Zach Wilson, New York Jets, New England Patriots
Zach Wilson, New York Jets, New England Patriots, Getty Images

The New York Jets are in position to lose their 15th straight to the New England Patriots

The New York Jets face a familiar situation on Sunday: trailing the New England Patriots at halftime. Bill Belichick continues to befuddle Zach Wilson, while the Jets’ running game can’t get much going in the face of stacked boxes. Meanwhile, a defensive miscommunication and blown coverage led to a 58-yard touchdown pass from Mac Jones to Pharoah Brown, who had not caught a touchdown in several years.

Overall, the Patriots have 216 total yards in the first half to the Jets’ 39. They average 6.4 yards per play compared to the Jets’ 1.4.

The Jets’ pass rush hasn’t done much in the game, giving Jones clean pockets from which to throw. What happens under pressure highlights the differences between the two quarterbacks: Jones throws the ball away or finds his man, while Wilson panics.

The Jets’ lone score came on a Greg Zuerlein 52-yard field goal. New England rookie kicker Chad Ryland is 1-for-3 on field goals, nailing a 48-yarder but missing from 48 and then 57 to end the half. The Patriots have had some trouble with their snaps on field goals, which is something to keep an eye on.

New York Jets (3)

  • PASSING: Zach Wilson (5-for-10, 29 yards, 2 sacks, 56.2 rating)
  • RUSHING: Breece Hall (9 carries, 15 yards)
  • RECEIVING: Garrett Wilson (2 receptions, 5 yards)

New England Patriots (10)

  • PASSING: Mac Jones (9-for-18, 142 yards, 1 TD, 95.1 rating)
  • RUSHING: Ezekiel Elliott (6 carries, 32 yards)
  • RECEIVING: Pharaoh Brown (1 reception, 58 yards, 1 TD)

No space

Zach Wilson has taken two sacks in this game where there was simply nowhere to go with the football. Garrett Wilson has been shut down thus far, and there is no one else on the team with the potential to beat heavy man coverage. Mecole Hardman is once again sitting on the sidelines.

That being said, Wilson’s sacks came when there was initially plenty of time for him to throw. He needs to get through his progressions and throw the ball away rather than taking the sacks. As usual, Wilson’s sacks have lost significant yardage each time: 19 yards total, including one 12-yarder.

Third down defense

The Patriots are 6-for-10 on third down, while the Jets are 1-for-8. Part of that is the distance of the third downs: the Patriots average 5.1 yards to go and have just two third downs with 8+ yards to go, while the Jets average 8.8 yards to go and have three of 15+ yards.

Run defense struggles

The Patriots have 16 carries for 74 yards in this game, a 4.6 yards per carry average that doesn’t tell the full story. Ezekiel Elliott has two rushes of over 10 yards, and Rhamondre Stevenson has a high success rate on his runs, helping the Patriots stay ahead of the sticks.

The Jets’ run defense up the middle has been suspect in part because of the Quinton Jefferson-Al Woods platoon. Neither player has done much this season.

The Patriots get the ball to begin the second half.

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Rivka Boord has followed the Jets since the age of five. She is known locally for her in-depth knowledge of football. She hopes to empower young women to follow their dreams and join the sports conversation. Boord's background in analytics infuses her articles with unique insights into the state of the Jets' franchise and the NFL as a whole.
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2 months ago

Dammit, JD put together a gd OL for the first time in 5y. Saleh, I am convinced now that you are not the coach to lead this organization if you say Zach gives us the best chance to win.