The New England Patriots will be going up against a familiar foe in Week 11, welcoming the New York Jets to Gillette Stadium.
The two teams, of course, have already met this season. Three weeks ago, the Patriots took down their AFC East rivals on the road with a final score of 22-17: the defense registered three interceptions against Jets quarterback Zach Wilson, while the offense did just enough to keep New York in catch-up mode throughout the day.
However, the Patriots are well aware that the result of that Week 8 meeting has little impact on the upcoming game. Quite the opposite, as linebacker Jahlani Tavai pointed out.
“The reason why it’s so hard to beat another team [a second time] is because they have that nasty taste in their mouth,” Tavai told reporters on Monday. “The same goes for us if we’re playing a team that we lost to these past few games. You have this nasty taste and you want to come back for some revenge, especially since they’re coming here to play us at home.
“So, our mentality’s got to be a bully mentality. We have to be ready to be physical at the point of attack. That’s the biggest thing.”
Tavai and the Patriots defense got the better of New York’s offense in October, but the Jets rebounded nicely the following week by taking down the reigning division champion Buffalo Bills 20-17. They then headed into their bye week, just like New England.
The extra time off gave both teams a chance to reflect and possibly add some new wrinkles. From Tavai’s perspective, however, one important aspect will remain unchanged.
“They’re going to have some things that they’re going to be changing up, but for the most part it’s going to be a physical game,” he said. “You have to bring a mouthpiece because it’s just going to be that type of game every time you play a team twice.”