The New York Jets are a different team since the last time Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch played them with New England, according to the Boston Herald. From 2002-06, the Patriots outscored the Jets 158-60, with Branch, winning all six games in which the Pats wide receiver played against New York. Since then, under the helm of head coach Rex Ryan, the Jets took the AFC Championship last year and already have one-up on the Pats in an early 2010 season victory. Although 2 1/2 months ago, when the Pats played Gang Green, Branch was in Seattle.
Read a similar story in the Boston Globe, which expands on an AFC powder keg heating up.
The Boston Herald also looks at the changing dynamic between the Patriots secondary and the Jets passing game. In week 2, cornerback Darius Butler was getting "Dougied" by wide receiver Braylon Edwards. Since then, Kyle Arrington has stepped into a starting position. In week 2, Devin McCourty got burnt by Jerricho Cotchery. Now the rookie cornerback has learned from his mistakes--catching two key interceptions against the Lions last Thursday, for example--, according to the Herald. Also since week 2, the Jets have employed Santonio Holmes, who was suspended in the AFC rivals' first meeting and has since been Jets QB Mark Sanchez' No. 1 receiver in tight situations.
Read more about both teams' man coverage on ESPNBoston.com.
One Patriot who's not concerned with New England's week-2 loss at the Jets is running back Danny Woodhead, a former Jet himself, who's "here now in the present," the third-year RB told the Boston Globe.