NY Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich doesn't have a short memory. He remembers when his defense gets embarrassed. He remembers when his defense lets the team down. More specifically, he remembers last year's blowout loss to the New England Patriots.
With an upcoming Week 8 matchup with the Patriots on tap for this Sunday, last year's ugly 54-13 blowout loss is fresh in the minds of Ulbrich and the rest of this Jets team.
They haven't forgotten the feeling of that humiliating defeat. They haven't forgotten how the Patriots continued to run up the score just to twist the proverbial knife in the gut of their archrivals.
And they're using those feelings as extra motivation for this week's game. Consider it the ultimate receipt, although Ulbrich might be the one keeping tabs this time around.
The second-year defensive coordinator was asked about last season's loss to the Patriots when speaking with reporters on Thursday. He did his best to dance around the question, but his stoic demeanor and short tone told the story.
Ulbrich wasn't happy with how things went down a year ago for a number of reasons, and he's hoping to get revenge this Sunday.
"I remember the score. I remember a lot of things. I remember it being 40-plus [points scored] and shots still being taken on us. It is what it is. It’s our job as a coaching staff and a defense to stop that. It comes down to what we can control, and we allowed way too much last year. I’m looking forward to this one."- Jeff Ulbrich
Jeff Ulbrich and the NY Jets are out for revenge this Sunday
The 54 points the Jets allowed in last year's loss were the most points the franchise had allowed in a game since 1978. The defense allowed a whopping eight plays of 25 yards or more throughout the game.
The Jets were embarrassed, and New England didn't let up, scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter despite leading 34-13 entering the quarter. They were airing it out with Brian Hoyer with under five minutes to play.
That's stuck with the Jets who saw the Patriots' antics as a sign of disrespect as well as a humbling moment for the defense. That game might be part of the reason why the Jets put so much of an emphasis on bolstering their secondary this offseason.
D.J. Reed, Sauce Gardner, Jordan Whitehead, and Lamarcus Joyner didn't play in that game. The Jets were down to Del'Shawn Phillips and Noah Dawkins at linebacker by the end of the afternoon. Players like Ashtyn Davis and Shaq Lawson were in starting roles.
This is a new Jets defense with the personnel to make life very difficult for Mac Jones and the Patriots. The talent and motivation are there for the Jets to do some damage this Sunday.
Expect Ulbrich to have his team fired up from the sound of the first whistle.