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Pats shift focus to Jets

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) hands

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) hands off to running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis (42) as New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora (72) watches in the first quarter. (Nov. 6, 2011) Credit: AP

The page has been turned, said James Ihedigbo.

After back-to-back losses to the Steelers and Giants, the Patriots already have shifted their focus to their next opponent: The New York Jets.

“It’s a big game,” said Ihedigbo, the former Jets safety turned New England Patriot this offseason. “Sunday Night Football, AFC East, both same 5-3 (record), what more can you ask for? (Division) rivals.

“The story’s been written.”

The Patriots defeated the Jets, 30-21, at home back in Week 5, but have since lost two out of three. Conversely, the Jets have won three straight.

The few players who even showed their faces in the Patriots locker room weren’t keen on discussing their crushing loss to the Giants Sunday.

“I already done moved on from that game,” said running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who ran for 52 yards on 12 carries in the Patriots’ . “On to the Jets. ...Win lose or draw, you got to put the game behind you and move on to the next week. And that’s kind of what we’re doing right now.”

During his three-year tenure with the Jets, Ihedigbo -- a Northampton, Mass. native -- often spoke of the chip he carried on his shoulder heading into each match-up with the Patriots. And naturally, he’ll be playing with a chip on his shoulder come Sunday.

“Going against the Jets, a place where I formerly played in, there’s definitely a chip on your shoulder,” said Ihedigbo, who has 30 tackles (19 solo) in limited action for the Patriots. “I’m looking forward to this game and it’s going to be a great atmosphere to be able to go back and play in that stadium. I’m excited about it, I’m fired up about it and definitely ready for this game.”

Green-Ellis seemed disinterested in discussing the potential opportunity to create some breathing room in the AFC East race. Currently, the Patriots, Jets and Bills are tied for the top spot at 5-3.

“I don’t worry about wrapping my head around the division (standings),” he said. “I let other teams deal with their problems and we deal with what we have going on here in New England.”

When asked if he was surprised to see the Patriots struggle at times on offense against the Giants, Green-Ellis had this insightful tidbit to add:

“I don’t even know,” he said of the unit’s lack of cohesion. “My mind just kind of went blank. I’m only focused on the Jets.” 

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