Patriots-Jets preview: 3 keys to game, fun facts, prediction

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The Off Day Podcast
The Off Day, Ep. 186: State of Patriots heading into Jets game
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For the second time in six weeks, the Patriots will take on the Jets.

New England got the best of New York in Week 2 on the road, coming away with a 25-6 win, but Zach Wilson threw four interceptions, which played a huge factor in the result. The Jets are coming off their bye week, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a few wrinkles thrown the Patriots’ way.

Meanwhile, the Patriots are coming off a tough overtime loss to the Cowboys where they gave everything that had. At 2-4, they desperately cannot lose this game, so all the pressure in the world is on the Patriots.

Jets vs. Patriots
Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021
1:00 p.m., CBS
Patriots -7, over/under 42.5

3 keys to the game

Contain Zach Wilson

Even though he threw four interceptions in the last meeting, Wilson has made some strides since. It’s clear he has a strong arm and the Jets got a few receivers back, so the Patriots defense needs to avoid giving up the big play and giving the rookie some confidence. The Patriots are also banged up in the secondary, so the Jets could look to attack heavily through the air.

More big plays on offense

Mac Jones and the Patriots offense took a few more shots down the field last week against Dallas and were successful with the rookie being 4-for-4 on passes thrown 20+ yards down the field. Look for Josh McDaniels to open things up even more going up against a very inexperienced Jets secondary. This could be a week for Nelson Agholor to get going as he’s struggled to this point in the year, including a bad drop in overtime last week.

Get off to good start

This game feels similar to the Texans game a few weeks ago when the Patriots got off to a terrible start and had to come from behind in the second half to win. The Jets are better than Houston so if the same thing happens, it will be a lot harder to come back. New England needs to be ready to compete right away as the Jets are coming off a bye and likely will have a lot of scripted plays ready to go. The last thing the Patriots want is to trail at home early when they are going into the game 0-4 on the year at Gillette Stadium.

Fun Facts

1. The Patriots have beaten the Jets 11 straight times, their second-longest winning streak against a single team. They beat the Bills 15 consecutive times from 2003-10.

2. If Jakobi Meyers has 83 receiving yards and doesn’t get into the end zone, he will break the NFL record for most receiving yards in a career without a receiving touchdown.

3. Hunter Henry has caught a touchdown pass in three straight games. The Patriots record for most consecutive touchdowns by a tight end is Rob Gronkowski with six games in 2011, while the NFL record is nine, set by Antonio Gates (2009-10).

4. The Jets ran for 152 yards on the ground in Week 2 against the Patriots. In their other four games, they have averaged 54.5 rushing yards.

5. According to Boston Sports Info, in the last 75 games at home the Patriots are 52-8 with Tom Brady and 7-8 without.

Prediction (Season record: 3-3)

Patriots 23, Jets 20

This game feels like it will be a lot closer than many expect it to be. The Jets coming off their bye and the Patriots coming off a tough overtime loss levels the playing field a little bit. Expect the Patriots to be in control of the game, but never able to pull away and it come down to the very end. Jones is playing better than Wilson right now and that could be the biggest difference.