Throughout the season, NewYorkJets.com reporters Eric Allen, Ethan Greenberg and Randy Lange will each give their predictions to a series of questions regarding this year's Jets.
Today's question: What intrigues you the most about the Jets-Patriots rematch?
EA: The balance of power has shifted in the AFC East and the Patriots (2-4), the Jets (1-4) and the Dolphins (1-5) find themselves in similar positions in the standings. If the Jets scored a win over the Patriots on Sunday, they would be second in the division regardless of the Miami-Atlanta outcome. Despite Monday's loss to the Titans, the Bills (4-2) remain heavy favorites to claim a second consecutive division championship. The Jets haven't posted a winning record in the division since 2010 (4-2). The past futility has nothing to do with the current regime, but the Jets will start to turn the corner when they make hay inside the division. HC Robert Saleh considers all games championship opportunities and he's not going to place extra weight on this contest. It's another opportunity for a team fresh off its bye against a Patriots club that is still searching for its first home victory with an 0-4 mark. Veteran WR Corey Davis reiterated multiple times this week that the Jets are ready and the guys came back to work hyped up. Will the result be early success for Zach Wilson and the offense? And what's in store for Wilson in this rematch against a team that constantly changes its colors? I'm also intrigued to see what's in store for rookies Elijah Moore, an explosive player with great versatility; and CB Michael Carter II, one of the team's top performers to date who will see a lot of Pats' leading wideout Jakobi Myers.
EG: To me, it's how QB Zach Wilson rebounds after throwing 4 interceptions against the Patriots in Week 2. The No. 2 overall pick completed 57.6% of his passes and threw for 210 yards for a 37.0 QB rating, but over the last two games, he's completed 60.6% of his passes for 489 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs with an 80.9 rating. After a week off, HC Robert Saleh said that the break was good for everyone and Wilson looked "refreshed" on Monday. This will be the first time in the rookie's career that he'll face the same team twice in a season and I want to see what types of tweaks or improvements he'll make in the rematch in Foxborough. I'm also curious to see how the changes the Green & White made in regard to starting faster on offense will translate on Sunday. Saleh said that the staff changed some minor things that will probably go unnoticed to the naked eye but believes it'll help Wilson & Co. start faster on offense. The Jets have been outscored by 30-0 in the first quarter and by 75-13 in the first half. I think the team has improved multiple ways since Week 2, but I'm intrigued how the young team will come out of the gate post-bye.
RL: The most intriguing thing to me is how the young Jets will respond to the vibe in the Massachusetts countryside as the Gillette Stadium fans prod the Patriots to end their home losing streak at four games. New Englanders have been spoiled in the Bill Belichick era, during which their team from 2001 through last season had never opened with fewer than two wins in their first four home games and now are 0-4 and facing the prospect of being 0-5 for the first time since 1993, seven seasons before Belichick took the HC reins in 2000. If the Jets stumble out of the gate, the Patriots will be relentless and the fans brutal in trying to put them away. But if the Green & White can apply the tweaks and changes that Robert Saleh and his staff instituted in practice this week to help their units get off to that quicker start they've been seeking, the fan base could turn its ire on the home side and then it will be a matter of how long the visitors can ride that wave. If the Jets can get a lead early or at any time on Sunday, the afternoon will be fascinating in Foxborough.