It wouldn't be a New York Jets-New England Patriots matchup without some gamesmanship before the opening kick.
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine complained to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News this week that the Patriots aren't allowing opposing teams to substitute during their no-huddle offense. He pointed to a specific sequence in the Patriots' Week 5 game against the Denver Broncos.
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"Denver never got a chance to substitute," Pettine said. "It's going to be a major point of contention before (our) game with the officials to make sure that they know the rule is when they substitute we're permitted to substitute.
"If the officials permit (the Patriots) to do that, then the game is going to become chaos. That's the problem. Because we're going to be running guys on. We need to make sure that that is enforced for this game, because we found examples on tape where it has not been. Then it's impossible. Now you can't defend it."
The Jets contacted the NFL in order to ensure that referees would be on top of enforcing substitution rules during Sunday's game, according to ESPN's Sal Paolantonio. The Jets also planned to emphasize the same point in their pregame meeting with the officials.
One of the biggest advantages of the no-huddle is that it stops opposing defenses from matching up and changing their look. Defenses need to do everything possible to try to slow New England down, so Pettine might as well try some pregame lobbying with officials.
"That's part of the officials being able to manage the game," Pettine said. "It's going to be critical for us to make sure that we have the ability to do that."