Brady prepares, but doesn't get caught up in Jets Week

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Brady prepares, but doesn't get caught up in Jets Week

FOXBORO -- It's known simply by two words: Jets Week.

Say no more, say no more. The Jets will be in Foxboro this weekend for a Sunday afternoon showdown against the Patriots, and you can be sure that it's all the buzz around New England.

Tom Brady has started in 22 games against the Jets including two postseason games. The Patriots record in these games is 16-5. (He appeared but did not start in one other, a loss, for an injured Drew Bledsoe . . . remember that?)

But despite the team's superb record against the Jets, Brady's performances haven't always been great. He's thrown for three or more touchdowns just three times over his career against them and has amassed his career 96.6 QB rating in just ten of those 21 starts.

He knows firsthand that New York certainly gets up for the occasion.

"It's a great rivalry, there's no question," Brady said. "We've had so many meaningful games against these guys. And it's like, we do the scouting report and they go though the names on the list, and I go, 'I know every single one of these guys. Why are we talking David Harris, and Antonio Cromartie?' They have a few new faces in there but this defense presents some great challenges for our offense, and ones we've faced since Rex Ryan has been the head coach of that team. It's a great rivalry, it's a fun game for us players. And it's always had meaning behind it. It's never been a meaningless game, so this one will be no different than that."

With both division rivals entering the game at 3-3 and tied for first place (or last, depending on how your glass looks right now), both sides know that the winner of Sunday's game could greatly benefit later on in the season if the division remains close. Preparation is, as always, key.

While New England had to cram for last Sunday's game against the Seahawks, they are obviously more familiar with what the Jets do. They play them at least eight times in-between Seattle games.

"When you play a team you don't play very often you try to get up to speed as quickly as you can and understand their strengths and weaknesses," Brady said. "Certainly a team like the Jets we know what they do well and we try to find ways to exploit the things that we don't think they do very well."

As far as all the hype surrounding the game, Brady isn't getting caught up in any of it unlike, ahem, some of us.

"I don't have to write any stories or anything like that. I just have to show up and do my job," he said.

Gronkowski, Hightower, Amendola present at Patriots practice Wednesday

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Gronkowski, Hightower, Amendola present at Patriots practice Wednesday

FOXBORO -- The Patriots had their All-Pro tight end back on the field for practice after he suffered an injury scare against the Saints in Week 2.

Rob Gronkowski (groin) joined other injured Patriots on the fields behind Gillette Stadium for Wednesday's workout, including Danny Amendola (missed the Saints game with a concussion and a knee injury), Dont'a Hightower (knee) and Matthew Slater (hamstring). Phillip Dorsett (left Sunday's game with a knee injury) was also present for practice, as was Chris Hogan, who appeared to be dealing with a leg injury versus the Saints.

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Missing from the practice were Marcus Cannon and Rex Burkhead. Cannon was limited in practice last week with an ankle issue, and Burkhead suffered a ribs injury in New Orleans. 

Gronkowski appeared to be moving well during the early portion of the practice. He took part in blocking drills with fellow tight end Dwayne Allen to start the practice and did not appear to be inhibited by the groin injury that knocked him from Sunday's win. The Patriots will release a practice report later in the day on Wednesday that indicates whether Gronkowski was at all limited. 

Watt: Brady, Belichick hurricane relief donation 'speaks volumes about their character'

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Watt: Brady, Belichick hurricane relief donation 'speaks volumes about their character'

JJ Watt ended up raising over $37 million for his Hurricane Harvey relief fund online. As it turns out, that number got a bump from a couple of his rivals in the AFC.

According to The Houston Chronicle, Watt told reporters on Wednesday that Bill Belichick and Tom Brady were among the over 209,000 people who donated to his fundraising efforts.

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"That's  an incredibly kind gesture and shows what kind of people they are and speaks volumes about their character," Watt said. "They're good people."

Watt will square off against Brady and Belichick when the Texans visit Gillette Stadium on Sunday. Belichick said on Wednesday that his team will have to focus on Watt, who was injured and unavailable during last season's Divisional Round matchup between the two clubs. 

"The quickness that J.J. has with the power that he has is a pretty rare combination," Belichick said. "On top of that, he’s got great length and he’s got a great motor. You're not talking about a 6-foot-1 guy. You’re not talking about a guy that takes plays off. You’ve got to deal with his length, his power, his quickness on every single play. That in itself is difficult. He just wears guys down with effort and toughness.

"Then when you take the skill that he has and combine it all together, that puts him at a very – I mean you're talking about the best defensive player in the league for more than one year. He's got a lot going for him and he’s facing it every week. It’s not like he’s sneaking up on anybody. You know when you’re playing him that he’s going to get some extra attention. Every team knows where he is and every team is trying to make sure he doesn’t ruin the game, yet he’s still very, very disruptive. He’s a great player."