The New York Jets are coming off a bye week following a stinging loss to Atlanta in Week 4. The Jets’ defense was picked apart by Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and the Jets’ offensive woes continued. They’ll face the New England Patriots for the second time this season in Week 7. The Jets were shown up in their home opener against the Patriots in Week 2, 25-6. Patriots quarterback Mac Jones won the first game of what should be a future rivalry against Jets quarterback Zach Wilson. It was the running game, though, that won the day for the Pats with two touchdown runs, including Damien Harris’ 26-yard run that made me turn off the television. (You can find the run in my post-game write-up.) Will the Jets get their first win at Gillette Stadium since 2008? Let’s look at the keys for this game.

Clean Slate for the Offense

Offensively, the first five weeks for the New York Jets were forgettable. The Jets have no points in the first quarter and only 10 points in the first half. Wilson has thrown nine interceptions in five games, including the four he threw against New England in Week 2. Their poor offensive performance has kept their defense – which has played admirably, mind you – on the field for way, way too long. The bye week is an extra chance to figure out what works and what doesn’t. For the Jets to win, they must win the possession game and get their run game going early and often. Feed Michael Carter early and often. The Patriots are an uncharacteristic 18th against the run leading up to Week 7. If the Jets get the run game going, it takes a whole lot of pressure off Wilson.

Get After Mac

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones’ progression in offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ system has been on an upswing. He helped keep the Patriots in the game against Dallas last week and nearly stole a win. Jones’ first game against the Jets was okay; the Jets’ defense held the rookie to only 186 yards and no touchdowns. The defense also sacked Jones three times in the first half. After generating six sacks against Tennessee, the Jets couldn’t generate any against Atlanta’s young offensive line. Generating pressure against the Patriots will be huge for the Jets in Week 7. If the Jets’ defense can force the issue on Jones, their chances of winning will improve. The Patriots’ offensive line has surrendered 13 sacks this season while the Jets are sixth in the league in sacks with 18.

Belichick vs. The Jets

What might have been…

New England head coach Bill Belichick hates the New York Jets. It is evident in the ESPN documentary, “The Two Bills.” He hates the Jets so much that he salivates every time the Jets are coming up on the schedule. (I presume.) Robert Saleh is the seventh head coach the Jets have had since Belichick became Patriots head coach in 2000. Belichick is 33-10 against the Jets all-time – a .767 winning percentage – and the Patriots can make it 34-10 with a win in Week 7. The Patriots are a seven-point favorite this week and while they have several key players either out or questionable. No matter for Belichick; he always does well against the Jets and especially rookie quarterbacks.

Key Injuries on Both Sides

The Jets will miss the most key member coming up to their game against the Patriots in Week 7: linebacker C.J. Mosley. Mosley is listed as doubtful after a hamstring injury sustained against Atlanta hasn’t fully healed. This means rookie Jamien Sherwood will get the nod in place of Mosley. This injury will hurt as Mosley has been the man responsible for keeping the defense organized. Running back Tevin Coleman is also listed as questionable. For the Patriots, linebacker Dont’a Hightower, guard Shaq Mason, and kicker Nick Folk are all listed as questionable before Sunday’s game.

Prediction Time

The Jets know what they need to do to beat the Patriots in Week 7. It comes down to basic football: protect the quarterback, keep the ball out of the opponent’s hands, and don’t play from behind. Can they do it in a hostile environment, though? I doubt it. Jones is clearly the better of the two rookie quarterbacks and he’ll give the Jets fits if they don’t get to him. If the Jets offense gets off to another start, it will doom them again. The Jets will give the Patriots a fight, but in the end, it’s another in the ‘L’ column. (And I learned my lesson from Week 5; I won’t pick the Jets again unless I’m confident they’ll win.) Patriots 23, Jets 20.

 I’m Ryan McCarthy and I cover the New York Jets beat for Belly Up Sports. We have a lot more to offer in our NFL coverage. If you want to chirp at me regarding the Jets, life, or other topics, hit me up on Twitter: @whoisryanmcc. Thanks for reading.
About Author

Ryan McCarthy

Ryan is a veteran of sports blogging since Al Gore invented the Internet. He has spent time with SportsHungry, e-sports.com, and ArenaFan. Ryan is a 2020 graduate from Regent University as a Journalism major. He hopes to make this sports media thing a full-time gig someday.

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