With the simple words "of" "course" and "me," Chris Johnson ignited the web while a guest on NFL.com's Dave Dameshek Podcast by suggesting that he could beat Mike Vick in a footrace.

A footrace that Vick supposedly won a year ago against the future 2013 rushing champion LeSean McCoy.

While Johnson might not be getting younger, his 40 time still tops the NFL Combine's fastest. But how effective can be really be for the Jets this season?

"He's a first-ballot Hall of Famer," Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg told reporters this past week.

Kind words, but realistic or the encouragement of his offensive coach? What about what he can do for the Jets this season? Johnson may have had a messy separation from the Tennessee Titans, but is he washed up as many critics claim?

"I still think he's one of the best running backs in the league," former Jet (and Hall of Fame running back) Curtis Martin in the past week. "I'll say this: He has as much talent as anyone in the league ... he's unique because, at any moment, he can score."

While the 2013 NFL draft class of running backs might end up proving to be one of the stronger groups in the last decade, this year's crop seems to be coming into the league with less fanfare and saw the Jets wisely invest in a proven commodity for an offense in dire needs of upgrades. But is it enough to help the Jets and their offense that has been reliant on the run, especially with a young quarterback of questionable pedigree leading the group during all of head coach Rex Ryan's tenure with the Jets?

In the NFL when opponents know to gameplan for a particular strength of another team, there's two main ways for that team to deal with what that opponent might bring. The first is to use deception to mask aspects of the team's strength. A second, is that the team can double down on that strength daring teams to beat them.

This offseason the Jets doubled down by signing Chris Johnson on a long-known emphasis of Rex Ryan's Jets; the team's running attack. Under Rex Ryan, the Jets have long espoused the importance of a running game. The defensive-minded coach knows that come December (and January) passing attacks can be relied on less in the intense cold. Since Rex Ryan took over the team, there's only been one year in which the Jets didn't finish somewhere in the top ten in rushing attempts. That year? 2011, the same year in which the team -- and their quarterback -- began coming apart at the seams after the early success of the Ryan-Sanchez era.

Over the last two years, Bilal Powell has proven competent mortar to the running back position - filling in wherever necessary. Powell is a jack-of-all-trades; able to either play the perimeter and catch the ball out of the backfield or run between the tackles. Last year, once healthy Chris Ivory gave the Jets a punishing, though predictable attack against opposing interiors. Ivory continued in the tradition that Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene had filled.

What the Jets lacked in 2013 was a blazingly fast and dynamic running back that could burn a defense on any play should teams put less than eight in the box. During free agency, the Jets were known to be keeping their attention on dynamic players in free agency and were clearly waiting out the Chris Johnson situation and investing $4 million a year in 2014 to bring the former Titan to their offense.

Last season, Johnson caught 42 passes, equal to all the team's halfbacks (Powell - 36, Ivory -2 , Green - 2, Goodson - 2) and did so for almost 50 more yards. Do the Jets think that he'll be worth the investment? Rich Cimini of ESPN NY wrote about Chris Johnson this past week:

Anticipating his release, the Jets did a lot of tape study on Johnson. What they saw was a still-gifted back who was restricted by a bum knee and a mediocre offensive line in Tennessee. Doctors took care of the knee, repairing a torn meniscus with an arthroscopic procedure in January. Now it'll be up to the Jets' line to take care of the blocking.
Johnson's demonstrated durability make the gamble on his knee an educated one for the Jets.

"That guy, he's one of the best," former teammate and Titans cornerback Jason McCourty told ESPN New York last week. "A lot of people have talked about how he's lost it. I think he'll get out there and prove he hasn't lost a step and can still play."

Calling the Tennessee offensive line mediocre might be kind to Tennessee, but it's insult to mediocrity. Football Outsiders ranked the Titans run blocking 19th in 2013, 31st in 2012, 32nd in 2011 and 31st in 2010.  The Titans are finally addressing the long-term nature of the group, but it has been one of the league's worst lines dating back four years and yet Johnson has stayed in the lineup posting 1,000 yard seasons each year.

