Coming off a victory against the Denver Broncos, the 5-2 NY Jets look to continue their hot streak as they welcome the 3-3 New England Patriots to MetLife Stadium.
Although it wasn't pretty, the Jets were able to get the job done against Denver, 16-9. However, the bigger story coming out of this game was the loss of both Alijah Vera-Tucker and Breece Hall for the rest of the season.
These won't be easy spots to fill, but the Jets acquired James Robinson via trade and were able to mitigate some of the damage. Here are the three keys to defeating the Patriots.
3. NY Jets QB Zach Wilson must step up
For the past couple of games, Zach Wilson hasn't been great, but the team was still able to win. This is in large part due to the Jets' star running back, Breece Hall. Unfortunately, with Hall now out of the picture until next season, Wilson has no choice but to bring back his air attack.
Last week Wilson completed 16 of his 26 passing attempts for 121 yards. Although he didn't pick up any passing touchdowns, he thankfully didn't throw any interceptions either and kept the game rather clean. Hall was the workhorse for this team lately, but since that's done, for now, it's up to Wilson and the passing game to keep this momentum going.
With Garrett Wilson, Braxton Berrios, and now with Elijah Moore back returning to the team, Wilson has all the weapons he needs to get his pass attack going again. Garrett Wilson and Moore could be a lethal duo and could create a lot of issues for teams.
2. The NY Jets defense has to shine
With Mac Jones starting for the Patriots, the Jets' pass rush has to step up. Jones has struggled this season and is feeling pressure from rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe.
Last week when the Patriots played the Bears, Zappe was quickly brought into the game after Jones failed to get anything going. Zappe managed to throw for 185 yards and picked up one touchdown and two interceptions.
The entire Jets defense has to dial in against Jones. Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed will have to do a good job at breaking up passes to the top Patriots receivers, and the pass rush must quickly crash the pocket and not give Jones any time.
1. James Robinson...the New York Jet?
As more details unfolded about Breece Hall's injury, it was ultimately decided that Hall's season was over. Joe Douglas and the Jets' front office wasted no time announcing a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars to acquire James Robinson.
Robinson is a force to be reckoned with in his own right. Two weeks ago against the Colts, Robinson rushed for 54 yards on 12 carries. He previously rushed for over 100 yards in a game earlier this year. Robinson proved that, although the Jaguars seemingly moved on to Travis Etienne, he's still a good player.
A big key to Sunday's game however will be James Robinson. How does he play? Can Robinson pick up where Hall left off and lead the Jets' running game back to where they were? Robinson might just be the deciding factor in the Jets game this Sunday.