‘‘When it mattered most, he delivered and they got the victory,’’ Ryan said. ‘‘We know each other so well. We know enough of Tom Brady to know if he knows exactly what you’re in, you’re in trouble.’’
That game ended when Rob Ninkovich forced and recovered a fumble by Mark Sanchez, moments after Stephen Gostkowski kicked a go-ahead field goal in overtime. It started a string of three straight losses for the Jets, who appeared on the verge of seeing their season slip away until a solid performance last week in St. Louis.
Sanchez was efficient and mistake-free for the first time in weeks, giving the Jets plenty of hope heading into this matchup with the Patriots.
‘‘They played really well against St. Louis if you watched that game,’’ Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker said. ‘‘They’re a physical team. They got to the quarterback. They forced some negative plays for them and really did some good things. So, they got some momentum coming off that game and we've just got to make sure that we keep our momentum going.’’
Both teams are cramming to prepare for their second game in five days, a short work week for such a big game.
For the Jets, a win would get them within a game of .500 and avoid a sweep by the Patriots for the second straight season. For New England, it would put them in control of the division at 4-0 with just two games against Miami left and send New York scrambling to stay in the wild-card hunt.
‘‘You look at this as a chance to separate yourself from the rest of the pack,’’ Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo said. ‘‘We handled the Bills and now this is a big game for us to kind of distance ourselves.’’
AP Sports Writer Howard Ulman in Foxborough, Mass., contributed to this story.
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL