The New England Patriots have an excellent chance to earn their first win of the 2023 NFL season when they visit the New York Jets on Sunday. After all, the Patriots have won 14 consecutive games against their AFC East rival, having not lost to the Jets since 2015.
Still, nothing is ever guaranteed in the world of sports. Despite how confident we are about our chances of success this weekend, anything can happen in the NFL — especially in a rivalry game.
With that being said, this game will be New England’s to lose as long as it sticks to the game plan. If Bill Belichick can successfully exploit certain areas of the game, we’ll be playing for a .500 record in Week 4.
Here’s a look at the Patriots’ three keys to beating the Jets in Week 3.
Patriots: 3 Keys to Beating the Jets in Week 3
1. Apply Pressure to Zach Wilson
One of the best paths to beating the Jets is to knock Zack Wilson off his game.
The third-year signal-caller is a massive downgrade from Aaron Rodgers. Wilson has only completed 54.2% of his passes this season while throwing out an NFL-leading four interceptions. His 53.3 passer rating is also the worst among all 32 starting quarterbacks highlighting just how bad New York’s offense looks when he’s under center.
You only have to look at how the Dallas Cowboys handled Wilson last week to come up with a good game plan. The Cowboys applied pressure on him all night long, recording nine pressures, seven blitzes, and four hurries while sacking the 24-year-old three times.
Nevertheless, it’s clear that Bill Belichick already knows how to plan for Wilson. It’s why the ex-BYU QB is 0-4 with a 50.9% completion percentage and seven INTs in four career meetings with the Pats.
Fortunately, we have a decent pass rush again this season. The Patriots call the third-most blitzes in the league (31) while tallying hurries on 14.3% of dropbacks (T-No. 6). As long as those trends continue, I’m sure it won’t be long until Wilson makes a mistake.
Who knows? Maybe if Wilson screws up enough early on that the Jets will have no choice but to replace him with third-string quarterback Tim Boyle.