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Game 11 Preview: Patriots can distance themselves from pack with win over Jets

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff  November 21, 2012 12:19 PM

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The Patriots play on Thanksgiving for the fifth time in team history when they take on the Jets at MetLife Stadium in a prime-time matchup Thursday night.

The Jets (4-6) come into this game riding the momentum of a win over the Rams last week but they have their backs to the wall in the AFC playoff race. Meanwhile, the Patriots (7-3) are looking for their second straight series sweep against Rex Ryan's bunch and with a victory would be well on their way to a 10th AFC East division title in the last 12 years.

Since the 2010 season, the Patriots are now a combined 18-0 in the second half of the regular season, but as everyone knows, they'll have to play this one without injured star tight end Rob Gronkowski.

In this week's preview video, the Globe's Shalise Manza Young gives us her keys to the Week 12 showdown between the AFC East rivals. Manza Young looks into the challenges the Patriots passing game faces without Gronkowski and how New England will look to take advantage of a New York defense that's been weak against the run.

Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker and linebacker Jerod Mayo talk about the matchup and trying to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the AFC East contenders. Quarterback Tom Brady talks about tight ends Visanthe Shiancoe, Michael Hoomanawanui, and Daniel Fells having to get the job done now, and running back Stevan Ridley shares his thoughts about facing the Jets defense.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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Watch Patriots analysis and commentary by CineSport

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