Patriots Look to Earn First Win of Season in New York

Patriots

Last Sunday, the New England Patriots dropped their season opener to the Miami Dolphins by a 17-16 margin. Mac Jones and the New England offense were driving in for the game-winning score when Damien Harris coughed up the football on Miami’s 11-yard line.

Tua Tagovailoa was able to drain the clock, and the Dolphins earned the road victory. The Patriots were not defeated in the first game of the season. They gave the game away on a silver platter, which is something New England fans have not seen frequently in Bill Belichick’s tenure leading the team.

There were numerous positive throughout the game, including a strong performance from Mac Jones. Yet, this does not mean much without putting a notch in the win column, and Jones attested to this after the game.

The Patriots will continue divisional play this weekend against Zach Wilson and the New York Jets. The Jets were bested by the Panthers last Sunday by five points in an ugly football game. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 PM ET on Sunday from MetLife Stadium.

Series History: Patriots vs Jets

The Jets franchise has been known to kill quarterbacks, and it appears this narrative could be in Zach Wilson’s future. The Patriots have dominated the Jets under Belichick, and the coach will look to continue this success against the new era of New York football.

The Patriots had a bad football team in 2020, and they were still able to sweep the Jets for the 12th time under Belichick. New England will enter this contest with ten straight wins over the Jets, and the franchise is 40-16 against New York since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994.

Offensive Matchup: Run Game Opens up the Pass

The Patriots have mastered the dink and dump offense under Tom Brady in the past few years. Jones seemed to be comfortable stepping into McDaniels system last week at home. However, this style of offense starts with a strong rushing attack.

The main thing the Patriots have to focus on this week is holding onto the football. Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson both gave Miami the ball last week, and it should affect the rookie’s playing time this week.

Patriots

The Jets struggled against Christian McCaffrey and the Panthers rushing attack in week one. Carolina averaged 4.1 yards per carry for 111 total yards on 27 carries. The Jets have some big bodies up front, including Quinnen Williams, Jonathan Franklin-Myers, Fotorunso Fatukasi, Sheldon Rankins, Bryce Huff, Nathan Shepherd, and Tim Ward.

Although, New England’s physical offensive line should control the line of scrimmage. This will set Jones up for success through the air. As we saw with Carolina’s Robby Anderson in week one, the Jets’ secondary is young and susceptible to big plays.

A strong play-action game could get them looking into the backfield, opening up some shots downfield to Nelson Agholor or Jakobi Meyers.

Defensive Matchup: Make the Game One-Dimensional

The Jets will need a unique game plan to beat New England’s defense on Sunday. The revamped unit looked very strong in the opener but had some mistakes. This is to be expected in the first game of the year, but they should have success against New York, which rushed for 45 yards on 17 carries against Carolina.

Patriots

New York will also not have left tackle Mehki Becton in the lineup, which will hurt their success as a unit. If the Carolina game is any indication, the Jets will quickly become one-dimensional with Zach Wilson.

Wilson was 20 of 37 with two touchdowns in the opener. He started slow but was efficient in the second half on the road. Corey Davis hauled in Wilson’s two touchdown passes.

The Jets are expected to attack the secondary because of Stephon Gilmore‘s absence, but if they put too much on the rookie, the Patriots will have a good day at MetLife Stadium.

About Tanner Kern 75 Articles
Tanner Kern is a former Division I football player at Lafayette College and a graduate of the University of Connecticut. He is currently a writer for Knup Sports and the Sports 2.0 Network. He is the host of Between the Lines, the official show of Baseball Spotlight, and the main contributor for the website. Connect with Tanner on IG @tannerkern and Twitter @tannerkern_.