If the run blocking of Johnson's offensive line is what's being measured (and he has played for one of the league's worst units) then moving to the Jets would almost assuredly be an upgrade for Johnson using the concept of regression to the mean; Johnson should be more effective and productive with a better run-blocking unit ahead of him. LaDainian Tomlinson experienced a similar short-lived boost to his play when he came to New York and it is fair to assume that Johnson could too.

Johnson must be sensing the same thing and thinks his superior skills coupled with the line ahead of him will lead to good things.

"Once the season starts and once we're playing and I'm doing my thing, I'm pretty sure if I'm making plays they're going to want to keep handing the ball off to me," Johnson told NFL.com's Around the League last Tuesday. "If they want me to continue making plays, I'm pretty sure I can't do that if I'm on the sideline."

In 2013, Johnson ranked third in terms of how many times opponents stacked the box with eight man fronts. An incredible statistic when you consider the weakness of the Titans offensive line. Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore were the only two players to see more eight man fronts.

This bodes well for Johnson's foray with the Jets, but also for the team's quarterback. With Johnson on the field, defenses will be forced to pay attention to him and to bring one of their safeties closer to the line of scrimmage, which will in turn make life easier for Geno Smith. With an extra safety in the box, Smith will (1) have a sure-handed and dynamic plamaker on dump-offs should the play break down (2) have a better chance at scrambling for yards provided he keeps track of the box safety and (3) gain better looks for his receivers with a weakened zone coverage.

The last point is very important for Eric Decker. Many consider Decker a good receiver, but not a great one. Pulling an extra coverage man out of the secondary means that the Jets might be that much more likely to scheme plays in which he or his WR2 can see more single coverage. The boost Chris Johnson provides to the running attack is the primary benefit, but if Smith can do a better job at reading the play, or use his feet to buy time for his receivers, Geno's passing game could be much improved.

Tags: avsny, brianbassett, NYJets, Brian Bassett

Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon look back at a tough loss to the New England Patriots. The guys discuss the brutal mistakes by the Jets which kept the Pats in the game, and the blown call at the goal line involving Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Plus, Jets defensive tackle Steve McLendon joins the show to talk about the struggles of Muhammad Wilkerson and Leonard Williams, and his role on the team. Later, Brian Costello of the New York Post calls in to give his take on the loss to NE, and how the Jets missed out on Deshaun Watson.

Click below to listen!

Tags: Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Steve McLendon
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DNL: 2017 Jets season so far 00:02:58
The DNL panel discusses the Jets' season so far including if Todd Bowles deserves more credit and which player has disappointed the most.

 

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 (Dennis Schneidler)
(Dennis Schneidler)

The Jets featured many key players out during practice Wednesday including RB Bilal Powell, DE Muhammad Wilkerson, and WR Robby Anderson. 

Powell, who is nursing a calf injury, stretched with the team, but he didn't participate in anything else. He already missed last week with the same injury.

Wilkerson played through his shoulder injury in Weeks 4 and 5, He didn't practice throughout those weeks, so this might be the same scenario for No. 96...

Tags: Bilal Powell, Muhammad Wilkerson, Robby Anderson
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Daily News Live: Cool your Jets 00:03:02
The DNL panel discusses how the controversial play and loss to the Patriots could affect the Jets' mentality going into Week 7.

The DNL panel discusses how the controversial play and loss to the Patriots could affect the Jets' mentality going into Week 7.

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New York Jets safety Jamal Adams (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets (3-3) take on the Dolphins (3-2) on Sunday in Miami at 1 p.m. Here's what's going on today...

Need to know

The Jets practice today at Florham Park.

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano will be out at practice on Thursday and Friday. Follow @RVaccianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors...

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Marcus Maye
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Daily News Live: Colon 00:01:10
Willie Colon's sources at the meeting between NFL owners and Roger Goodell on anthem protests say no progress was made Tuesday.

