The Jets are on the Gillette Stadium field doing their stretching, and the NFL Network has zeroed in on its favorite player for the moment. Ty Law has attracted three cameramen who are getting down onto the FieldTurf with him as he stretches his quads and hams. We expect to see much footage of Law’s 34-year-old muscles throughout the NFL Network broadcast, regardless of how well and how much the five-time Pro Bowl corner plays tonight.
One thing is certain: Law is active for the game. The Jets’ inactive list has a familiar ring: K Mike Nugent, WR David Clowney, RB Marcus Mason, CB Drew Coleman, S Eric Smith, LB David Harris and TE Bubba Franks, and Brett Ratliff as the third quarterback. Other than Coleman taking the spot that Justin Miller had been filling until his release this week, it’s the same IA list for the third straight week.
The Patriots’ inactive list also includes those two big defensive names that had come down with recent injuries: LB Adalius Thomas and DE Ty Warren. Also RB LaMont Jordan, the former Jet, won’t be able to help the Patriots’ ground game tonight as he has been deactivated. Also inactive for the Pats: CBs Terrence Wheatley and Lewis Sanders, LB Eric Alexander and T Wesley Britt, with Matt Gutierrez as the third QB.
It has been raining lightly off and on all day in the Providence-Foxboro-Boston alley, but at the moment, a half-hour before tonight’s 8:15 kickoff, it seems to be dry. But even the threat of rain conjures up the weather that has accompanied the Jets-Patriots games up here recently.
In 2004, the Patriots prevailed, 13-7, under cloudy, windy, drizzly mid-40-degree skies. In 2005, the Pats won again, 16-3, in light snow.
The Jets’ 17-14 upset in 2006 was played in rain and mud — the last time New England worried about its grass field. The Pats’ next home game and every home game since has been on turf.
Then last year’s wet snow and freezing rain in the morning and rain during the game set the stage for a tough but very interesting 20-10 Jets loss. Until the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, their lowest yardage, first down, point and offensive touchdown totals came in that soggy, cold game against the Green & White.
Speaking of green and white, the Jets will be wearing their white jerseys and green pants tonight. That combination has been worn for three wins and five losses since Eric Mangini took over as head coach in 2006, but the three wins are noteworthy: that was the scheme for the 2006 win at Gillette, the win later in ’06 at Green Bay, and the "complete" 26-17 triumph at Buffalo less than two full weeks ago.
Gene Steratore is the referee for this fairly important Week 10 Thursday night game. It’s Steratore’s fourth game as the head official for a Jets game. His first game was Mangini’s first game as Jets coach in the 2006 season opener at Tennessee.
It’s almost time for the big game, and a game that many are viewing as a referendum on the Jets’ off-season of building and spending. I’m not as extreme on that subject, probably because in my many years of observing the NFL, I’ve seen big wins lead to nothing and devastating defeats that didn’t deter teams from great heights.
But no question this is an important game in the chilly Massachusetts countryside, in front of the hostile Patriots fans, in front of the nation of football fans who have NFL Network or are watching the game on Channel 11 in New York. And the Jets will be attempting to wrest control of the AFC East from the Pats beginning in a few short minutes. Enjoy.
Tags: Mike Nugent, New England Patriots, Ty Law
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