fit what we were looking for, which obviously Demaryius does," Gase said. "We were trying to figure out, 'How could we go about this?' I think to Joe's credit, he was like, 'I'm just going to call him and the worst they could say is no.' And when they said, "Let's talk," then those guys worked it out."

Trading with a division rival is difficult, but Belichick isn't afraid to make that kind of move if he feels it will help his team.

"We don't want to help the Jets, and they don't want to help us," Belichick said Tuesday. "We're in the same division, so they're not the easiest trades to make. ... But in the end, if it helps us in the other 14 games and helps our team, then it's something that's worth considering. We'll try to help our team in any way we can."

Belichick also added: "When you look at the beginning of each year, inter-division trading is probably not something that you think is going to be at the top of the list," Belichick added. "But we traded with Buffalo this year, too (acquiring center Russell Bodine from the Bills), so we made two inter-division trades within a week. You never know."

Thomas made his Jets debut during Monday night's loss to the Cleveland Browns. He made one catch for minus-1 yard on two targets.

The 31-year-old wide receiver didn't participate in Wednesday's practice due to a hamstring/knee injury, so it's uncertain if he'll play against the Patriots on Sunday.

Jets coach has high praise for Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore>>>

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Referee assigned to Patriots vs. Jets Week 3 game also officiated Super Bowl LI

Referee assigned to Patriots vs. Jets Week 3 game also officiated Super Bowl LI

New England Patriots fans might recognize the referee assigned to Sunday's Week 3 matchup against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium.

Carl Cheffers will work the game, and he also was the referee for Super Bowl LI, where the Patriots pulled off a historic comeback to beat the Altanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime after trailing 28-3 in the third quarter. Cheffers, ironically, wears No. 51.

The Patriots have an 8-3 record in games which Cheffers has served as the referee. The last Patriots game he officiated was New England's embarrassing Week 2 road loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. Last week's Patriots game against the Miami Dolphins was officiated by Bill Vinovich, who also officiated New England's victory in Super Bowl XLIX.

The defending Super Bowl champions have won their first two games of the season by a combined score of 76-3. The Patriots also have won six straight games against the Jets, and they are massive betting favorites entering their Week 3 matchup.

Jets coach has high praise for Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore>>>

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