The bye-week brings a ‘full audit’ of Mac Jones as Patriots try to fix offense
Sitting at 5-4, can the Patriots reach their projected win total and make the playoffs?
The last time the Jets and Patriots met, New York racked up nearly 100 more yards of total offense than New England.
But, a series of mistakes — including three interceptions from quarterback Zach Wilson — allowed the Patriots to prevail with a 22-17 win.
New York was on the verge of taking a 14-0 lead when Michael Carter II intercepted a pass from Mac Jones and took it 84 yards for a touchdown that was eventually called back due to a roughing-the-passer call.
The Patriots have managed to win 13 games in a row against their divisional rivals from the Big Apple.
As coach Bill Belichick put it on Wednesday: “The Jets are still the Jets.”
With the Patriots in last place in the AFC East but somehow clinging to a potential playoff spot, Sunday’s game is a big one that could wind up having postseason implications.
Here are five Jets players to keep an eye on.
DB Sauce Gardner
One of the league’s most dynamic rookies, Sauce Gardner is enjoying a stellar season for New York.
The Jets secondary should have more of a challenge this time around with a fresh Mac Jones coming off of a bye-week instead of a disastrous Monday Night performance against Chicago.
DeVante Parker could return this week to give New England more depth along with Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, and Tyquan Thornton among others.
Meyers got nearly twice as many targets as any other Patriots receiver and caught Jones’ only TD pass last time against the Jets.
LB C.J. Mosley
C.J. Mosley, who is closing in the 100-tackle mark, has made 10 or more tackles all but three games this season.
His best performance came against the Patriots, when he recorded 13 tackles and was in the backfield so much Belichick said he was practically in the huddle.
Jets coach Robert Saleh said the 30-year-old linebacker plays like he’s much younger.
“He’s still fast, he still hits violently,” Saleh said. “He still plays with a lot of enthusiasm and juice.”
DL Quinnen Williams
The Jets’ defensive line looked ferocious and disruptive against the Patriots, sacking Mac Jones six times.
New York has a major force in the middle in Quinnen Williams, who is among the best in the league at his position.
The Patriots return center David Andrews who Mac Jones called the “bell cow” of New England’s offensive line. Andrews’ return could create some interesting battles in the middle.
WR Garrett Wilson
Since being held to one catch for eight yards against Green Bay, Garrett Wilson has caught 18 of his last 20 targets.
He had 115 yards on six receptions against the Patriots, averaging 19.2 yards per catch. He followed that up with a big performance in the upset win over Buffalo.
It looks as though the rookie first-rounder from Ohio State is finding his rhythm over the last couple weeks.
QB Zach Wilson
The Jets are 5-1 with Zach Wilson under center this season.
Like Jones, he’s a struggling second-year quarterback who missed multiple games due to injury.
They’ve both been held to four touchdowns in six games, and their quarterback ratings are within half a point of each other.
Wilson’s performance against New England was easily his worst of the season, and if he’s even marginally better this time, it could make a big difference for the Jets.
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Source : https://www.boston.com/sports/new-england-patriots/2022/11/17/jets-players-to-watch-against-patriots/