With the first two weeks in the books, the NY Jets find themselves in second place with a record of 1-1. They own the tie-breaker over the Buffalo Bills, who are currently tied for second with the Jets. However, despite a strong showing in Week 1, the Jets' game against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2 is one they would love to forget.
The Jets would go on to be routed by the Cowboys by a final score of 30-10. Despite not having his worst game, Zach Wilson only completed 12 passes out of 27 attempts for 170 yards. He threw one touchdown in the process and three interceptions.
With Week 3 now on the horizon, how can the Jets do something that hasn't been done in their previous 14 games — defeat the New England Patriots? Here are the three keys to hopefully getting the job done at home in MetLife Stadium.
3. Do NOT abandon the run game
This is a key to victory that I cannot express enough — the Jets cannot abandon the run game. Despite an amazing showing in Week 1 against Buffalo, Breece Hall did absolutely nothing in the game against Dallas last Sunday.
The Jets were forced to abandon the run game after going down big early on in the game. This is something that simply cannot happen this week if the Jets hope to win. Hall finished the game against the Cowboys with four rushes for nine yards — just an abysmal day with horrible usage.
Even Zach Wilson had more rushes, finishing with five attempts for 36 yards. Granted, Wilson didn't have a choice, as he was basically forced to run for his life. Establish the run early and often.
2. The NY Jets offensive line must hold its own
This could be the deciding factor in the Jets vs. Patriots game this weekend. Last week against Dallas, the Jets' offensive line was a mess. Zach Wilson was left to run for his life against a dominant Dallas defense and had next to no time to throw the ball, resulting in three interceptions.
While the Patriots defense is not the Cowboys, nobody should underestimate Matthew Judon. The Patriots edge rusher is one of the most talented in the NFL. At 31 years old, Judon hasn't lost a step, finishing fourth in sacks last season with a career-best of 15.5.
With an absolutely abysmal Jets offensive line, Judon could have a field day with Wilson. Micah Parsons made easy work of the Jets' offensive line last week — expect to see Judon attempt to do the exact same on Sunday.
1. Don't underestimate the Patriots offense
Perhaps the most important key to victory for the New York Jets is to not underestimate the Patriots offense. Yes, it's easy to look and see the 0-2 record, and it's easy to look and see Mac Jones isn't Tom Brady, but this has all the makings to be an early trap game for the Jets defense.
Jones isn't someone to scoff at. In his first two games, Jones has already thrown for 547 yards and four touchdown passes. In all of this, he has thrown just two interceptions, one in each of their first two games.
The Jets' pass rush has to step up and apply a lot of pressure on Jones. Jones has shown he has no issues letting the ball fly, so it's imperative the Jets don't allow him to get comfortable. Simply put, the Jets' defense cannot fall for the trap game.