Good morning, and Happy Gameday. Here are your Patriots news 11/20 and our players to watch today against their rivals, the Jets.
The Patriots and Jets are playing their most meaningful game this week in about a decade. The entire division is over .500, and the distance between the top and bottom team (Patriots) is close. The Jets could be in first place by tonight or in last (with a loss).
This afternoon is essentially a November playoff game for both teams, and the Jets are looking to break a six-year streak of futility against New England. Zach Wilson has not played well against the Patriots thus far in his career, but just after a disastrous outing a few weeks ago, he sounded confident, almost cocky, in looking forward to this match-up.
This promises to be another hard-fought defensive battle today. While the Jets will be without Sheldon Rankins along their DL, the Patriots will be without Christian Barmore, but each side has the depth to handle their absence, despite it being a big loss for each team.
Quick Hitters For the Patriots and the NFL:
Christian Barmore: The Patriots’ defensive lineman, who has missed the last three games with a knee injury, has been placed on IR, which means that the earliest he can return is the December 18 game against the Las Vegas Raiders.
It was hoped that Barmore would return this week against the Jets, but he was absent on Friday after being present for practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Barmore has been a key member of the DL, eating up two gaps and double teams while providing good interior QB pressure.
Carl Davis will play the bulk of early-down run-stuffing duties, while Daniel Ekuale will be called on to pressure the QB. Rookie center Kody Russey was activated off the practice squad.
Lil’ Jordan Humphries: The Patriots WR/TE has been released from the team’s practice squad. Humphries had a solid training camp and preseason and did see limited action in six games, usually as a blocker. The team also had former Patriot LB Terez Hall in for a workout. Hall was released in May for failing a physical.
Ty Montgomery: The veteran running back who was signed to replace James White’s production on third down has been lost for the season, according to Jim McBride of the Globe, who broke the story. He was injured in the season opener in Miami and was placed on IR after hauling in three catches for 15 yards and the team’s only TD.
McBride wrote that he had shoulder surgery and would be lost for the season. It seems that the Patriots were preparing for this scenario by having Rhamondre Stevenson being targeted much more in the passing game recently.
Patriots 4th & 2 Podcast: If you haven’t checked out our PatsFans.com podcast, “Patriots 4th & 2”, in a bit, please check it out. Russ, Derek, and I looked at the bye week, the state of the roster, and how they match up against the Jets.
Russ Francis/Chuck Fairbanks: The former Patriot tight end and head coach both should be in the Patriots team Hall of Fame, and the fact that especially Francis isn’t is an absolute travesty. Francis and the Raiders’ Dave Casper changed the game with how teams used the tight end position…this will be on our Sunday posts until it happens.
Patriots Players to Watch Against the Jets:
The Patriots look to begin the daunting second-half stretch run with a win over the much-improved Jets at Gillette Stadium. As I mentioned above, the Jets could end up in first or last place in the AFC East this weekend.
So here are our Patriots players to watch this weekend, who have to produce if the team is to come away with a victory and move to 6-4.
Mac Jones: This one is a no-brainer. Jones will be under the microscope for the rest of the season. It is interesting since many other things that are out of his control need to be better for him to help right the ship in the passing game. However, Jones needs to play much better himself.
This week, they’ll be facing an excellent Jets defense that sacked him six times just three weeks ago. This will be a massive test for the offense as they aim to get out of the cellar and climb up.
Matthew Judon: No-brainer #2. Judon should be in the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year at this point of the season. But outside of New England, he’s barely mentioned. Three weeks ago, he was the difference although he didn’t have a sack. But he hounded Zach Wilson all game and was a big reason why Wilson didn’t complete 50 percent of his passes.
If Judon can continue his torrid season and the team’s pass rush (with the emergence recently of Josh Uche), they should be in a good position to generate more turnovers.
David Andrews: We’re all hoping that Andrews can return to the lineup this week and hopefully, the interior issues of the offensive line begin to fade. But it won’t be easy, going against the Jets DL with Quinnen Williams and John Franklin-Myers.
Andrews return would probably do wonders for rookie LG Cole Strange who has struggled the past couple of games.
Jack Jones: The Patriots’ rookie cornerback has been very good this season, and today, he may have an impact on the game. Jones is also the highest-rated rookie defender in the league this season, according to PFF. That’s right; he is rated just a tad higher than the Jets’ Sauce Gardner (86.9 to 86.1). He’s also the highest-rated cornerback in coverage.
When the Patriots let J.C. Jackson walk for huge money in free agency, many felt that Bill Belichick had lost it. And when the team selected Jones in the fourth round, he wasn’t highly thought of in many circles and fell to the fourth because of off-the-field issues. But those appear to be a thing of the past. Jones is uber-confident and looks to be another steal by Belichick in the defensive backfield.
Rhamondre Stevenson: No brainer #3. Despite the availability of Damien Harris, the Patriots’ offense runs through Stevenson in the running game. And he’s quickly becoming more of a factor in the passing game. Despite the Jets’ DL dominating up front, Stevenson gained 81 yards after contact while only gaining 71 for the game.
Look for the Patriots to get Stevenson involved early in the passing game to loosen things up and get him in space.
Week 11 Game Predictions:
The slate of games for Week 11 and my predictions are straight up for this week.
Miami, Jacksonville, Seattle, and Tampa Bay are on a bye week this weekend.
Tennessee over Green Bay 1-0
Atlanta over Chicago
Buffalo over Cleveland (in Detroit)
Philadelphia over Indianapolis
New England over NY Jets
New Orleans over LA Rams
NYG over Detroit
Baltimore over Carolina
Washington over Houston
Denver over Las Vegas
Dallas over Minnesota
Cincinnati over Pittsburgh
Sunday Night Football:
Kansas City over LA Chargers
Monday Night Football:
San Francisco over Arizona
Last Week: 8—6
This Season: 90—57—1
Last Season: 182—88—1
2020 Season: 169—86—1
2019 Season: 162—93—1
“Yeah, I think you start your preparations all over again. We put everything we had into the Colts game. That game’s done so start all over again. Get back to the keys and tendencies and things that the Jets do. Forget about the Jets and then move on to the next team. It’s hard to play a team and remember all the things that you did a week or two weeks ago. Yeah, there are some basic things that come back to you. All the little details that you spend the whole week on, you kind of forget those and apply them to whatever those things are to the next team. Then when that’s over, you forget those and move on. So, obviously some things carry over. I’m not saying that. But they don’t carry over team to team. I mean its new players, new, different matchups, different ways that utilize their people and so forth. So, it’s new every week.”
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on if the preparation for the Jets changes dramatically after just facing them three weeks ago.
“So, how was your week?”
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Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: Bill Belichick Damien Harris Devin McCourty Garrett Wilson Jakobi Meyers James White Kendrick Bourne Mac Jones Matthew Judon New England Patriots New York Jets Patriots edge rushers Quinnen Williams Rhamondre Stevenson Zach Wilson