New England Patriots: 3 keys to striking down the New York Jets

New England Patriots offensive line(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
New England Patriots offensive line(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

No. 2: Establish the aerial attack

Mac Jones was a bigger part of the offense than anticipated against the Dolphins. Miami’s secondary is lethal, and the Patriots ground game was well equipped to have a big day against their front seven. But Rhamondre Stevenson was benched for most the opener after losing a fumble in the first quarter, and they found themselves trailing for most of the second half, meaning Jones was forced to air it out more than expected.

That won’t be the case this time around. Aside from safety Marcus Maye, the Jets secondary is quite inexperienced, and depending on how Jones plays, they could be in for a long Sunday afternoon this weekend. After a successful debut against Miami, the offensive gameplan against New York will revolve around Jones.

For reference, Jets outcast Sam Darnold spent his first start with Carolina picking apart the Jets secondary. He finished 24/35 for 279 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions, although he did lose a fumble. This being the same Darnold that was caught on video claiming the Patriots defense was causing him to “see ghosts”. If he can cook the Jets secondary, anyone can.

The only player in the Jets secondary that has been in the league for more than two seasons in their free safety Maye. Their most experienced player after Maye is starting cornerback Bryce Hall, who in fairness, had a pretty solid debut against the Panthers. But even then, there isn’t much experience to go around in the Jets secondary, and you can bet offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is salivating over this matchup.

Jones should have the green light to air it out in this one. He was able to get Nelson Agholor and Jakobi Meyers pretty involved against a much tougher Dolphins secondary, and that trend should continue in this one.

Two tight end sets could also give New York trouble in this one too. They weren’t as effective as expected against Miami, but it was clear the Dolphins defense prepared for them in the week leading up to the game. Aside from Maye and maybe linebacker C.J. Mosley, they don’t really have anyone that can matchup with either of Jonnu Smith or Hunter Henry.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Jones post his first career 300 yard outing against the Jets this week. If he can hit his targets like he did against the Miami, the Pats will have success moving the ball up and down the field all day on offense in this one.