The New York Jets face a critical Week 3 test when they host the New England Patriots on Sunday. The Jets (1-1) are coming off a bad loss to the Dallas Cowboys and, you may have heard, have not beaten the Patriots (0-2) since Dec. 27, 2015.
Saleh and the Jets will tell you that all that matters is properly answering that first question. The present is much more important than the past. However, current success is also tied to bringing their Patriots nightmare to an end.
That said, let’s examine four bold Jets predictions for their Week 3 game against the Patriots.
4. Breece Hall, Dalvin Cook will spur potent running attack for Jets
After giving up on the running game early in their 30-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys last week, the Jets will pound the rock against the Patriots. Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook had four carries each last week. Expect triple that amount for each back this week.
— Nick Faria (@Nick_Faria1720) September 21, 2023
Even if they start slowly in the run game, the Jets will stick with it. The Patriots are allowing 4.4 yards per rush, 12th-worst in the NFL. Hall is explosive when he reaches the second level, having ripped off runs of 83 and 26 yards in Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills and nine yards against the Cowboys.
Cook has been less explosive, so far, finding his legs perhaps after missing most of training camp. But expect him to find holes and move the chains, as well. And don’t forget about quarterback Zach Wilson, who’s going to get his with some smart scrambles.
The Jets will rush for at least 130 yards this week.
3. Quinnen Williams, Will McDonald pick up first sacks this season
You get the feeling that the proud Jets defense was embarrassed with their inability to get off the field last week against the Cowboys. They allowed the Cowboys to convert 50 percent of their third downs and possess the ball for nearly 43 minutes.
There’s no way that sat well with the Jets All-Pro lineman Quinnen Williams, the heart and soul of their defense. Williams was very good against the Bills and good against the Cowboys, but not great. This is a massive game for the Jets, so expect Williams to provide a massive performance and be an absolute game-wrecker.
Williams will get at least one sack against the Patriots and will dominate the line of scrimmage. Motivated rookie Will McDonald IV will chip in with his first NFL sack after being inactive last week. The Jets believe they can stop the running game and want to get after Patriots QB Mac Jones. That plays perfectly into McDonald’s skill set as an elite pass rusher.
Jones will be sacked five times this week. Williams and McDonald will be in on at least two of them.
2. Garrett Wilson backs up his words, has big game for Jets
With the running game humming, Zach Wilson is going to be able to more easily target Garrett Wilson on Sunday. The stud wide receiver is going to have a 100-yard receiving game after saying that it’s time to “earn” his salary this week and help end the “unacceptable” losing streak against the Patriots.
GARRETT WILSON WITH THE SPEED 😮💨 pic.twitter.com/w3v0RgeCur
— PFF (@PFF) September 17, 2023
What will also help Garrett Wilson have a big day is that Zach Wilson will get Tyler Conklin, Mecole Hardman and Randall Cobb more involved in the passing game. More options will make it harder for New England to cover the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
1. Jets end 14-game losing streak, defeat Patriots
It’s easy to overthink things when it comes to the Jets. Zach Wilson will implode. The offensive line is a mess. Something bad always happens when the Jets play the Patriots. Bill Belichick has a spell over the Jets.
So, let’s keep it simple. Even with Wilson at quarterback, the Jets are the better team than the Patriots. And though the Patriots will be desperate to avoid a third straight loss to start the season, the Jets know they need this win with the Kansas City Chiefs (next week) and Philadelphia Eagles (Week 6) ahead on the schedule before they reach the bye.
The seven-season skid against New England will come to an end.
Jets 27 – Patriots 13