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Injuries hurting both Jets, Patriots

The big news out of Gillette Stadium Friday afternoon was the fact that Patriots linebacker Rosevelt Colvin will be placed on injured reserve following surgery to repair a fractured left hip. While it had been known that Colvin would not suit up against the Jets, today's news marks yet another severe bump on New England's already tumultuous early season injury road.

Between the season-ending injury to Colvin, Ted Johnson's broken foot, time lost for both Damien Woody and Mike Compton and other bumps and bruises that have affected a number of players through the first two weeks, the Patriots epitomize the term banged up right now.

But the team across the field this Sunday in the home opener is facing a similar set of circumstances. The Jets lost starting quarterback Chad Pennington in the preseason. Starting cornerback Donnie Abraham is out with a shoulder injury. Other key players like Wayne Chrebet (knee), LaMont Jordan (ankle) and Jason Glenn (ankle) are also feeling the wounded blues for the men in green.

That said, both sides will field a team Sunday and both will be in search of a key victory in the tight race for the AFC East. The Jets may be 0-2, but having won the last five affairs in New England and considering the always-elevated emotion surrounding the games between the two teams, the Patriots know they are in for a tough battle. Injuries to both teams aside, expect an emotional effort.

"This is a great rivalry between these two teams," Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick said earlier this week. "We have split the last couple of years in the four games. One thing that I know about the Jets is in the last three years they have come up here and beat us and before that as well, but particularly in the last three years. It is something that we certainly want to change. We have a lot of respect for the Jets as a football team. They are a good football team. I think they have played well defensively especially in the second half of both of their games.

"The Jets won the division last year. They mainly won it because they beat us up here at the end of the season. That was the margin of difference really in the end. I am sure that the Jets will play well. I am not really worried about what has happened to them the last couple of weeks or before that. We played them last year after they had a couple of losses and they came up and beat us pretty good." …

In losses to the Redskins and Dolphins to start the year the Jets have been outscored by a total of 37-23. With 40-year-old Vinny Testaverde leading the way New York has thrown the ball 69 times in two games, unable to establish the run and forced to play catch up in both affairs. Future Hall of Fame running back Curtis Martin has just 25 carries for 80 yards in the two losses. …

The Jets have a veteran defense and front seven, led by defensive end John Abraham that should present a good challenge for an offensive line that will be without Compton and will have a few shifted faces. …

Based on how the two teams have approached the game plan in the two previous weeks, expect plenty of passes to be thrown by both Testaverde and Tom Brady. …

Notes and Numbers

The Patriots made a change to the injury report Friday, downgrading guard Mike Compton from questionable to out. … The Patriots are 9-3 in their last 12 games against AFC East opponents. In fact New England has a division-best 10-5 mark against the rest of the division since 2001. The Jets have the second best mark at 9-6 against AFC East opponents over the last two-plus seasons. … Sunday will be the 87th meeting between the two teams, with the Jets holding a 47-38-1 series advantage. New York has won the last five games in Foxboro/Gillette Stadium. … Both teams have done a decent job in the turnover department in the first two weeks. The Patriots enter the game with a plus-4 turnover ratio that is tops in the AFC, while the Jets carry a plus-two mark. … New England still has the numerous connections with the Jets, a factor that has helped to make the series a heated rivalry over the years. The Patriots have five former Jets on their roster (Rick Lyle, Anthony Pleasant, Roman Phifer, Bobby Hamilton and Fred Baxter) and five coaches who have coached with the Jets (Bill Belichick, Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis, Brad Seely and Eric Mangini). … Belichick is 3-5 all-time against the Jets, including a 2-4 record as head coach of the Patriots. … Jets head coach Herman Edwards is 2-2 against New England. … Tom Brady connected with 10 different receivers on his way to 30 completions last week in Philadelphia. … With his 18-yard interception return for a touchdown against Donovan McNabb and the Eagles, Tedy Bruschi became the first player in team history to return three consecutive interceptions for touchdowns. The three scores came in the course of five games dating back to last season, including a 27-yard return for a score at Detroit on Thanksgiving and a Nov. 17 48-yard return at Oakland. … Larry Centers is currently tied for eighth place on the NFL's all-time receptions list and needs just one catch to pass Henry Ellard to move into sole possession of eighth place and just six catches to pass Steve Largent for seventh place. … The Patriots are 17-1 in their last 18 games in which they have led at halftime, including 14 straight wins. … Troy Brown needs just four punt returns to pass Irving Fryar as the team's all-time leading punter returner. Brown needs just 89 receiving yards to pass Jim Colclough and move into fourth place on the team's all-time receiving yardage list. … Brown has caught at least one pass in 59 consecutive games in which he has appeared.

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