Five Jets to watch when the Green & White complete their season series with New England on the road at always-tough Gillette Stadium on Sunday:
WR Elijah Moore — No doubt QB Zach Wilson is seeking to not open with four picks on his first 10 throws as he did in the Jets' home opener vs. New England, but the heat is on Zach's receivers as well to secure all passes and be productive down the field. Rookie WR Moore's emergence as a pro has been slow but he's had signs, such as his season-long 27-yard reception against CB J.C. Jackson and the Patriots and the 41-yard pass interference call against the Falcons in London. "We're going to get our best players on the field, and Elijah obviously is one of them," HC Robert Saleh has said. "We've just got to find creative ways to get him in position to go make a play." Several plays on Sunday would be superb.
RT Morgan Moses and LT George Fant — The offensive line is feeling better about its "flow" and also wants to lead the way as the Jets try to generate a rip current of a fast start in the opening quarter. No better way to do that than to run Michael Carter, Tevin Coleman, Ty Johnson and their RB committee wide — opponents have gained 6.0 yards/carry running around left and right end vs. the Patriots. Then when it's time for Wilson to throw, Moses and RG Greg Van Roten will need to be on their A-game. Red-sleeved LB Matt Judon leads the Pats with 6.5 sacks and often rushes against opposing RTs, while LB Josh Uche had 2 sacks of Wilson going against Van Roten five weeks ago.
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S Marcus Maye — Who's going to get that first interception of the season? It may be Maye, who looks to be ready for activation and his first action in three games due to his ankle injury, or it may not be. But if Maye's out there, he'll definitely be involved in orchestrating the theft if it occurs, plus the general pass defense against Mac Jones. The Patriots' rookie QB has thrown six picks in 213 attempts, a 2.8% INT rate that is 24th in the NFL, and opponents' 27 defenses on Jones' passes are tied for 5th most in the league. With some pocket pressure from the front four, perhaps as CB Bryce Hall predicted for himself but by extension for the Jets secondary, "The next one is going down."
LB C.J. Mosley — It'll be a busy day for Mosley, with a potentially sore hamstring, and the 'backers. He'll need to lead the way in keeping a lid on RB Damien Harris while shadowing productive TEs Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. And when the Patriots move inside the Jets' 20, which they almost assuredly will do several times, DC Jeff Ulbrich's short-yardage/goal-line unit directed by Mosley will need to be on point. The numbers favor the Green & White here — New England is 30th in NFL red zone touchdown offense and the Jets are 2nd in RZ TD defense. The Jets held the Pats to a TD and 2 FGs in 3 RZ drives in Week 2 and will need a similar if not better showing Sunday vs. Jones and the NE offense to stay close in this one.