The New England Patriots and New York Jets will play their second and final head-to-head of the regular season when these two AFC East squads square up at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. Back in Week 2, the Patriots went down to MetLife Stadium and earned their first victory of the season, beating the Jets, 25-6. First-round rookie Zach Wilson struggled through the air, committing four interceptions on the day, which put his team behind the eight ball.
New York is coming into this game after a week off following a Week 5 trip to London, so it'll be well-rested and well-prepared for a Patriots team that just lost in overtime to the Cowboys in Week 6. Below, you'll find our full preview for this intra-divisional matchup.
How to watch
Keys to the game
Red zone execution
Both of these offenses have struggled when crossing into the red zone this season. Entering Week 7, the New England and New York offenses have the third- and fourth-worst red zone efficiencies in the league. The Patriots are 8 of 18 (44.4%) in the red zone this season, while the Jets are 5 of 11 (45.5%). On the flip side, these defenses have been quite strong at keeping teams out of the end zone once they get into the red area. They rank second and fifth, respectively, in red zone efficiency on defense with the Jets holding opponents to 9 of 21 (42.9%) and Patriots limiting foes to 9 of 19 (47.4%). For one of these teams to pull out the win, something will need to give here.
Zach Wilson vs. man coverage
The Patriots have run a solid blend of zone and man coverage this season. They've deployed man coverage on 48% of their defensive snaps and zone coverage in 46% of snaps, which is the second-most even split in the NFL. While there is a balance to New England's defense as currently viewed, it may benefit Bill Belichick to lean more heavily on man coverage with that being an area of weakness for Wilson. Against man this season, Wilson is completing 49% of his passes on 5.7 yards per attempt. He also has one touchdown and three interceptions with a passer rating of 48.6 vs. man coverage.
This spread has largely held at Patriots -7, and while that may seem like a high number for a 2-4 team, New England is simply a more talented club than the 1-4 Jets. New York has one of the worst offenses in the entire NFL, ranking second-worst in the NFL in yards per play (4.6). They've also struggled on the ground, averaging 3.6 yards per rush this season (third-worst in the NFL). Meanwhile, Mac Jones has shown steady improvement from week to week, particularly with his deep ball. Against Dallas last week, Jones had his most efficient day of the season when dropping back and throwing 20-plus yards down the field, completing all four of his throws for 144 yards and two touchdowns. New England has yet to record a win at Gillette Stadium this season, but this seems like the ideal opportunity to earn one.
Pick: Patriots 27, Jets 17