The bye week is over and now the Patriots turn their attention to the New York Jets for the second time in three games. With consecutive wins, the Patriots find themselves holding the final playoff spot in a crowded AFC and would be able to gain an important tiebreaker with a win on Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
The last time we saw these two teams play the day before Halloween, the Patriots were able to emerge from the Meadowlands with a victory but it sure wasn’t pretty. The Jets defense made Mac Jones look uncomfortable for most of the afternoon, but Zach Wilson’s three interceptions doomed the Jets.
Key matchups for the Patriots in week eleven
Patriots interior offensive line vs. Jets defensive tackles
What a mess the Patriots’ line was in week eight’s matchup against the Jets. Mac Jones was sacked six times and the Patriots were only able to average 3.7 yards per carry. A big reason for that poor performance has been attributed to the absence of center David Andrews who was missing the first of two games after suffering a concussion against Chicago. James Ferentz filled in for Andrews and surrendered two sacks while Cole Strange was benched after giving up a sack, a quarterback hit and committing two holding penalties. His replacement, Isaiah Wynn, also gave up a sack. Not great.
Quinnen Williams has been a beast this year with seven sacks from his defensive tackle spot and was all over the field in the last matchup registering a sack, five tackles and three quarterback hits. However, he also had help. Tackle Michael Clemons had a sack and three tackles in only 14 snaps while Nathan Shepherd added a sack and three tackles of his own. If the Patriots want to move the ball on Sunday, they will need a much better performance up front and hopefully the return of Andrews helps.