Zach Wilson and the Jets seek Patriot redemption
There’s only one way to slice it: This is a get-your-mind-right type of game for the New York Jets.
Think motivational pre-game speech, perhaps in the form of Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday, Billy Bob Thornton in Friday Night Lights, or even any instance of Al Bundy recalling his glorious four-touchdown performance at Polk High, as the backdrop for this one.
It’s really that simple for Zach Wilson and company, as, just three weeks ago, the sophomore NFL quarterback served up three head-scratching interceptions to Bill Belichick‘s New England Patriots defense.
Then there’s the matter of the AFC East. As great as the Jets’ 6-3 start has been, a loss Sunday could throw them into the division basement with the lights off—courtesy of the Pats’ head-to-head advantage coupled with a Buffalo Bills victory over the Cleveland Browns.
|3||New England Patriots||8||9||0||.471||3-3||364||347||4-4||4-5||L1|
|4||New York Jets||7||10||0||.412||2-4||296||316||3-5||4-5||L6|
Oh yeah, let’s also not forget that New England has won the last 13 meetings. Not even Tom Brady’s exit could prevent the Pats’ dominance in this bitter NFL rivalry.
It’s officially redemption week for the New York Jets up in Foxborough, MA.
Jets at Patriots game info
- New York Jets (6-3)
- New England Patriots (5-4)
- NFL, Week 11, Nov. 20, 2022, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS
- Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA
The New York Jets and New England Patriots are set to kick off their Week 11 matchup at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, will play host, while Kevin Harlan and Trent Green will call the game for CBS.
If the Jets are to snap that pesky 13-game losing streak to the Pats, they’ll have to play as though they have “no regard for human life.”
With New England wearing its home blue tops, Robert Saleh’s squad will jump at the chance to go back to its white top and black pants combo.
THIS TIME TOMORROW 😤 pic.twitter.com/P22gYVTugx
— New York Jets (@nyjets) November 19, 2022
Jets at Patriots history
- The Patriots lead the all-time series 72-54-1.
As previously mentioned, the Pats have won the last 13 meetings. Even worse, they’ve taken 21 of the last 23 meetings.
This means that this all-time series was actually competitive at one point. That was until a man named Tom Brady entered the picture.
In fact, the Al Groh-led Jets swept the season series a year prior to Brady’s arrival, 2-0 in the year 2000. From October 1997 to September 2001, the Jets captured seven of eight.
Jets at Patriots odds (FanDuel Sportsbook)
- Spread: Jets +3.5 (-115), Patriots -3.5 (-105)
- Moneyline: Jets +148, Patriots -176
- Over/Under: 38.5 (O: -106, U: -114)
Until or unless the Jets truly break through in a dominant fashion, they simply will not receive the respect some folks believe they deserve. Despite having a better record than their opponents, New England enters as a 3.5-point favorite.
It makes sense. Considering the recent history between the two teams, coupled with Belichick’s tremendous hatred for the Jets, the oddsmakers will not provide the benefit of the doubt.
Jets at Patriots injury report
New York Jets
- Corey Davis (Knee): Out
- Sheldon Rankins (Elbow): Out
- Kenny Yeboah (Calf): Doubtful
- Nate Herbig (Shin): Questionable
For the Jets, the beat remains much the same. Injured reserve is where the real hurt lies, as big-time talents like Mekhi Becton, George Fant, Max Mitchell, Breece Hall, and, in my opinion, the team’s heart and soul, Alijah Vera-Tucker remain.
This makes Nate Herbig’s questionable status all the more critical. If he cannot go, one wonders how Mike LaFleur will handle things. The Jets elevated Conor McDermott and Tanzel Smart from the practice squad for this one, so perhaps the former gets the call somewhere. Perhaps it’ll be Dan Feeney’s time to fill in at right guard.
The good news is that Max Mitchell’s window to return from IR has already opened up, so his impending return will help the right side.
Elsewhere, wide receiver Corey Davis will miss his third-straight game with a knee, while IDL Sheldon Rankins is set to miss his first contest of the season—after injuring his elbow in the Jets’ upset 20-17 win over the Buffalo Bills.
New England Patriots
- Christian Barmore (Knee): Out
- Jake Bailey (Back): Doubtful
- Anfernee Jennings (Back): Questionable
- DeVante Parker (Knee): Questionable
- Josh Uche (Hamstring): Questionable
Defensive lineman Christian Barmore has already been declared out, whereas punter Jake Bailey is listed as doubtful. Anfernee Jennings, AFC East mainstay DeVante Parker and Josh Uche come into this one with the cloudy questionable tag.
Hey, at least Jets fans do not have to read Tom Brady as probable with a shoulder injury on this damn report anymore. It’s at least one hell the leader of football’s evil empire no longer can hang over the Jets fan’s head.
Jets at Patriots prediction
- New York Jets 23, New England Patriots 17
Attempting to play this game out in one’s imagination prior to kick-off is a tricky one. Most are on the Pats to outright win, and for good reason.
However, I’m rolling with the Jets for one very critical reason: They are the more talented team.
Remember, despite the disappointment that was Week 8 at MetLife Stadium, New England needed to pull out all the stops. If not for a ridiculous roughing-the-passer call on John Franklin-Myers (is this even football anymore?), the Jets most likely win that game (courtesy of Michael Carter II’s pick-six).
Bill Belichick will play a lot of man and aggressive concepts up front in trying to yield free-runners at the Jets’ young quarterback. But as long as Zach Wilson continues the trust in himself that we saw against the Bills—coupled with Mike LaFleur’s three-step passing concepts—the Jets’ offense should find success against an aggressive New England defense.
On the other side of the ball, Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich definitely drilled YAC into the defense’s mind. Although it was tough-sledding for Mac Jones and company, the Pats offense found success in gritty ways—picking up a few yards here and there, while mainly catching it short and taking the efficient route to the yard marker.
I don’t expect the Jets to change their defensive strategy—as they shouldn’t, due to the idea that this unit’s DNA is bend-but-do-not-break—but those big-time situations will be firmly planted in the defensive unit’s mind.
Give me the New York Jets, 23-17, over the New England Patriots, as Zach Wilson throws for over 225 yards and two touchdowns to one interception, while Michael Carter and the rushing attack continue to keep the momentum going on the ground.