Week 1 is in the books, and for the NY Jets, it's time to bounce-back. After falling to the Carolina Panthers by a score of 19-14, the Jets flew back to New Jersey looking like the youngest team in the NFL.
And that's because they are.
Without diving into a full-on recap of Sunday's outing, the Jets have a lot to build upon as they now get to face a rookie quarterback in the New England Patriots' Mac Jones.
The Patriots lost their Week 1 matchup against the Miami Dolphins, a competitive rally that fell just short of Mac Jones earning his first victory in the NFL (sound familiar?).
The Jets have a tough task going up against a Bill Belichick-coached defense that hasn't been historically kind to rookie quarterbacks. As much as this may be true, the Jets should still be able to take advantage of a few weaknesses that the Patriots' defense has to offer.
The NY Jets have weaknesses they can take advantage of against the Patriots
New England will be without star cornerback Stephon Gilmore for their Week 2 tilt against the Jets. Although the Patriots have depth in the secondary, Gilmore's absence could play a huge role in quarterback Zach Wilson's success.
Wilson will likely have his eyes on cornerbacks J.C. Jackson and Jalen Mills, whom by all accounts fared well against a stingy Miami offense in Week 1.
As we mentioned earlier, this isn't Belichick's first rodeo in terms of facing a rookie quarterback. Expect the Patriots' defense to be aggressive early on, much like the Panthers.
Pressure could get in Wilson's face early and often judging by the offensive line's poor pass protection versus Carolina. The injury to Mekhi Becton won't help, either, as George Fant will likely take the reins at left tackle.
A positive for the Jets is that they should be able to see an efficiency increase in the running game. Remember, this past Sunday was the first time the starting five on the offensive line played together.
Gelling is part of the process, and after two weeks of game preparation, the running game should begin to open itself up to brighter opportunities.
Switching to the defensive side of the football, the Jets will be going up against fellow rookie quarterback Mac Jones. The No. 15 overall pick in this past year's draft played fairly well against an improved Miami defense.
If what we saw in the second-half against Carolina comes to fruition for a full NFL game for the Jets, Jones could be in-line for a long day. The defense will certainly have their hands full, though, as tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry will likely give the Jets' young linebackers fits.
It'll come down to the running game for New England. Patriots' running back Damien Harris should be able to produce with an improved offensive line in front of him and a Jets defensive line that is much better against the pass if this past Sunday had any indication of that.
The Jets have a chance in this one. Home-opener. First home game in front of fans in over a year. Things may just go the Jets' way.
It'll take a valiant effort from the offense, defense and special teams to come out of this one with a 'W.'