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Patriots use ‘play them like you haven’t played them before’ mentality heading into Jets rematch

Related: Patriots need a ‘bully mentality’ to beat Jets a second time, says linebacker Jahlani Tavai

New England Patriots v New York Jets Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The New England Patriots have beaten the New York Jets in 13 straight games, with the latest victory over their division rivals coming just three weeks ago. In Week 8, New England traveled to East Rutherford to defeat the Jets 22-17 on the road.

But while the two teams have only played one game each since then — both were on their bye last weekend — the Patriots know that they cannot count on their recent success against the Jets this time around. As running back Rhamondre Stevenson pointed out on Thursday, this starts at the very top.

“Bill keeps us humble from that standpoint,” Stevenson said about Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. “This is the NFL, so we all know any Sunday can be different. It doesn’t matter how many times in a row anything happened. It’s always different on Sundays. Not really putting too much thought into the last game we played them. It’s going to be a different game, so we just need to go and focus and play our game.”

Stevenson and the Patriots offense had a rough time against the Jets in Week 8. While the unit ended up scoring enough points, it gained just 3.8 yards per play (compared to New York’s 6.7), had another turnover, and had to rely on five Nick Folk field goals to get the job done.

The sophomore running back himself, meanwhile, gained 71 yards on 16 carries. That yardage was mostly the result of him shaking tackles; he was met in the backfield on several rushing attempts, with four plays ending with a loss of yards.

Stevenson is well aware of what happened three weeks ago, but he also knows that the upcoming meeting presents a new slate for both teams.

“You have to come in with a mindset that you have to work even harder than the first time,” he said. “Like I said, it’s not going to be the same. They’re going to play us differently, we might play them differently, things like that. It’s just going in focused, just playing them like you haven’t played them before.”

The Patriots’ game against the Jets is set for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff on Sunday.