Sunday’s defeat in Dallas was disappointing for everyone, but we need to keep some perspective. The Jets have played two of the better teams in the NFL, and currently sit 1-1 which includes a 1-0 record in the division.

This weekend, they’ll get the opportunity to go above .500 and remain unbeaten in the AFC East with the New England Patriots coming to town.

Bill Belichick and the Patriots always present a great challenge, and despite being 0-2, they can’t be underestimated. You know they’re going to be tough and physical, and you know they’re going to be well coached.

Recent history doesn’t look good for the Jets with New York carrying a 14-game losing streak against the Patriots into this matchup. All streaks, good and bad, are there to be broken, and that’s the aim this weekend.

Here are my three keys to the game.

1. Winning the turnover battle

In week one, the Jets were able to make life uncomfortable for Josh Allen, forcing the Bills into four turnovers, and while they failed to record a takeaway against Dallas they had opportunities to do so.

Sauce Gardner dropped a would-be interception and a forced fumble was recovered on a heads-up play by Cowboys centre Tyler Biadasz. While not forcing a turnover is frustrating, not creating the opportunities for turnovers would be significantly worse.

This week they face the Patriots, who have recorded just two takeaways in the first two games, and have given the ball away on four occasions, meaning they have a -2 turnover differential.

The Jets largely protected the football in week one, but late turnovers while chasing the game against Dallas means they’re also at a minus turnover differential (-1).

Winning the turnover battle is important in every game; in divisional games destined to be close, it’s absolutely vital.

2. Offensive line communication

The Jets preparations for the season were less than ideal considering the starting offensive line was unable to play together due to injuries.

It’s been a difficult start to the season for the unit, but there is reason for optimism. So far everyone has come through healthy and they’ve also played two of the best defensive fronts in football.

With repetition comes cohesiveness, and everyone is hoping that the chemistry needed to operate at a high level will develop over the coming weeks.

Communication is always key, but it’s especially so when the opposition likes to blitz. Identifying where the blitz is coming from and communicating assignments is imperative to give the QB an opportunity to make plays down the field.

The New England Patriots have blitzed on 44.3% of snaps this year, only the Minnesota Vikings have blitzed more through the first two weeks (49.3%).

The Jets have allowed pressure on 33.3% of dropbacks through the first two games of the season, that’s the 2nd highest rate in the NFL ahead of only the San Francisco 49ers (40%).

Despite the high blitz intensity, the Patriots have recorded just 4 sacks and the Jets will be hoping to keep that number down on Sunday.

3. Establishing the ground game

The Jets run game did not produce the desired outcome during Sunday’s defeat in Dallas, but sometimes circumstances and game situation dictate the play-calling.

The Patriots are allowing 121 rushing yards per game so far this year and Raheem Mostert had 121 yards himself last week as the Miami Dolphins came out victorious 24-17.

Establishing the ground game early will open opportunities for Zach Wilson to make plays through the air, especially off play-action. While the Patriots may load the box in an attempt to stop Cook and Hall, the Jets have the personnel up-front to create lanes.

Breece Hall has shown himself to be both powerful and elusive; if he’s fed the ball early, it may be a long afternoon for the Patriots run defence.

The Jets average 3.0 yards after contact on rushes, which is the 2nd best mark in football through the first two weeks, and a large part of that is Hall’s ability to run through arm-tackles.

It’s important that the Jets keep faith with the run-game even if it experiences early struggles. As Coach Saleh said this week, it’s important for the defence to get off the field on third-down to present an opportunity for the Jets to run more offensive plays and generate some rhythm, that’s with the unit as a whole, but the offensive line in particular.