SNY's Willie Colon said sources told him that players felt "nothing was accomplished" during a meeting on Tuesday between the NFL, executives, players, and the NFL Players' Association.

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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

After a hot start to his rookie season, Jets S Jamal Adams became the latest victim of Patriots' star TE Rob Gronkowski in the Jets' 24-17 loss on Sunday. 

Adams had troubles with Gronk from the beginning of the game. The Jets had a 14-0 lead when Patriots QB Tom Brady launched a ball toward the back of the end zone intended for Gronkowski. Adams made a play on the ball, but refs said that he made too much contact with the 6-foot-6 tight end resulting in a pass interference call.

Dion Lewis would score on the next play, and Adams was still surprised as to why the refs threw the flag. 

Tags: Jamal Adams
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Oct 15, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams (Brad Penner)
Oct 15, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams (Brad Penner)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: The Jets gave a good account of themselves and, despite some glaring weaknesses, continue to prove that they're a more talented group than most people gave them credit for before the season. Let's break down the performances on the defensive side of the ball from the Jets' loss to the Patriots in Week 6:

Defensive Line

The defensive line once again didn't make any major contributions, with New England rushing for 118 yards at an average of 4.7 per carry and officially surrendering just four quarterback hits and no sacks. However, that was partly due to the Jets' gameplan. They didn't blitz much, sending just four rushers on average. And some of the bigger runs they gave up came with pass defense personnel on the field or one of Leonard Williams and Muhammad Wilkerson on the bench...

Tags: Buster Skrine, Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Jamal Adams, Jordan Jenkins, Juston Burris, Leonard Williams, Marcus Maye, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Rontez Miles, Steve McLendon
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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles (Ben Margot/AP)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles (Ben Margot/AP)

The Jets (3-3) take on the Dolphins (3-2) on Sunday in Miami at 1 p.m. Here's what's going on today...

Need to know

The Jets are off today.

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano will be out at practice on Thursday and Friday. Follow @RVaccianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors...

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Buster Skrine, Jalin Marshall, Muhammad Wilkerson
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Daily News Live: Reffed Up 00:03:44
The Daily News Live panel discusses the controversial "fumble" call on Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the Jets' loss.

 

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New York Jets wide receiver Jalin Marshall (89) runs past Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Mike Thomas (13) in the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Jalin Marshall (89) runs past Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Mike Thomas (13) in the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets assigned wide receiver Jalin Marshall to the practice squad on Monday after they waived him on Saturday.

Marshall, who served a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, was waived to make room for cornerback Xavier Coleman on the team's active roster for Sunday's 24-17 loss to the New England Patriots.

The 22-year-old Marshall recorded 14 catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games last season. He also returned 18 punts for 100 yards and 13 kickoffs for 324 yards.

Tags: Jalin Marshall
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The decision to turn an Austin Seferian-Jenkins' touchdown on Sunday into a hard-to-explain fumble and touchback was a "clear and obvious" decision, according to the replay official who made the call.

Al Riveron, the NFL's senior VP of officiating, strongly defended his call in a conference call with reporters on Monday morning, one day after it impacted the Jets' 24-17 loss to the New England Patriots. He said the reversal of the touchdown after a video review was absolutely the correct decision based on the rule, and he didn't see anything controversial about it.

"No doubt about it, it was clear and obvious," Riveron said. "And we use that (standard) for every replay. Unless it's clear and obvious to us, we will not change the ruling on the field, and this definitely met that criteria."

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

Jets QB Josh McCown got off to a hot start on Sunday, but couldn't hold on to the lead as the Patriots earned the win on the road. 

The Jets jumped to a quick, 14-0 lead in the first half. However, the offense couldn't get anything going allowing Tom Brady to do what he does best and get the Pats the lead back. 

"Obviously we broke stride there and didn't keep pace the way we'd like," McCown told Jets.com's Eric Allen. "We have some short-yardage situations that we have to find a way to convert and be better at. We weren't converting and (we were) putting our defense right back out there. You can't give Tom (Brady) that many chances."

