1. STRONG PLAY FROM ZACH
The last time the Jets played the Patriots, Zach Wilson had his worst game of the season. He completed 20 of 41 passes for 355 yards and two TDs, but also threw three interceptions.
But in Gang Green’s last game before its bye, Wilson had his best outing. He completed 18 of 25 passes for 154 yards and a TD. Wilson also rushed for 24 yards.
The Patriots will throw exotic looks at Wilson, hoping to confuse him. Wilson has said he doesn’t like throwing the ball away when the play breaks down. When you’re playing against a coach like Bill Belichick, teams must keep self-inflicted mistakes to a minimum.
New England scored 10 points off turnovers in the last meeting, which was the difference in the 22-17 loss on Oct. 30.
2. GET GROUND GAME GOING
The offense is only as successful as their rushing attack. New England held Gang Green to its lowest rushing total of the season (51 yards).
The big difference in this matchup is that James Robinson should play more of a role. Robinson was traded to the Jets just days before the first game against New England. Because he didn’t know the offensive playbook, Robinson had just five carries for 17 yards.
In the 20-17 win against the Bills two weeks ago, Robinson had 53 all-purpose yards and a TD. Along with Michael Carter, the Jets ran 174 yards against Buffalo.
Robinson and Carter should both have opportunities to gain yards on the ground against a Patriots team that’s allowing 120.7 rushing yards per game.
3. PRESSURE MAC
The Jets’ defensive line sacked Patriots quarterback Mac Jones six times in the loss in late October. Because Gang Green generated pressure consistently, New England was held to just six first-half points.
During the second half, the Patriots made adjustments as they scored 16 points in the final 30 minutes. Quinnen Williams, Jermaine Johnson and John Franklin-Myers will need another impactful performance from start to finish to force Jones to make mistakes inside the pocket.