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14-game win streak against Jets not on the Patriots’ mind this week

New England has not lost to its division rival in almost eight years.

NFL: New York Jets at New England Patriots David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The last time the New England Patriots lost a game against the New York Jets, Barack Obama was President, Adele’s Hello sat atop the Billboard Hot 100, and Christian Gonzalez was 13 years old. The date was December 27, 2015, and the reigning Super Bowl champion Patriots were beaten 26-20 in overtime.

Fast forward to September 2023, and the team of head coach Bill Belichick is riding a 14-game win streak against its division rivals. On Sunday, No. 15 is on the line — which would tie a franchise record set against the Buffalo Bills from 2003 to 2010.

The present-day Patriots, however, are not concerned about any of those numbers. That starts right at the very top.

“I don’t think any of those games in the past matter,” Belichick told reporters this week. “We’re worried about this week’s game.”

Linebacker and defensive team captain Ja’Whaun Bentley echoed those remarks.

“Me, personally, I’m never focused on those 14. I’m focused on the next one,” he said. “Those 14 games don’t help us right now. None of that stuff really matters. What matters is what we do on Sunday, so as far as what’s happening in the past we pay no attention to that. Our focus is forward.”

The Patriots looking forward has suited them well through the years, both when it comes to keeping their win streak over the Jets alive and to bouncing back from adversity. Sitting at 0-2, the team has had its fair share of that so far this season.

The Jets are therefore a welcome opponent. Not only have they not beaten New England in almost eight years, they also are in a difficult spot after losing starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers four snaps into the season opener. In Rodgers’ place, the team has turned back to the guy he was brought in to replace in the first place: Zach Wilson.

And while New England may not care about its win streak over the Jets, the fact that Wilson has struggled in the past can be seen as encouraging. In four previous games, after all, the former first-round draft pick barely completed half of his pass attempts (54 of 106) for 693 yards, two touchdowns and seven interceptions.

The Jets obviously lost all four of those games. As far as the Patriots’ mindset is concerned, however, both teams are entering this one at 0-0.