FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Sam Darnold is confident to the point of sounding cocky about his offense.

The quarterback of the New York Jets suggested this week that the Patriots top-rated defense wasn’t “unbeatable.” It was just a matter of finding its weakness, and then attacking that weakness over and over.

He and the Jets get that chance against New England at MetLife Stadium on Monday night.

Darnold is feeling good after missing three games with a case of mono and coming off a 24-22 upset win over the Dallas Cowboys.

“It’s really up to us how many points we score, I think,” he said after practice Thursday. “I think we’re capable of scoring so many points. Our offensive line, too, they played well the last game, with the way we’ve been running the ball and the way they’ve been protecting, I think sky’s the limit for us.”

Darnold also boasted the Jets offense couldn’t be stopped by any defense once tight end Chris Herndon returns. Herndon missed the first four games with a suspension and has been slowed by a balky hamstring. He is questionable for Monday’s game.

“Right now we’re just missing Chris, once all the guys are back together, I think we’re unstoppable as an offense or we can be,” Darnold said. “It’s up to us how we execute or how well we go out there and play.

Darnold is facing a team the Jets lost to the last seven times, with a defense that’s only allowing an average of 8.0 points per game.

“That’s him being confident in his team. That’s him being confident in what the offense is planning to do,” said New England safety Duron Harmon. “Obviously, we haven’t played a perfect game yet. We know there are some things we can do better. With him telling us that, we’re going to make sure we’re sharp on the things we haven’t done well, and make sure there are hardly any weaknesses for him to find.”

Nonetheless, the comments have been heard.

“(His words) have been noted, for sure,” Harmon said. “This is his third game playing this year. When he’s out there, they are a completely different offense, they have a lot of production. I’m happy he’s feeling confident, because we feel just as confident. We’ll have to see Monday night at 8:15.”

New England defensive lineman Deatrich Wise was glad Darnold was confident. Some keep that confidence in-house. Others brag, sometimes to their detriment.

“I feel like everybody’s different. Some people like to tell people what they think. Other people like to hold it in,” said Wise. “May the best man win.”

But Darnold also knows he’s not going to dismantle a dynasty in a day.

He is focused on Monday night.

“When you get locked in on trying to break the dynasty or take them down,” Darnold said, “that’s when you start losing control of yourself and your emotions.”

He insists he will not make the game any bigger than it needs to be.

“For us, it’s take it one game at a time and focusing on what we need to do … and go about the game that way,” he said. “If we get outside of ourselves and (think about trying to) take down Tom Brady, take down Belichick – those are all legit things. But for us, it’s about focusing on what we need to do and for us to execute.”

IT’S BEEN A busy week for Eric Tomlinson. The Patriots’ new tight end arrived in Foxborough on Monday night, signed a contract, practiced with the team Tuesday. He then flew back home to Houston – arriving around 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning – because his wife was about to give birth to the couple’s first son, 9-pound, 9-ounce Stone Tomlinson.

With wife Rennet and Stone doing well, Eric hopped back on a plane Wednesday night, and flew back to Foxborough. Now with both Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse likely to miss Monday night’s game against the Jets due to injury, Tomlinson could see his first action alongside Ben Watson, also signed this week.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” the 6-foot-6, 253-pound former Jets tight end said. “It’s been crazy, hectic, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m so glad I got to be there because our off day was Wednesday. It was a great experience.”

Tomlinson is considered more of a blocking tight end, and could see some time at fullback.

“In my previous teams, I’ve done both. I feel comfortable doing both,” said Tomlinson. “My playing style is gritty. Trying to finish every play. I’m just trying to do whatever is asked of me. Special teams, whatever it is.”

Tomlinson called playing against his former team “kind of surreal.”

“It’s going to be fun to go out there and play against all those guys,” he said. “I know them all real well.”


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