The New England Patriots will be facing the New York Jets for the second time this season on Sunday. However, this is a different looking team than a few weeks ago.
On Saturday, the New England Patriots will be facing the New York Jets for the second time this season. A few weeks ago, the Jets actually gave the Patriots a run for their money at home. The Patriots were able to defeat the Jets by a score of 22-17, but they did trail surprisingly.
In that game, the Jets had Ryan Fitzpatrick as their starter quarterback. Fitzpatrick actually played surprisingly well in that game considering how poorly he was doing for most of the season. Since then, the Jets have given the starting quarterback job to second-year player Bryce Petty.
Petty is learning on the job but does have some physical tools that the Jets like. In a recent loss to the Miami Dolphins, Petty was nearly broken in half by Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh. Despite the big hit, Petty is hopeful to play against the Patriots.
With Petty as the starting quarterback, a young wide receiver has emerged as his favorite target. Instead of Brandon Marshall or Quincy Enunwa getting most of the targets like the last time the two teams met, it has been rookie Robby Anderson. With more targets, Anderson has played well the past few weeks.
Since the game against the Patriots, Anderson has totaled 14 receptions, and two receiving touchdowns. If Petty is indeed under center, Anderson will likely continue to be his favorite target.
In addition to changes in the passing game, the Jets have also had a new lead running back. With Matt Forte being a bit banged up, Bilal Powell has emerged as the new featured back for the Jets. Against the San Francisco 49ers, Powell was able to have his best game of the season. In the win, Powell totaled 145 rushing yards, 34 receiving yards, and two rushing touchdowns.
Even in the loss to the Dolphins, Powell did his part to help the Jets. He was able to total 84 rushing yards and 78 receiving yards. Powell was frequently targeted in the passing game, as he totaled 11 receptions. For the Patriots on Saturday, stopping Powell will have to be priority No. 1.
The Jets obviously don’t have much to play for. However, they do seem to have a knack for showing up against the Patriots. As a big favorite at home, the Patriots can make the Jets go into a shell if they jump them with an early lead.