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Jets are improved, but will they pass Foxborough test?

The Jets are 4-1 through five games, their best start since 2011 and a complete turnaround from their 1-4 record at the same point last season.

The reasons for this turnaround are manifold. The big-budget makeover of the secondary was a major game-changer, as was the necessary culture shift at the top with coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan. Then there's Ryan Fitzpatrick, whose steady hand helped return the team to sanity after The Punch.

But what might separate this Jets team the most from those that preceded it are the playmakers at Fitzpatrick's disposal. In wide receiver Brandon Marshall and running back Chris Ivory, the Jets have stud producers you can put in the top 10 -- and even top five -- of their respective position groups.

Marshall made some Jets history in Sunday's win over the Redskins, becoming the first Gang Green wide receiver to post four straight 100-yard games since Don Maynard in 1968. Ivory rushed for 158 yards and a touchdown on just 20 carries and now sits third in the league in rushing despite playing just four games in the season's first six weeks.

Add Eric Decker to the conversation, and the Jets have their best set of "triplets" since Keyshawn Johnson, Wayne Chrebet and Curtis Martin powered Bill Parcells' attack in the late 90s. On Sunday, Ivory, Marshall and Decker combined for 366 total yards and three scores. 

It's time to buy in: The Jets are good. They lack a signature win against a high-quality opponent and a slapdown at the hands of the loaded Patriots next weekend is certainly possible. But this is a well-coached team with a top-level defense and some legit playmakers on offense. The recipe is there.

Fitzpatrick remains a limited quarterback, and no one should be stunned if Geno Smith eventually sees the field. But when Fitzpatrick is playing within himself -- as he has for much of the year -- the Jets can hang with anybody in the AFC.

In theory. The first true test comes Sunday.

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