The NY Jets have gotten themselves out to a predictable 1-4 start in 2021 and now travel north to Foxborough where they will meet the New England Patriots fresh off a close loss to the Dallas Cowboys in a shootout.
We know how well Bill Belichick's defenses school rookie quarterbacks on the regular, but with a game against the Patriots already under his belt, can rookie QB Zach Wilson vault himself over where Sam Darnold was at his second Patriots start?
Here's the truth about the Jets and Zach Wilson. Offensively, they are a complete mess, but at the same time, there is a legitimate argument to be made that Wilson is the second-best quarterback in the division behind Josh Allen, and that Wilson is the driving force of this Jets offense.
As it sits right now, I would gladly take Wilson over both Mac Jones and Tua Tagovailoa even though both have been better than him in 2021.
NY Jets QB Zach Wilson could have a bounce-back game in Week 7
Going off the narrative that Wilson is better than Jones and Tua, which his talent level highly suggests, one would have to believe at some point, perhaps very soon, Wilson is going to have to get the better of those two quarterbacks in head-to-head matchups.
Considering the fact that we already saw Wilson get eaten up by the Patriots' defense in his first meeting, one would also have to think there will be signs of improvement out of the rookie quarterback on his second shot at the Pats.
Especially since he's been able to get the first win under his belt to this point in a shootout with the Tennessee Titans.
Defensively is where the Patriots thrive these days, but the knock on them has always been a lack of athleticism in the front seven.
The adjustment that needs to be made on the part of the Jets, not just for this game, but all games moving forward is that they need to run the offense through Wilson and design runs for him. Too often this year, we have seen Wilson show off his footwork but for the wrong reasons.
Instead of seeing him scramble around every time he drops back, the initiative needs to be taken and the run game needs to be a point of emphasis. If Wilson is going to run around, make sure it's on purpose, and not just because he's trying to escape danger.
If the Jets can somehow manage to implement this mindset against the Patriots, don't be surprised if we see a major road upset and the Jets dramatically improve their position in the division.
I've watched all five Jets games this season, and even though I still consider myself firmly in the camp of "Sam Darnold was not the issue," this Jets team is in a much better position moving forward than they are being given credit for.
This year is clearly not a year for them to make the playoffs or anything like that, but looking ahead to next year, having the second-best quarterback in any division is going to automatically put you in contention every single year.
Wilson's athleticism is his greatest asset, so the Jets need to start putting a greater emphasis on that and put the ball in his hands to create plays on the run.
This week's game against the Patriots is so winnable, it's not even funny. Mac Jones is setting records for completion percentage, but he throws about seven yards a pass and the Pats want to win games these days by boring you into submission.
Robert Saleh's defense has been the bright spot for this Jets team in the early going, and it even allowed just 260 yards of total offense to this same Patriots team just a few weeks ago in the first meeting.
I do not find it out of the realm of possibility the Jets with their defense and the superior quarterback can flip this season on its head with a shocking upset victory against one of the game's best coaches.
Do not sleep on the Jets in Week 7.