Patriots Week is upon us. And, according to Sheldon Richardson, the Jets already "are licking our chops."
On the heels of playing in his first regular-season game of 2015, the Jets defensive tackle is looking forward to the next test: facing quarterback Tom Brady and the almighty New England Patriots next Sunday in Foxborough.
"He's run this division for a while now, so I'm kind of happy we get next," Richardson said after the Jets improved to 4-1 with a 30-24 win over the Washington Redskins (3-3). "We're getting after it."
With Sunday's win, the Jets tied their season win total from a year ago when they finished 4-12 under former coach Rex Ryan. But with a revamped roster featuring Brandon Marshall and a strong running game behind Chris Ivory, they appear to be a much better team.
But the road to the playoffs often runs through New England. The Patriots have won the AFC East the past six years and 11 of the past 12.
"I mean, they are the Super Bowl champions, too," Richardson noted. "Just leave it at that. You know. Licking our chops."
Many of his teammates, though, took a different approach in their postgame interviews and stressed that this Patriots Week was no different from any other.
"It's just another game," Brandon Marshall said. "That's how we approach it . . . I'm going to enjoy this and then I'll get to New England tomorrow."
Asked if Sunday's game at Gillette Stadium will be a good litmus test for the team, Jets right guard Willie Colon said: "I don't know. I think anytime you go with that mind-set, you find yourself reaching.
"We've got to be able to just play our game, be efficient, understand we can't have the turnovers we had today, you can't have the mental errors. We have to play legit football because they don't beat themselves, and when they smell blood, be careful.
"They [the Patriots] seize every opportunity they have. They don't make excuses. If you don't bring your 'A' game, you're going to get embarrassed. It's going to be a big matchup for us. We'll see."
Last season, Jets shutdown corner Darrelle Revis hoisted the Lombardi Trophy as a member of New England's secondary. But in the aftermath of an impressive win over the hapless Redskins, Revis pointed out that any team can be defeated on any Sunday. And that includes his former club.
"We've been playing lights out. We've just got to continue to make plays on defense and get the ball back to the offense for those guys to make plays. It's always been close in this rivalry. We have our fair share of wins and they do, too.
"It's going to be a battle next week. They're a team. Any team can be beat any way on any given Sunday. We're familiar with them, and they're familiar with us. It's going to be a great game."
With Bob Glauber