FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Calvin Pace isn't offering any guarantees about Sunday's game against the Patriots in Foxboro, but the Jets' veteran linebacker thinks his team has a great shot to beat the defending and unbeaten Super Bowl champions.
"I like our chances," Pace said Wednesday in the Jets' locker room. "We're going into hostile territory against a very good team, but it's about us. It's about focusing what the game plan is, going out and executing, and just making plays."
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The Jets (4-1) would move into a tie for first place in the AFC East if they beat the 5-0 Patriots.
"Year in and year out, this game always comes down to who makes the biggest plays and who makes the biggest mistakes," Pace said. "We just have to stick to the script and do the things that have gotten us to be 4-1. If we can do that, I like our chances."
Pace, who rarely expresses this kind of outward confidence, believes the moves made in the offseason by general manager Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles have set the stage for a better showing against the Patriots. New England has won seven of the last eight matchups against the Jets.
Maccagnan signed former Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis, the Jets' first-round pick in 2007, as well as cornerbacks Antonio Cromartie and Buster Skrine and safety Marcus Gilchrist. The GM also acquired wide receiver Brandon Marshall and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in trades.
"I think the blueprint of what Mike Maccagnan and Todd did was good," Pace said. "We got plenty of depth in the secondary and we've got some guys that can cover."
The key, Pace said, will be to get good pressure on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who has 14 touchdown passes and one interception.
"Up front, we've got to do a good job of disrupting [Brady], trying to get there, get some hits on him, get hands in his face. If we can do that, I think it will improve our chances of winning. They're not going to beat themselves. Our challenge is to go out there and try to force them to make some mistakes. I know we have the guys to do it. With the personnel we have, I think we match up well with them. We just have to go out there and make it happen."
Pace won't make any predictions about the final score, but he does think it will be a close game.
"It seems like the game always comes down to the last series," he said. "We just have to be on the winning side of that this year, but I like our chances. I really do."