If you listen to former Patriots safety and current NBC analyst Rodney Harrison the Patriots have been circling this Sunday afternoon's Week 2 trip to New York to take on the Jets for months.
Harrison, the former vocal leader and unofficial bulletin board operator in New England, thinks all the hype, attention and self-promotion that's come out of New York this summer should have the Patriots frothing at the mouth.
"(Tom) Brady, (Randy) Moss, (Wes) Welker and all those guys are flying under the radar right now," Harrison said last month. "This is a perfect situation for them because Rex Ryan and the Jets are taking all the attention. This is a perfect situation for Belichick and the boys."
New England heads to the New Meadowlands Stadium flying relatively high in its own right following Sunday's 38-24 season-opening win over the Bengals in Foxborough. Despite questions on both sides of the ball heading into the new season, and many predictions that the team's run atop the AFC East could be over, the Patriots hit on big plays in all three phases of the game against a playoff team from a year ago that had its own hopes of making positive strides this season.
The Patriots had a 59-yard interception return score, a 97-yard kickoff return touchdown and a pair of receiving touchdowns from a returning Welker to open the season.
"I think we did some really good things out there," Belichick said. "We came out with a lot of energy and took it to them pretty early. I feel like we kept that energy throughout the game. And the defense, especially, played really well. When they play like that and the team is hitting on all cylinders it's going to be a good day for us. We just have to keep on bringing that energy week in and week out."
That will be the task for the New England matchup with a Jets defense that ranked atop the NFL a year ago. A big part of that will be the two teams' strengths - the Patriots Tom Brady-led passing attack against the Jets Darrelle Revis-led pass defense.
And while Harrison may theorize that the Patriots have been eyeing the Jets all summer, Moss flat out admitted it. The future Hall of Famer was held in check twice last season by Revis, who built his name a year ago by slowing some of the game's elite pass catchers.
So is Moss excited to get another chance at the young, upstart corner?
"Am I excited to see Revis? I think I am because there was a lot of talk last year and he, I'm not taking anything from him he did do some good things last year to be the shutdown corner that he is, but, and I'm not scared to say this, I prided my offseason on Revis," Moss admitted on opening weekend. "I prided my offseason on staying off of Revis Island."
TRENDING: The Patriots started eight rookies or second-year players in the season opener against the Bengals. That list included the NFL debuts for Devin McCourty, Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, while second-year players Patrick Chung, Brandon Tate, Darius Butler, Myron Pryor and Ron Brace also got the opening nod.
BY THE NUMBERS: Welker had two touchdowns in the season opener against the Bengals, tying a career high and matching half his total from his entire 2009 All-Pro season.
This report courtesy of The Sports Xchange.
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