Patriots 54, Jets 13.
Week 7 of the 2021 season was one of the most forgettable moments of an overall forgettable, 4-13 season for the Jets.
The Jets allowed 551 net yards of offense, including 403 net passing yards. Rookie Mac Jones threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns and RB Damien Harris ran for 106 yards and two touchdowns.
It was also the day Zach Wilson went down with a PCL strain and would go on to miss four games.
The Jets have a chance on Sunday to erase those memories and exercise their demons in the Patriots. And while they’re not saying much about it, the Jets are definitely using that game as motivation.
“I remember the score,” defensive coordinatorJeff Ulbrich told reporters Thursday. “I remember a lot of things. I remember it being 40+ and shots still being taken on us. It is what it is, it’s our job as a defensive coaching staff and as a defense to stop that. At the end of the day, it comes down to what we can control, and we allowed way too much last year. Been looking forward to this one.”
“I remember the score … I remember a lot of things … I remember it being 40-plus and them still taking shots”
He had adds …
“We’re looking forward to this one.”
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) October 27, 2022
Ulbrich said he wasn’t too fired up about how the Patriots were still throwing the ball while up by 40+ in the fourth quarter and that the Patriots were breaking an unwritten code.
“Yeah, I wasn’t fired up about it. Try not to say too much. So, I’ve been told.”
Jeff Ulbrich on the Patriots breaking unwritten rules about airing it out still during a blowout: “I wasn’t fired up about it. I’m trying not to say too much.” #Jets
— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) October 27, 2022
Ulbrich also added how that game and the 45-30 loss to the Indianapolis Colts last were among the low points for him and the team last season.
“Yeah, that and the Indy game were probably places where there was a level of darkness I know within my own brain and soul and it was definitely trying,” Ulbrich said. “I like to say that we’re better because of it though. We’re stronger, I think in those times, adversity, people are really revealed and some people go south and some people go sideways and some people galvanize and then come together, I felt like that happened from a coaching perspective and from a player perspective.”
2022 so far has been a fresh start and a very positive place for Ulbrich and the Jets defense, who currently rank 10th in total DVOA, per Football Outsiders. The Jets sit at 5-2 and hold the first Wild Card in the AFC and are only a half-game behind the Buffalo Bills for the top spot in the AFC East. The defense has been a huge reason for that.
That includes rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner, who Ulbrich believes is special.
“As we all know, rookies struggle and they go through these lumps,” Ulbrich said. “Even the best rookies and the guys that end up having tremendous careers typically have moments, especially in their rookie year, where they’re stumbling and they’re finding their way and their learning through some adversity. He’s exceeded expectations from that standpoint. He’s playing at a high level.”
Ulbrich also made sure to show love to the rest of the secondary, along with Gardner.
“At the same time, I’d say D.J. Reed is playing at a high level, and I think Jordan (Whitehead) and Lamarcus (Joyner) playing at such a high level behind him has helped him in a lot of ways.”
That secondary, plus the rest of his defense, doing their thing on the field has helped the Jets build their confidence heading into this Patriots matchup. They’ve provided enough bulletin-board material without having to say much. But deep down, they would love nothing more than to exact revenge for that 54-13 beatdown at the hands of Bill Belichick.
Robert Saleh has downplayed that game this week publicly, but the #Jets are undoubtedly using that as motivation – especially the defense.
You can totally feel it from DC Jeff Ulbrich here. https://t.co/2CYfVBo0fe
— Dennis Waszak Jr. (@DWAZ73) October 27, 2022
This content was originally published here.