FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Three days before their showdown for first place in the AFC East, the New England Patriots trolled the New York Jets on social media, tweeting a photo of the 2012 “Butt Fumble” — one of the low points in Jets history.
As part of Throwback Thursday, the Patriots’ official Twitter account tweeted: “This seems relevant. #TBT” with a picture attached of the infamous play. The tweet was deleted later Thursday.
The “Butt Fumble” took place in a game in 2012, when then-quarterback Mark Sanchez, on an aborted play, ran into the rear end of guard Brandon Moore. Sanchez fumbled, and it was returned for a touchdown by the Patriots, who won a blowout on Thanksgiving night, 49-19.
New England’s public relations staff runs the Twitter account.
The Patriots usually are the more buttoned-up team of the two sides. But under new coach Todd Bowles, the Jets have refrained from any pregame trash talking.
Jets running back Stevan Ridley, who played with the Patriots from 2011 to 2014, found some humor in the tweet. Asked what he thinks might happen to the staffer who posted it, Ridley said, “There’s no telling. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s not there [anymore].”
On a serious note, Ridley said he doesn’t think coach Bill Belichick would get involved in that type of peripheral issue.
“I know Bill and I know that team,”he said. “Nobody is worried about what they’re putting up on the Internet. They’re focused on the Jets; we’re focused on the Patriots.”
The tweet definitely caught the attention of people at One Jets Drive, though Bowles said he was unaware of it.
“I didn’t know that and I have no reaction,” he said. “I’m not a Twitter guy.”
The Patriots (5-0) and Jets (4-1) meet at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
ESPN.com Patriots reporter Mike Reiss contributed to this report.