It doesn’t get any easier for the New York Jets as they get set to host the New England Patriots in Week 3 action on Sunday evening.

New York is coming off a 30-10 defeat against the Dallas Cowboys and now takes on a Patriots team led by mastermind head coach Bill Belichick. The Jets have lost 14-consecutive games to their AFC rival.

But this New England team could offer the Jets a chance to get back into the win column. The Patriots have opened the year with back-to-back losses to Philadelphia and Miami and are looking to avoid a first 0-3 start under Belichick since his opening campaign with the team back in 2000.

Zach Wilson enjoyed some highs against the Cowboys but the offense, as a whole, will need to produce more than the 10 points scored in Texas. Belichick has made a career out of feasting on young quarterbacks, so it has to be a team effort to assist Wilson. Look for Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook to feature much more heavily after combining just for just eight runs in Week 2 against Dallas.

Defensively, the Jets flew to the football once again in Week 2 and kept the game competitive into the third quarter. This unit plays with so much passion and fire and they will surely make life difficult for a New England attack that has yet to hit top gear with Mac Jones at quarterback.

The Jets have every chance of holding New England – who lack explosive difference-makers at the skill positions – below 20 points in this game. If that happens, and the offense finds its feet, the Jets could enjoy a morale-boosting victory to move to 2-1 on the season, and an impressive 2-0 in the division.

New York Jets – Player to Watch

Garrett Wilson – Wide Receiver… While the Jets must find balance through the run and be cautious in attacking an opportunistic New England secondary, they also have to find ways to get the ball into the hands of their best offensive player. Garrett Wilson caught an acrobatic touchdown against the Bills in Week 1 and proved he can score from anywhere on the field in Week 2. He must be worked into the attack at all costs.

New England Patriots – Player to Watch

Matthew Judon – Edge Rusher… The Cowboys wreaked havoc on the Jets with a fierce pass rush in Week 2 and more of the same can be expected this weekend. How the Jets deal with Matthew Judon will be key. The Pro Bowl star leads the Patriots with two sacks this season and has 30 dating back to 2021 – fourth-best in the NFL.

Stat Attack!

Keep an eye on these two NFL-elite defenders. Cornerback Sauce Gardner leads the NFL with 21 pass defenses dating back to the start of last season. In the same period of time, defensive tackle Quinnen Williams has recorded 12 sacks – third-most among interior defensive linemen in the league.

Keys to the game

The Jets will need to lean heavily on their defense and they certainly have the horses to make it a difficult day at the office for Mac Jones. A strong showing on that side of the ball should allow New York to play things closer to the vest on offense, easing some pressure on Wilson.

Hall and Dalvin Cook must be used to establish the run and once the defensive backs sneak up to assist in defending that approach, then Wilson to Wilson becomes a factor. There is no doubt that New England are a very tricky opponent on defense, but when it comes to their offense they are a shadow of their former selves.

The Jets need to play the current team and not New England’s historic past. And they have to continue to move forward despite that early-season trauma of losing Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. Every win will go some way to easing that particular pain and this is a close-to-call game that is there for the taking.