Jets LB who launched Brady's career to be honorary captain vs. Patriots

Just over 14 years ago, Tom Brady took over as the New England Patriots' starting quarterback. The second-year quarterback -- and former sixth-round pick -- was unexpectedly called upon after starter Drew Bledsoe was injured in Week 2 of the 2001 season.

It was New York Jets linebacker Mo Lewis who laid the hit on Bledsoe that all but ended his Patriots career, giving way to the young, relatively unknown Brady. At the time, it seemed like a huge blow to the Patriots' Super Bowl chances, and evidently, their future. But little did anyone know, it launched the illustrious career of Brady.

The Jets and Patriots will square off in this heated rivalry once again on Sunday. New York invited Lewis to be an honorary captain, and the former linebacker accepted, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.

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Lewis had a great 13-year career with the Jets, but he'll be remembered for his hit on Bledsoe that evidently doomed the Jets for decades -- all thanks to Brady. Current Jets linebacker Calvin Pace certainly remembers the hit, and jokingly blamed Lewis for the Patriots' success over the Jets.

''Blame Shaun Ellis,'' Pace joked on Wednesday. ''If Shaun didn't get that hit on the sideline, they might have somebody else at quarterback. But things happen like that sometimes.''

Pace obviously meant to say Mo Lewis, but he quickly corrected himself.

''Was that Mo Lewis?'' Pace said. ''I'm sorry. Yeah, Mo Lewis. So, blame Mo Lewis."

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It's interesting that the Jets would choose to make Lewis a captain for this particular game -- a huge one for their playoff hopes. Maybe they're trying to get in the Patriots' heads, or maybe it's just a strange coincidence.