The second phase of rivalry week in New England takes place this Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium as the upstart Jets come to town with first place in the AFC East on the line.
Todd Bowles has taken over in New York, bringing a new tone to a still-defensive-minded team. Gang Green is running the ball well and playing elite defense. It should make for a fun battle in this latest installment of the longstanding Border War rivalry.
The Boston Globe says that Sunday's game against the physical Jets will be a bruising brawl of a battle. Globe columnist Chris Gasper looks at the genius of Bill Belichick as compared to other, lesser NFL coaches. The Globe declares that wide receiver Brandon LaFell is one of three players who could begin practicing this week under PUP rules as they head toward a potential return to the active roster. The Globe's Patriots notebook looks at the success of Jets running back Chris Ivory, who's leading the league in rushing yards per game.
A Globe business column wonders whether fantasy sports should be considered a game of chance or skill.
The Boston Herald looks at some examples of how Tom Brady's improved mobility has paid dividends over the last couple seasons. The Herald notes that Brady's improved athleticism has added another element to deal with against one of the league's best quarterbacks. The paper says that defense's recent, newly-successful focus on Rob Gronkowski has forced the Patriot offense to make some adjustments.
The Herald notes that Sunday's meeting with Darrelle Revis will include intimate knowledge of the former Patriots corner, who'll have the same type of intel on New England. The Herald also takes a statistical look at how New England wins with brains more than brawn, as foes rarely outwit Belichick's team.
ESPNBoston.com says that in playing two division games in five days, New England is embarking on a critical stretch of AFC East battles. The Patriots signed tackle Brennan Williams to the team's practice squad on Tuesday, and ESPNBoston.com writes about the offensive lineman's ties to New England that go all the way back to birth. The site also has Tedy Bruschi saying that the 4-1 Jets are the best team the Patriots have faced this year, while looking at how LaFell's potential return could affect the New England receiving corps.
The release of the latest Star Wars trailer has put the movie back in the news, and Julian Edelman put a Patriots spin on a poster for the popular flick on social media.
WEEI.com says that Revis returns to Foxborough as not only a Jet, but a villain. WEEI's John Tomase writes about Brady being far shorter with and less available to the media in 2015. The site also has Josh McDaniels talking about a "tremendous" Jets defense.
CSNNE.com declares that virtually every week is a rivalry week for the Patriots these days. CSNNE.com's Phil Perry has the grades from the Patriots unexpected test against the Colts. Indy punter Pat McAfee described what went wrong with the Colts fake punt last Sunday and it doesn't really make the team look too much better after the debacle of a play.
NFL.com gives Dion Lewis an honorable mention nod in its list of potential comeback player of the year candidates, an award Chiefs safety Eric Berry should win easily after battling cancer last year. The site also declares that after this Sunday's test in Foxborough we'll know if this year's Jets team is for real.
NESN.com makes it clear that the Patriots can get by without a trade for a veteran cornerback, but it won't be easy.