Round 2 for 1st-Round QBs
Sunday's Jets-Patriots game will be the second matchup between rookie QBs Zach Wilson and Mac Jones, both who were drafted in the first round of April's draft.
Wilson struggled against the Patriots in Week 2, throwing 4 interceptions and 0 touchdowns while completing 57.6% of his passes. He was also sacked four times. Over his past two games, the No. 2 overall pick has been sacked three times while completing 60.6% of his passes. He's thrown for 489 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
"He's as even-keeled as they come," WR Braxton Berrios told reporters Monday. "And you respect that more than anything, especially being in this market where obviously for anybody it's a tough market to be. But for a quarterback, and then a rookie quarterback at that, you can kind of only imagine the things that go through his head or come across his desk and all these things. You never see a difference in him whether it's after the Tennessee game or after the Atlanta game, or after the first New England game. Whichever it is, you don't see a difference in him. He really has taken everything in stride. That's somebody you want to play for and we're all behind him. We're just looking to get back out there."
Jones, on the other hand, completed 73.3% of his passes against the Jets (22 of 30) for 186 yards. The No. 15 overall pick did not throw a touchdown and did not turn the ball over. Jones, however, has thrown at least one interception in each of his four games since Week 2.
Jets Run Game vs. Patriots Run D
The Jets' best performance on the ground came against the Patriots in Week 2 with 152 yards on 31 carries (4.9 avg). Rookie RB Michael Carter led the way with 11 attempts for 59 yards (5.4 avg) followed by Ty Johnson's 12 carries for 50 yards (4.2). Outside of that game, however, the Green & White has totaled 218 yards, averaging 2.9 yards per carry. The Pats rank No. 17 in the NFL against the run, allowing an average of 112.8 yards per game, and let up 122 rushing yards in the team's Week 6 loss to the Cowboys. Head coach Robert Saleh said the Jets' OL has been playing better of late, particularly in pass protection, and believes the run game will improve as the team returns from its bye week.
"We were able to move the football and we were able to run the ball pretty effectively against New England, but obviously we were turning the ball over at inopportune times," he said. "It comes with opportunity and I think once the structure's there, they're getting better at it, but it definitely is not showing. I'm not going to argue with you on that one, but we feel really good about our O-line and where it's at, and it's only going to get better."
The Jets could be have two starters on defense back in the fold Sunday -- S Marcus Maye and LB Jarrad Davis. Both players are recovering from ankle injuries.
Maye sustained an ankle injury against the Broncos but finished the game. The 2020 Curtis Martin Team MVP, Maye has 23 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack and 1 pass defense while taking 190 snaps. He would add stability to a group that's had seven safeties see game action. Davis was placed on injured reserve at the beginning of the season after sustaining an ankle injury against the Packers in the preseason. He signed with the Green & White in the offseason and will join a LBs group that includes C.J. Mosley and Quincy Williams, who has been playing at a high level for the defense in Davis' absence.
"He obviously hasn't played in over a month and a half, so we'll see where he's at, but Jarrad Davis is a phenomenal football player and when he's healthy, he is a starter in this league," Saleh said. "He's a first-round pick, he showed very well in OTAs and in training camp, he showed every reason why he was a first-round pick. Not to push him into the starting lineup, but when he's ready to go in, he's full speed, he's going to get full game reps."