FOXBOROW, Massachusetts. Take a look at what’s going on around the New York Jets:

1. They flipped it: The Jets return on Sunday to the site of their worst game under coach Robert Saleh, a 54-13 thrashing of the New England Patriots on October 24 last year. This is a good time to take a quick look at how much protection has improved since then. . We’re talking about an almost historic leap, a topic that has come up among the players.

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“We talked about it in meetings,” defenseman John Franklin-Myers said. “It’s crazy to see how far we’ve come… and how far we still have to go.”

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Note: The Jets scored 10.1 points per game less than last season, the NFL’s third-biggest drop from a previous season since 2000, according to research by Sportzshala Stats & Information. They conceded 85.7 fewer yards per game than last season, also the third-biggest drop since 2000.

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The marshmallow days are over. The Jets did not score more than 30 points in a game; it was their average per game in 2021.

The best illustration of the turnaround is the starting lineup. During their previous visit to Gillette Stadium, the Jets started with five players now serving as stand-ins: cornerbacks Bryce Hall and Brandin Echols, defenseman Ashtin Davis, defenseman Bryce Huff and linebacker Jamien Sherwood (he replaced the injured CJ Mosley).

In fact, they updated almost half of the composition through the draft and free agency.

Only three starting players have not changed: Franklin-Myers, defenseman Quinnen Williams and linebacker Quincy Williams. It’s amazing what the best staff, familiarity with the circuit and good instruction can do.

2. No longer the butt of jokes: Tuesday marks the 10th anniversary of The Butt Fumble, one of the worst moments in Jets history. Fans hate to be reminded of the game that happened against the Patriots, but there might be some cool symmetry here. If they win on Sunday, the Jets will be able to “celebrate” the anniversary by taking first place. They last topped the AFC East at the end of the season in 2010, in week 12, their last playoff season.

3. Nod from Belichick: Last week, Mosley received a compliment from afar from Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who praised the linebacker for anticipating the game on October 30 so well that he called them on the rest of the defense. With Belichick, you always have to wonder if there are ulterior motives. Mosley took it at face value.

“It’s definitely an honor for a coach of his level,” he said.

Mosley prides himself on knowing his film opponent, but he also picks up “clues” during the game. He can be recognized by his particular formation, the attacking lineman’s stance, or even his sound. Teammates say that Mosley shows the right game several times a game.

Although he appreciated Belichick’s praise, Mosley wasn’t going to let it stay in his head.

“In one ear, in the other,” he said, smiling.

If Mosley loses his cap after the season (his 23rd season total is $21.5 million), he could have a fan in Belichick.

4. Endless GM Quest: The re-signing of veteran defenseman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (to the training team) is another example of Joe Douglas’ commitment to keeping the offensive line deep. Saleh joked that the general manager would fill a 53-man roster with offensive linemen if he had his own drummers. Douglas, a former offensive lineman, appreciates this position. This emphasis may have saved the season.

The line was crushed by injuries, but there was no noticeable fall. That’s impressive considering they had to fix everything together. Consider:

Four current starters have joined the team this season, including two retired from other teams in 2022 – right guard Nate Herbig and right tackle Cedric Ogbouei. Left tackle Duane Brown was in limbo until August, and some in the league thought he would retire. Left-back Laken Tomlinson is the only one of the four rookies to have remained in position since last offseason.

Douglas, with the help of Human Resources, was able to restock on the fly, which isn’t easy. Competent liners are hard to find. Duvernay-Tardif is insurance in case Herbig is unable to make it through the season due to a calf injury.

5. Memo to Zack Wilson: When he returns to pass on Sunday, he may want to stay away from No. 32, Devin McCourty’s safety. He was a tormentor for young quarterbacks. He made two interceptions in the October 30 meeting, giving him three against Wilson. Previously, he killed two against Sam Darnold. McCourty has a total of seven interceptions against the Jets. Oh yes, he also scored in the opening game in 2012.

6. Justin time? Sunday’s game features two of the best special team players, Justin Hardy of the Jets and Matthew Slater of the Patriots, one of the best in history. Slater has made the Pro Bowl in 10 of his last 12 seasons, but Hardy thinks it’s time for a change. This is a difficult situation because only one special player per conference is selected, not counting the kicker and the player.

“They take one guy and I’m the guy. I am a boy!” Hardy said. “I don’t think anyone is better than me.”

Hardy acknowledged his respect for Slater but added, “I’m pursuing my own legacy.” Hardy recorded nine tackles on the team, fifth in the NFL; Slater has three tackles and is fifth on the Patriots. To unseat Slater, Hardy probably needs to play an exceptional, compelling game.

7. Did you know? The Jets like to call themselves a young team – and they are – but that’s not the whole story of their roster. This is a list loaded with a draft pedigree.

They have 14 first-round picks (current and former) in the league, ranging from young (corner Sauce Gardner, 22) to old (guard Joe Flacco, 37). A total of 14 players snapped 5,160, which is also a league record.

Of the 14, six were in the top 10.

8. Anti-Rams? Franklin-Myers offered an interesting look at team chemistry by comparing the Jets to his previous team, the Los Angeles Rams. He was a member of the 2018 NFC Champions.

“It’s completely different,” he said. “At the Rams everyone was paid and there was no camaraderie. It was like buying a team and winning the Super Bowl. It’s the complete opposite. It’s building a team from scratch. it’s on both sides how it works. It worked for (the Rams) and now it works for us.”

9. Busy schedule: The path to the playoffs will not be easy for the Jets. According to Tankathon.com, they are the 10th hardest charting left. This includes away games against every team in the division.

10. Last word: “I understand that this is the Patriots, and I understand that this is important for the fans and some people at the top in the business department, our property and all that. But for us, as coaches and players, you have to keep the main thing. The main thing.” — Saleh on Sunday match