The New York Jets and New England Patriots have had a storied rivalry in the AFC East.
Although as of late it has hardly been considered a rivalry considering the one-sided nature of these matchups. New England has won 12 in a row and 20 of the last 22 games.
However this week there was a massive sign of respect given that surprised a lot of people.
Bill Belichick Bends the Knee for Jets LB CJ Mosley
During Bill Belichick’s media availability he was asked about Jets linebacker CJ Mosley. The Patriots’ head coach decided to go out of his way to discuss his respect for Mosley and why he is “as good as any middle linebacker” New England will play against all year:
“He is as good of a linebacker that we have faced in all areas. There are a lot of linebackers that don’t have the coverage skill that he has in both man and zone. A lot of that is instincts and awareness. He reads and diagnoses plays very quickly. [Especially] in the [high] degree of difficulty plays. He is a good tackler and a really smart football player. He makes the right decision on almost every play.”
Mosley is coming off of a career year in which he racked up over 168 total tackles and played in 16 of the 17 contests.
This season the veteran team captain hasn’t slowed down and is on pace to match last year’s key totals.
Although not everyone has been impressed with his game. The folks over at Pro Football Focus have given the former Alabama star mixed reviews:
- 63.6 overall grade
- 67.5 run defense grade
- 51.8 pass-rush grade
- 61.6 coverage grade
Belichick’s comments appear genuine especially considering his strong standing relationship with Alabama Football head coach Nick Saban. Mosley of course has proven to be one of Saban’s best players from the college ranks that has transitioned successfully to the professional level.
Jets Fans Raise Eyebrow at Bill Belichick Comments
Not everyone was buying Belichick’s praise for Mosley heading into the matchup.
Several Jets fans cooked up some conspiracy theories suggesting that Belichick was executing some patented reverse psychology.
By talking up Mosley during public media appearances, fans have suggested that Belichick is secretly telling everyone that he plans on exposing Mosley for all the things he was just praising him for.
One Twitter user asked, “why do I feel like [he’s] just playing mind games as always?”
Charman Phillip was more clear in his accusation saying, “alert this is code for he will target these linebackers all day on Sunday.”
Jeff had a warning for Mosley saying that is who “Belichick is going to attack on Sunday.”
“Never trust anything BB says” is normally pretty solid advice.
Despite the Patriots looking like a vulnerable team on Monday Night Football versus the Chicago Bears, this isn’t a team you can overlook. Hey I mean look at the latest odds in Vegas, New England is a 2.5-point favorite on the road.
The Jets are 5-2 and have won four in a row while the Patriots looked awful in their last game and dropped to 3-4 on the year. In other words, there is plenty of bulletin board material for the Jets heading into this matchup.