The New York Jets got off to a rocky start in 2021 with a loss against the Carolina Panthers. In week 2, they have their first home game with fans in the stands since 2019, and it comes against the big bad New England Patriots. Not the Patriots of old, they look to rebound from a Week 1 loss against the Miami Dolphins. Here is a preview of the New York Jets vs. New England Patriots game.
Mac Jones had a pretty good game against the Miami Dolphins, all things considered. The 15th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Jones was efficient throwing the ball, throwing for a touchdown and nearly 300 yards with no turnovers. The Patriots’ offense also ran the ball efficiently, with Running Back Damien Harris going for 100 yards on 23 carries.
The thing that plagued them? Fumbles. Harris and rookie running back Rhamondre Stevenson each fumbled, which proved costly for the Pats, who lost by one point. They couldn’t get anything done in the Redzone either, going 1-4 on Redzone opportunities.
The Good Guys
The Jets, meanwhile, lost their Week 1 matchup with the Carolina Panthers due to some shaky offensive line play. Zach Wilson, the 2nd pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, finished with 2 touchdowns, both to Corey Davis, and 1 interception. He was sacked 6 times, hit 10 times, and pressured on 55% of his dropbacks.
The Jets’ defense, however, played above expectations. Despite being littered with injuries, including Carl Lawson and Jarrad Davis, they held the Panthers to 19 points, 3 in the second half. On top of this, they lost Safety Lamarcus Joyner to a season-ending elbow injury, and rookie Linebacker Jamien Sherwood to an ankle injury.
Many fans were worried about the young Jets secondary, but it held up for the most part. While they allowed 297 passing yards, 89 of them were allowed to Christian McCaffrey, who was being covered by linebackers the entire afternoon. DJ Moore was the Panthers’ other top receiving target, and he finished with 6 catches for 80 yards.
Now, in a matchup with the Patriots, who employs a shaky group of offensive weapons, the run defense will need to hold up. The defensive line will need to generate as much pressure as possible, making Mac Jones as uncomfortable as possible.
This week will be a good litmus test for this young Jets team. If they are competitive, things will be looking up for them, but as long as they keep Zach Wilson safe, and he looks as good as he did in week 1, it will be considered a successful week. The Jets will also be without starting Left Tackle Mekhi Becton, who exited Week 1’s game with a dislocated kneecap. He will be out for 6-8 weeks.
The biggest matchup to look out for has to be the young secondary against Mac Jones. While they looked decent other than a busted coverage that led to a long Robby Anderson touchdown reception, they will need to look better this week against a presumably better Quarterback. Like always, as a Jets fan, don’t expect too much, and pay attention to how Zach Wilson handles the pressure that will inevitably come his way. That will be incredibly important moving forward. This has been a preview of the New York Jets vs. New England Patriots Week 2 matchup.