FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The Patriots delivered the first salvo of the season, mocking the Jets with a "Throwback Thursday'' photo of the infamous "Butt Fumble'' on the team's official Twitter account with a caption that read: "This seems relevant #TBT.''
Within two hours, however, they deleted the dig.
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Asked what coach Bill Belichick may have done to the team's social media manager, former Patriots running back Stevan Ridley joked: "There's no telling, man. I wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't there.''
The Jets (4-1) have remained relatively quiet during ''Patriots Week,'' a departure from recent years, when Rex Ryan would generate his own headlines.
But New England (5-0) didn't pass up an opportunity to show up the Jets with a humbling reminder three days before they meet up in Foxborough.
It's been three years since former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez ran headfirst into the rear end of guard Brandon Moore. Sanchez's infamous gaffe resulted in a fumble that was returned for a touchdown in a 49-19 Thanksgiving night debacle at MetLife Stadium. It was one of three turnovers in a 52-second span that led to 21 New England points.
The Patriots also tweeted a "Butt Fumble'' photo hours before a Thursday night game against the Jets last October.
There was no return fire Thursday from Florham Park. Todd Bowles said he was unaware of the tweet and wasn't the least bit bothered by it. "I have no reaction,'' he said. "I'm not a Twitter guy.''
Asked for his reaction to the tweet, Ridley said: "That doesn't surprise me. That's fine if they want to look back. I know Bill, I know that team, nobody's worried about what they're putting up on the Internet or the Twitter or Instagram.
"They're focused on the Jets, we're focused on the Patriots. It's going to be a fun ballgame to watch on Sunday. So I'm excited.''