The intense rivalry between the Patriots and Jets has been decidedly one-sided in New England's favor over the last decade, but there's a swirl of optimism in New York entering the 2019 season after a flurry of free-agent signings and a head coaching change.
The Jets finished with a 4-12 record at the bottom of AFC East last season and quickly went to work to improve the roster.
They drafted Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams with the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. They signed an elite running back in Le'Veon Bell to a free-agent contract. They also signed reliable wide receiver Jamison Crowder as a free agent. New York's coaching staff underwent significant changes, too, with Adam Gase taking over for Todd Bowles as the head coach.
There's no question the Jets are a better team entering the 2019 campaign, and Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman doesn't expect any easy games against them this coming season.
“They’ve got some new coaches and some really dynamic players and a young quarterback,” Edelman recently told George Willis of the New York Post.
“They also have a defense that for some reason does real well against us. People ask me when I’m in New York about the Giants and the Jets. Those teams have always played us well. Now the Jets have Gase and he’s got some blueprints from Miami, where he beat us. It’s going to be a tough matchup.”
The first meeting between these teams is a Week 3 matchup at Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots will be aiming to extend their win streak over the Jets to seven games. The Jets have not beaten Tom Brady and Co. since the 2015 campaign, but six of the last 10 games in this rivalry were decided by one touchdown or less.
The Jets, despite all the changes to their roster and coaching staff, still aren't a good bet to make the playoffs next season. But they aren't likely to be a pushover, either, especially with quarterback Sam Darnold expected to take a step forward in his sophomore season. Edelman and the Patriots do a great job not underestimating opponents, and we should expect two really competitive games between these teams in 2019.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.