Colts climb a spot despite loss

27 Sep

And, they could clinch it against the rival New York Jets on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

"It's  a good football team that's playing well," Bill Belichick said of the  Jets. "We'll be going into a hostile environment down there, so it will  be a big challenge for us this week to be ready to go."

The  Patriots (12 2) won their seventh straight AFC East crown and clinched a  bye in the opening round of the playoffs for an NFL record sixth season  in a row. With a win over the Jets (9 5), the Patriots would earn home  field advantage in the AFC playoffs for the second consecutive year.

New  England would also put a serious crimp in New York's postseason plans.  The Jets are on a four game winning streak, but would currently lose out  to both Kansas City and Pittsburgh, each also 9 5, because of  tiebreakers.

"We've probably been in playoff mode in the last four weeks," Jets coach Todd Bowles said.

New  York led New England in the fourth quarter the last time the teams  played in October, but Brady led the Patriots to a 30 23 victory. The  Jets dropped three of their next four, but have turned things around  since.

"They went through a little bit of a down period there in  the middle of the season, but they've really bounced back from that, won  their last four games," Belichick said. "They really do everything well  as a team."

New York safety Calvin Pryor also sees a much  improved Jets team from the one that came up short against the Patriots  earlier this season.

"We're playing at a very high level, with a  purpose," Pryor said. "When we played them last time, we felt like we  could play with them, but we didn't feel like we could dominate and win  that game. I think this is a different mindset now that we have."

Here are some other things to know when the Patriots and Jets square off Sunday:

BEATING  BRADY: The Patriots quarterback is 22 6 against the Jets, including 1 1  in playoffs, as a starter, with 42 TDs, 13 interceptions and 6,894  yards. With Brady under center, New England has won nine of the last 10  regular season meetings with New York and nine of 11 overall. He has  4,405 yards passing through 14 games and needs to average 297.5 yards in  the final two games to reach 5,000 yards for the second time in career.

"He's  a great quarterback," Bowles said. "I'm not the first or the last guy  to sit here and compliment him and give him accolades all over the  place. He doesn't need me to say it. He's got them on his own."

FITZ MAGIC: A big reason for the Jets' improvement since the last meeting has been the play of Ryan Fitzpatrick.

He  has 26 touchdown passes, three shy of Vinny Testaverde's team record  set in 1998 not bad for a guy who was expected to be the Jets' backup.  During New York's four game winning streak, Fitzpatrick has completed  64.8 percent of his passes for 1,229 yards with 10 TDs, one interception  and a 105.7 passer rating.

"He's playing really well, no question  about it," Belichick said. "Spreading the ball around, making plays.  He's had some great scramble plays, converted third downs, things like  that."

GRONK CATCHING UP: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was a  problem for the Jets in the first meeting, catching a season high 11  passes for 108 yards and a TD.

Gronkowski is on the verge of  setting some franchise marks. He has 65 TD catches, two behind Stanley  Morgan for the team record. His 66 total TDs (65 catches, 1 run), put  him two behind Morgan (67 catches, 1 return) for the most total scores  in Patriots history.

DYNAMIC DUO: Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker  have combined for 165 catches, 2,191 yards receiving and 21 TDs this  season the most scores by a receiver tandem in Jets history.

They rank first among NFL receiver duos in cheap jerseys receptions, second in yards and tied for first in TDs.

"I think they're one of the best Wholesale Jerseys  pairs in the NFL," Patriots corner Malcom Butler said. "They're both  big. They can both run, big catch radius, run after the catch. So you've  just got to do a good job out there covering those guys."

JACKSON  BACK IN ACTION: With New England down a few running backs after  injuries to Dion Lewis and LeGarrette Blount, the Patriots signed RB  Steven Jackson, who hasn't played this season.

The 32 year old cheap wholesale jerseys  Jackson played the last two seasons with Atlanta, but was working out  in Las Vegas when New England called to ask him to help its backfield.

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