TOJ’s Know Your Opponent: Week 7 v New England Patriots

The first of three repeat opponents on the year, the Jets travel to Gillete Stadium for their second meeting with the New England Patriots. Their first meeting went horrible as Zach Wilson threw 4 picks and the Jets lost 26-6. Zach is going to have to be much better if the Jets are going to make this a game.

Coaching: Bill Belicheck still has the prestige of a legendary coach but 9-13 without Tom Brady has certainly put some chinks in his armor. His defense is still very good and he remains a horrid matchup for a rookie QB like Zach Wilson who is struggling to get through his progressions. Josh McDaniels is a much more maligned figure at OC as a massive debate has broken out over whether he is to blame for the lack of explosive plays in the offense or the sputtering offense is Mac Jones’s fault Ulbrich and Saleh did a good job pressuring the Pats in week 2 and we will have to see how McDaniels adjusts with a beat up Patriots OL.

Offense: Mac Jones is an efficient QB who completes a high number of his passes but has been reluctant to push the ball down field. Damien Harris is a solid RB but this skill group should not scare anyone. The Patriots OL has been hit with injuries and a Covid outbreak so its unclear if that unit is back to full strength even though none appeared on the injury report this week.

Defense: The Patriots defense is still good but the Jets caught a break as Stephon Gilmore was scheduled to come off PUP for this game but Bill Belicheck decided a 6th round pick was more useful so he now plays for the Carolina Panthers. Matt Judon and JC Jackson have been awesome for the Pats this year and JC Jackson picked Wilson twice in week 2. Dont’a Hightower however looks nothing like the player he was in 2019 and the Jets would be wise to try to take advantage of the Patriots LB room.

Potential Weaknesses- Patriots OL seems to be back healthy but they have not been good this year and Mac Jones has taken some big hits this season because of it. Patriots offense has struggled to consistently find explosive plays on offense and are a team who will struggle when they have to play from behind.

Matchup- I hate this matchup for the Jets. They always suck in New England and Belicheck is 18-0 vs rookie QBs in Gillete and Zach looks poised for another multi turnover game. CJ Mosley is doubtful for this game, which is a massive blow to this defense.

Prediction- Patriots 20 Jets 6- Zach Wilson has not put together 4 good NFL quarters in a row yet in his young career. This is not the week that changes unfortunately. I think the Jets struggle to move the ball and the Patriots win comfortably and the Jets’ questions about their offense persist.