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MORSE: Preview of Game 3 – Patriots at New York Jets

Mark Morse
Mark Morse on Twitter
2 months ago at 6:00 am ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

MORSE: Preview of Game 3 – Patriots at New York JetsChris Pedota, via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Jets were the Off-season favorites to challenge the Buffalo Bills for the Eastern Division Championship in 2023.  When they acquired QB Aaron Rodgers they immediately became media darlings.  They were featured on HBO’s hard Knocks a look inside an NFL Training Camp.  It was nothing but an Aaron Rodgers love fest.  That love fest ended 4 plays into the 2023 season when Rodgers blew out his Achilles and is out for the season.  Zach Wilson is back in charge of the Jets.  The Patriots beat Wilson and the Jets twice last season and have won 14 straight games against them.


Offense 3WR 1TE
QB Zach Wilson Tim Boyle Aaron Rodgers IR
RB Breece Hall Q Dalvin Cook Michael Carter Israel Abanikanda
WR Garrett Wilson Mecole Hardman
WR Allen Lazard Xavier Gipson
WR Randall Cobb Jason Brownlee
TE Tyler Conklin C.J. Uzomah Jeremy Ruckert Kenny Yeboah
FB Nick Bawden
LT Duane Brown Billy Turner
LG Laken Tomlinson Wes Schweitzer
C Connor McGovern Joe Tippmann
RG Alijah Vera-Tucker
RT Mekhi Becton Q Max Mitchell Carter Warren IR


Wilson has been a game manager and won’t win the 1-1 Jets any games himself.  The Jets have a terrific defense (top 10 in 7 of last 10 games), but a very bad offense when they have a mediocre quarterback.  Rather than go with Wilson, the Jets should go out and sign Tom Brady or Matt Ryan.   Wilson in two games was 26 of 48 (54.2%) for 310 yards. 2 TDs and 4 INTs.  Wilson ranked 34th in the league in completion percentage.  Tim Boyle is the backup.  The former UConn QB has a career completion percentage of 62.3% but had thrown for only 2 TDs but has 8 INTs in his 5-year career!

The Jets Offensive line is not very good.  Last season they had a 35.9% Pressure rate.  It has already cost them their top QB.  Mekhi Becton is fighting injuries already and their best lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker missed more games than he played last year.  Through two games Vera-Tucker is rated at 72.5 by PFF and is number 10 overall in the league.   Laken Tomlinson is only slightly better than Cole Strange and you know how bad Strange played last week.  Duane Brown is 38 and a 15-year veteran, but it appears he has nothing left in the tank and is a shell of the former 3 x All-Pro and 5 x Pro-Bowl player he was.  His rating by PFF is 56th in the league.  Mekhi Becton is even worse at 69th according to PFF.  Center Connor McGovern isn’t much better and is ranked 32nd.

Runningback has been strengthened by the signing of Dalvin Cook.  But Cook has only 40 yards rushing so far.  Breece Hall leads the team with 136 yards rushing and a 9.7 yards per carry.  Neither has a rushing TD.  Zach Wilson has more yards rushing than Cook with 42.   If the Offensive line can’t block then the Jets will go nowhere.  This sounds familiar.

I feel very bad for Garrett Wilson, last season’s Rookie Offensive Player of the Year.  He was looking forward to having a legitimate star QB tossing him the ball, now he has noodle armed Zach Wilson once again.    The Jets went out and got Aaron Rodgers former targets in Allan Lazard and Randall Cobb.  I understand that, but Wilson is now the QB and he has no familiarity with these receivers.   Garrett Wilson has both the teams receiving TDs. Tyler Conklin is the TE but he is not much of a threat.


