Throughout the offseason, NewYorkJets.com reporters Eric Allen, Ethan Greenberg, Randy Lange, Caroline Hendershot and John Pullano will each give their predictions to a series of questions regarding this year's Jets.
Today's question: How can the Jets earn redemption against the Patriots?
EA: The Jets let one slip away against the Patriots in Week 8. They outgained the Pats by 99 yards, limited NE to 3.8 yards per play and registered 6 sacks of Mac Jones and 13 TFL. The outcome went the other way because the Pats turned Zach Wilson over three times, the Jets had a roughing the passer penalty that nullified a pick-6 from Michael Carter II and New England won decisively on special teams. Wilson is 5-1 as a starter this year and the Jets are 4-0 when he hasn't thrown an interception. He was decisive and nearly flawless against the Bills in Week 9 while completing a career-high 72% of his passes. The Patriots won the field position battle at MetLife Stadium as they had an average drive start at their 43 and started five possessions inside plus territory. If the Jets protect the ball and get a good effort on special teams, the Pats are going to have an extremely difficult time scoring points against this defense.
EG: Play their brand of football -- run the ball, no turnovers, stingy on defense. In these teams' first meeting in Week 8 (NE won 22-17), the Jets ran a season-low 15 times on offense and Zach Wilson threw 3 interceptions. The Green & White responded in Week 9 against the Bills with running the ball a season-high 34 times for 174 yards (5.1 avg). Wilson, against Buffalo, completed a career-high 72% of his passes for 154 yards and 1 touchdown. The 2021 No. 2 overall pick had a career-high 101.1 rating. The Jets have 3 turnovers in four road games this season, one of which came in Week 2 at Cleveland when Joe Flacco started. The Green & White's defense played well against New England in Week 8, holding its offense to 288 yards. The defense forced an interception and had 6 sacks. The Jets weren't able to execute their blueprint for success against the Patriots earlier this season, but that's how they can earn redemption against the Patriots in Foxborough.
RL: Well, a win of course. And most if not all of the Jets reject the word "redemption" in this case. But for the best outcome, it would be most beneficial to see the unhelpful things diminished — interceptions, strip sacks, roughing penalties, 3-and-outs — and the good things continue out of the bye — relentless pass rush, more takeaways off of strips and picks, optimal running game, strong finish. And the secret ingredient could be the Jets' special teams play. Two weeks ago, giveaways, punt coverage, a shanked punt and the like allowed the Patriots to chalk up an average drive start of their 43.1-yard line. Since 1990, when the Jets allow opponents an average start at their 40 or better, their record is 0-31. The last three times they let that happen, it was against the Pats, at Foxboro in '19 and at home in '21 and this year. Better ST play and situational execution against one of the NFL best teams at those pursuits year in and year out could be the final brushstroke on an exquisite victory mural come late Sunday afternoon
CH: The best way the Jets can earn redemption against the Patriots is eliminating self-inflicted errors. In the Week 8 loss against the Patriots, the Jets had 3 interceptions, four penalties and a missed field goal. C.J. Mosley was flagged for unnecessary roughness and John Franklin-Myers was called roughing the passer that reversed a pick-six going into halftime. Another point of emphasis for the Jets will be to run the ball. Only 15 rushing attempts in their last game against the Patriots is not the style of play the Jets succeed with. In all of the Jets' six wins this season, the lowest number of rushing attempts was 20. If they run the ball well and play a clean game, there will be redemption for the Jets.
JP: Protect the ball. In the Jets' Week 8 loss to the Patriots, they turned the ball over three times resulting in 6 points. New England won by 5 (22-17). The Jets are 5-0 this season when they turn the ball over one or fewer times and have turned the ball over nine times in their three losses, which resulted in 22 points. The Patriots defense is No. 3 in turnovers and their offense has been opportunistic turning 17 takeaways into 61 points. Jets QB Zach Wilson has thrown 0 interceptions in four wins this season and threw 3 of his 5 interceptions this season against the Patriots. HC Robert Saleh said he has "a lot of faith" in the young QB to play more like the turnover-free Wilson he has seen throughout the season in the Green & White's rematch at Gillette Stadium.