Former Patriots and Jets offensive lineman Damien Woody, now an ESPN analyst, checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday to discuss Thursday's Pats-Jets game.
Asked which team has more dislike for the other, Woody said it's the Jets, although he noted: "This time around it's been quiet here in New York from the Jets' perspective."
Said Woody: "I'm saying the Jets hate the Patriots more. I think No. 1, part of it is because of the success. When I was with the Patriots, we always looked at the Jets like a little brother, to be honest with you. We had a lot of success against the Jets. I think part of it has to do with being envious of the Patriots' success and trying to ascend to the level that the Patriots are on within the division.
"And a little part of it is what coach [Bill] Belichick did when he had that one-day deal with the napkin [when he wrote his resignation note on a napkin as he was about to be introduced as Jets coach]. I think that's so far removed that it's really not too relevant any more. I think the bigger picture is the success that the Patriots have had within the division."
Looking at the game, Woody said the Jets should not be overlooked.
"I do give the Jets a chance," Woody said. "The only reason I say that is that history tells us, if you look at the series since Rex Ryan has been here, this series has been really competitive. I think this game has more so to do with Mark Sanchez than anyone. If Mark Sanchez doesn't turn the ball over, then they have a shot. Because the Jets defense has been playing pretty good the past few weeks. If Mark Sanchez turns the ball over, it could be a blowout."
The Patriots will be without standout tight end Rob Gronkowski, but Woody said the linemen are the ones who make the offense go.
"Those two tackles in New England, [Sebastian] Vollmer and [Nate] Solder, I think they're playing really good football," Woody said. "I think that's really the key for that offense and Tom Brady. If the tackles can really set that pocket, allow Tom Brady to step up, he's almost impossible to beat."
Although the Jets are 4-6 and three games behind the Patriots in the AFC East, Woody said there still is hope for a postseason berth no matter the outcome Thursday.
Said Woody: "Even if they lose tomorrow, I still don't think they're out of it. … You just never know in a week AFC like it is this year -- 8-8 might get you in. I don't know. Who knows? There's a lot of teams floating around at 4-6, 5-5 that are fighting for that last wild cased spot. This thing is going to come down to the end."
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