Defense Base 4-3 D
LDE John Franklin-Myers Q Bryce Huff Ifeadi Odenigbo IR
LDT Quinton Jefferson Solomon Thomas
RDT Quinnen Williams
RDE Jermaine Johnson Carl Lawson Will McDonald Bradlee Anae IR
WLB Jamien Sherwood Zaire Barnes
MLB C.J. Mosley Chazz Surratt Hamsah Nasirildeen IR Maalik Hall IR
SLB Quincy Williams Q
LCB Sauce Gardner Michael Carter Q Justin Hardee Jarrick Bernard-Converse O
SS Jordan Whitehead Ashtyn Davis Chuck Clark IR
FS Tony Adams Q Adrian Amos
RCB D.J. Reed Brandin Echols Bryce Hall Javelin Guidry IR


The Jets Defense is legitimate.  As stated earlier, they have been top 10 in 7 of last 10 years.  They won the 1st game of the year, a 20-16 OT upset of the Buffalo Bills with their Defense.  Safety Jordan Whitehead had 3 Interceptions (meeting his season incentive bonus) in the game.  They sacked Josh Allen 5 times and had 8 Tackles For Loss (TFL).  Last week they gave up 30 points to the Dallas Cowboys (who just might be the best team in the NFC) and had no interception of Dak Prescott.  Coach Robert Saleh said the Cowboys just wore them out.  They also recorded just one sack against a top O-line.  A big difference playing on the road versus playing at home.

Quinnen Williams is a force out there in the pits.  The 2019 1st round pick was the number 3 overall selection from Alabama.   The DT made the All-Pro and Pro Bowl team’s last season.  In the two games he has 11 tackles and 3 Tackles for Loss (TFL).  His brother LB Quincy Willaims leads the team in tackles with 17, 16 of those were solo.  He also had 2 Pass Deflections and a TFL.  Quentin Jefferson the other DT is no slouch.  He has 2 sacks.  LB Jermaine Johnson and DE John Franklin-Myers are formidable.  Both put pressure on the QB.  The Patriots Offensive Line is in for a big test.  The Jets front four are better than Philadelphia’s.  The pats O-line made Andrew Van Ginkel look like an All-Pro last week.  These guys are better than Miami’s front.

CJ Mosely is one of the best Inside Linebackers in the league.  He is tied for 2nd with 16 tackles, 10 of which are solo.  This is what Bill Belichick had to say about Moseley, “I think Mosley is really a guy who is really the key guy for them on the defense,” Belichick said. “He’s one of the best, most instinctive players in the league. Always a problem. Really hard guy to fool or to get on anything. He makes tackles on the line of scrimmage, and he breaks up passes 15-20 yards downfield. Really, really good player. One of the best we’ll see all year, one of the best in the league for sure.”  Jamien Sherwood is an up-and-coming player.  The 2021 5th round selection blew out his Achilles in 2021 and was put on IR.  He started at Weak Side Linebacker in week 1 and has performed well so far.  They have tremendous depth on Defense too with, DE Bryce Hall, DE Carl Lawson and DT Solomon Torres.

The DB’s are led by Sauce Gardner.  The 2021 1st round pick, #4 overall does not lack confidence.  He was Defensive Rookie of the Year, All-Pro and Pro-Bowl selection last season.  The other cornerback is tied with CJ Moseley with 16 tackles on the season.  DJ Reed is a very good DB and complimentary back to Gardner.  Michael Carter is a trusted backup / third down nickel back.  Jordan Whitehead is off to a fast start with the 3 INTs vs Buffalo.  Tony Adams is the other Safety and he was an Undrafted Free Agent signed last year.   The Illinois product has 10 tackles in the two games this season.


Special Teams
PK Greg Zuerlein Q
P Thomas Morstead
H Thomas Morstead
PR Xavier Gipson Mecole Hardman
KR Xavier Gipson Mecole Hardman
LS Thomas Hennessy


Xavier Gipson is ranked 13th after two games in Punt Returns.  Mecole Hardman is a dangerous return man as well.  Kicker Greg Zurlein has a reputation for having a big kicking leg and kicked the game winning Field Goal against the Bills.  He is listed as Questionable with a groin injury this week.   Thomas Morestead is ranked 11th so far this season.  Patriots’ punter Bryce Baringer ranks 9th but had 6 kicks inside the 20, the most of any punter in the league.  That is 66% of his kicks inside the 20.


Injury Status

Tony Adams and Duane Brown were as Did Not Practice the last two days.   John Franklin-Meyers, Mekhi Becton, Greg Zurlein, Michael Carter, and Quincy Williams were Limited.  This should be monitored as things get closer to game day.

Posted Under: Patriots News

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