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jeremy Kerley, Josh McCown, Robby Anderson
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Oct 15, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Jeremy Kerley (14) runs in for a touchdown against New England Patriots safety Duron Harmon (30) (Brad Penner)
Oct 15, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Jeremy Kerley (14) runs in for a touchdown against New England Patriots safety Duron Harmon (30) (Brad Penner)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

While much of the attention from the Jets' loss to the Patriots will be focused on the controversial overturned touchdown in the fourth quarter, the Jets only have themselves to blame for giving up 24 unanswered points and letting New England back into the game.

Nevertheless, they gave a good account of themselves and, despite some glaring weaknesses, continued to prove that they're a more talented group than most people gave them credit for before the season...

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Bilal Powell, Brandon Shell, Brent Qvale, Brian Winters, Chad Hansen, Elijah McGuire, James Carpenter, Jordan Leggett, Josh McCown, Kelvin Beachum, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson, Wesley Johnson
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The New York Jets cornerback Buster Skrine misses the catch during the 1st half against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
The New York Jets cornerback Buster Skrine misses the catch during the 1st half against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Jets sometimes seem like they've cornered the market on finding interesting new ways to lose. Five years ago, it was the infamous "Butt fumble." This time, it was a fumble that maybe, probably, never was.

But the differences between those two plays are as stark as the differences between those two teams. The "Butt fumble" was an embarrassment on Thanksgiving 2012 that turned Mark Sanchez and the Jets into a national joke. The fumble by Austin Seferian-Jenkins on Sunday -- the "What fumble," as some have named it -- wasn't funny to anyone.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Buster Skrine, Darron Lee, Jamal Adams, Josh McCown, Morris Claiborne, New England Patriots, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jets Post Game Overtime: 10/15 00:11:29
The Jets Post Game Overtime crew breaks down the Jets' 24-17 loss to the New England Patriots in Week 6.

 

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Jets Post Game Live: Overturned 00:02:19
The crew on Jets Post Game Live gives its thoughts on Austin Seferian-Jenkins' overturned touchdown.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- When tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins rolled into the end zone midway through the fourth quarter and the official's arms went up, the Jets were just like everyone else in the building and watching on TV: They were sure they had just scored a touchdown.

And long after their 24-17 loss to the New England Patriots, they were still shocked, confused and absolutely livid that the touchdown was overturned.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Buster Skrine, Darron Lee, Josh McCown, Morris Claiborne, New England Patriots, Ralph Vacchiano
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets lose 00:03:36
Ralph Vacchiano tries to make sense of the controversial decision to take away Austin Seferian-Jenkins' touchdown against the Patriots.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Jets gave their fans quite a thrill for much longer than anyone expected. Not only were they battling for first place in Week 6 of what was supposed to be a lost season, they were leading for most of the first half.

The fact that the bubble burst on Sunday -- perhaps with a little help from the replay officials -- and the Jets ended up losing 24-17 may feel disheartening, but if ever a team could take a moral victory out of a loss, this would be the time. Yes, this was a blown opportunity for the Jets. Yes, they could've thrust themselves into a real, live playoff chase if they could only have held on to their 14-0 lead.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Josh McCown, Ralph Vacchiano
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Bowles and McCown on 24-17 loss 00:01:58
Jets head coach Todd Bowles and quarterback Josh McCown break down the team's 24-17 loss to the Patriots.

The Patriots escaped MetLife Stadium with a 24-17 win on Sunday after stopping Josh McCown and the Jets ' offense on a potential game-tying drive in the final minutes. >> Box score 

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Josh McCown, Matt Forte
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Jeremy Kerley plays Pick Six 00:02:26
Jets receiver Jeremy Kerley plays Pick Six with SNY's Jeane Coakley before the Jets' home game against the Patriots.

 

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 (Jim O'Connor)
(Jim O'Connor)

Heading in to the 2017 season, the expectation was that the Jets would be one of the worst teams in the league and the Giants would be one of the best.

Well, the Jets are 3-2 and the injury-ravaged Giants are 0-5.

