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The AFC East was going to be a fight every week as all four teams believed in their chances for the divisional title going into the 2023 NFL Season. Two weeks have gone, but so much has changed for all teams, including the New England Patriots (0-2) and the New York Jets (1-1).
This Sunday, the Patriots will go on the road for the first time this season to take on their divisional rivals the Jets. The records are not indicative of how successful these two teams currently are and who will be moving forward.
New England has suffered two one-possession losses at home to the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins, both serious Super Bowl contenders. The Jets were able to defeat the Buffalo Bills in Week 1 in overtime, but lost quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the season in the process. The Jets would go on to lose on the road to the Dallas Cowboys 30-10 in Week Two.
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|New England Patriots||-2.5 (-115)||-142||O 36.5|
|New York Jets||+2.5 (-105)||+120||U 36.5|
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The Jets came into the season with all the hope in the world that their new offense, led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers would be enough to seriously compete for a second Super Bowl title in franchise history. Instead, Rodgers suffered a torn achilles, four plays into the Jets' first drive of the regular season.
Through nearly two full games into the season, the Jets possess the 27th-ranked scoring offense (16) and 29th in total yards accounted (252). The offense has stalled with former second-overall pick and third-year starting quarterback Zach Wilson bad under center.
The Patriots' defense is starting to find their football after facing two of the most talented and dynamic offenses in the league. The defense is composed of young elite playmakers and underrated established veterans.
Offensively, the Patriots come along way from last season. They are a more composed offense that has an identity. The Patriots had to overcome a downgrade of offensive production after the 2021 season when defensive coach Matt Patricia was labeled the offensive coordinator.
This season, New England is taking serious strides of improvement on offense with the hire of Bill O'Brien as the offensive coordinator. The Patriots still have some work to do one as they lack and efficient rushing offense.
It will be tough for the Patriots to develop their offense efficiently as the Jets' defense looks to turn itself back to the Jets last season. The Jets had the fourth-ranked scoring defense last season along with the third-best pass defense. Most of the success can be given to the 2022 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year cornerback Sauce Gardner.
This game has the potential to be a low-scoring game due to the highly efficient defenses and the poorly developed offenses led by young, not great quarterbacks.
The Jets haven't made their mark in terms of the same defensive productivity from last season, but it could come soon. The Jets allowed Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott to throw for 255 yards and Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen to throw for 236 yards. Patriots quarterback Mac Jones is a much less efficient passer than both Prescott and Allen. With the Patriots also trying to establish the running game, a big passing performance from Jones seems unlikely.
Second-year Jets running back Breece Hall had a great first game back from a torn ACL. In the following game, Hall only rushed for nine yards on four carries against the defense of the Cowboys. He will look to redeem himself in this game against a divisional opponent.
Last week in the 30-10 loss to the Cowboys, the Jets turned the ball over four times with three interceptions coming from quarterback Zach Wilson. While the Patriots are not as an elite defense as the Cowboys, they know how to create turnovers and capitalize on the team's mistakes. The Patriots also know how to suppress Wilson and the Jets' offense.
Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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