Patriots vs. Jets: 3 keys to finishing the 2023 season with a win

New England Patriots v Denver Broncos
New England Patriots v Denver Broncos / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages
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The thing about trying to identify weaknesses in a team that has lost ten games is that there are usually lots of small ones that pop up seemingly at random. For example, the last time these two teams played, the Patriots won.

But New England conceded twice as many penalties as the Jets, and neither team gave the ball away. Matt Judon was playing back in Week 3, though, so the Patriots did get to the quarterback more than the Jets did. And that seems like an excellent place to start.

Key #1: Bring the pressure to the quarterback

There are two parts to this: first up and stop the run. In Week 3, the Jets only managed 38 rushing yards on 22 attempts. That caused Zach Wilson to attempt 36 passes; that was the most he had thrown up to that point of the season. The following week, he threw 39 against the Chiefs. And the Jets lost that game, too. 

But like so many other things in the AFC East this season, the Jets' quarterback situation has been a revolving door. Zach Wilson took over from Aaron Rodgers, and then Tim Boyle took over from Zach Wilson. And then Zach Wilson was shunted back into the starting role, then Wilson received a concussion so now it appears Trevor Siemian will start his third game of the season.

The offensive line is the key to getting pressure on the quarterback. Mekhi Beckton is still at left tackle for Gang Green, and he’s allowed 12 sacks this season. That’s tied for first in the league. And the 18 penalties he’s been flagged for are the second most in the league. 

No Matt Judon is always a problem for the Patriots, and Keion White hasn’t stepped up as he should have in Judon’s absence. But Christian Barmore also recorded a sack back in Week 3. And he has stepped up recently. He’s recorded 4.5 sacks in his last four games, including three against the Broncos. If the Patriots line Barmore up against Beckton, he should be able to rush the passer consistently.