Click below for the video from The Ringer

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New York Jets running back Bilal Powell runs with the ball against the Cleveland Browns, (AP)
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell runs with the ball against the Cleveland Browns, (AP)

DE Muhammad Wilkerson will play in the Jets' Week 6 matchup with the Patriots, but RB Bilal Powell is among seven players who are inactive.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Christian Hackenberg, Matt Forte, Muhammad Wilkerson
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Vacchiano's 3 keys to a Jets win 00:01:18
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano gives his three keys to a Jets' victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday.

SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano gives his three keys to a Jets victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday.

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New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire runs with the ball as Cleveland Browns middle linebacker Joe Schobert and outside linebacker James Burgess bring him down during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire runs with the ball as Cleveland Browns middle linebacker Joe Schobert and outside linebacker James Burgess bring him down during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME

The New England Patriots (3-2) vs. the Jets (3-2) at Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Sunday, Oct. 15, at 1 p.m. ET.


Coverage on SNY:

Tags: Bilal Powell, Cleveland Browns, Elijah McGuire, Leonard Williams, Matt Forte, Muhammad Wilkerson, New England Patriots, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets wide receiver Jalin Marshall (89) runs past Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Mike Thomas (13) in the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Jalin Marshall (89) runs past Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Mike Thomas (13) in the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets have waived wide receiver Jalin Marshal and promoted cornerback Xavier Coleman to the active roster from the practice squad, the team announced Saturday. 

Marshall had tested positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs before the season and was suspended four games by the the league. He was set to return from the suspension this week and had been practicing with the team. 

Tags: Jalin Marshall
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New York Jets safety Jamal Adams (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

With the Jets riding a three-game winning streak heading into Sunday's matchup against the Patriots, rookie safety Jamal Adams is excited to go against a division rival. 

"It's going to be a fun matchup, man," Adams told NorthJersey.com. "We just want to go out there and compete. We don't take it any different than the previous games. We don't look at it as a Super Bowl or anything. It's just another game in front of us and we have to go out there and compete." 

So far in his first season, Adams has 18 total tackles and one sack, but struggled at times in coverage during last week's game against the Browns. Head coach Todd Bowles has been impressed with the way Adams has worked to improve after Week 5.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye
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Jets prepare for Patriots 00:01:40
Jeane Coakley reports from Jets practice where the team looks to keep rolling in a divisional showdown with the Patriots on Sunday.

 

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 (William Hauser/USA Today Sports Images)
(William Hauser/USA Today Sports Images)

Jets RB Bilal Powell (calf) and DE Muhammad Wilkerson (toe/shoulder) are listed as questionable and will be game-time decisions on Sunday against the Patriots, head coach Todd Bowles said on Friday. 

Powel and Wilkerson missed practice the last three days.

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

I think the Jets will be comfortable to give Powell the week off. With Forté back in the lineup and Elijah McGuire filling in adequately so far, it would make sense to give Powell another week to recover. New England's run defense has been shaky so far, but any Jets success in Sunday's game will likely hinge more on the offensive line than who carries the ball...

Tags: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Leonard Williams, Matt Forte, Muhammad Wilkerson
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets-Pats 00:01:48
Ralph Vacchiano reports from Florham Park to get thoughts from the Jets on their upcoming matchup against a seemingly mortal Patriots team.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Remember when even some of the most diehard Jets fans were openly rooting for a full-tank, 0-16 season? And back then, even those who couldn't bring themselves to openly root against their team knew they'd be pleased if the Jets stumbled into the No. 1 overall pick.

Now they are 3-2, getting ready to face the hated New England Patriots, with first place in the AFC East on the line. The "tank" appears empty. The bandwagon is filling up...

Tags: Darron Lee, Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles watches his team play during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus) (Adrian Kraus/AP)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles watches his team play during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus) (Adrian Kraus/AP)

The Patriots are last in the NFL in yards allowed and passing yards, but Jets coach Todd Bowles looks past the numbers and sees a talented defense.

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