By Danny Cox
An early two-game winning streak made it seem as if the New England Patriots knew their place in the NFL and were focused on yet another championship. Then they lost to the Carolina Panthers due to horrible defensive play, only to have the defense help them defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the next week. Now, they’re heading into a road contest that will see them face a divisional rival in the New York Jets, who are one of the league’s hottest teams right now.
New York Jets Season Record: 3-2
Opening the season with a loss to the Buffalo Bills was one thing, but being routed by the Oakland Raiders 45-20 made it seem as if it was going to be a very long season in New York. Three games later, the Jets have defeated the Dolphins, Browns, and AFC South-leading Jacksonville Jaguars en route to a three-game winning streak.
Jets On Offense
Offensively, it appears as if the New York Jets have finally found stability at quarterback after many years of wondering where they could possibly turn next. Sure, Josh McCown isn’t delivering huge numbers as he only has three touchdowns, three interceptions, and has been sacked 12 times in five games—but he brings leadership. The veteran brings experience and knows how to keep his team together to do what needs to be done to win.
Matt Forte has been dealing with a turf toe issue, but the Jets have two other talented running backs in Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire. That’s the dangerous thing about this Jets team—they have a lot of weapons and everyone knows how to work together.
Jets On Defense
New York doesn’t cause a lot of turnovers as they only have four total on the year, and they’re all by way of interceptions. The Jets don’t rack up a lot of sacks either, as they only have six as a team through five games. Still, somehow, some way, New York knows how to do enough to get the job done and pull ahead by the time the clock strikes zero.
Three out of five games this season, the Jets have allowed more than 20 points, and even gave up 45 to Oakland. Only once have they held a team to single-digit scoring, but it’s not a huge accomplishment to force the Dolphins to do that. That is where Tom Brady needs to realize that if he has all his players on the same page, the Patriots can run up the score on this Jets defense.
Jets Players To Watch: WR Jermaine Kearse and LB Demario Davis
It may be only his first season in New York, but wide receiver Jermaine Kearse has already found his place with 18 receptions for 182 yards. He leads the team in receiving touchdowns with two and is heading towards what could be a career season for the veteran. He’s big and quick and is easily the No. 1 target for McCown.
After one season in Cleveland, linebacker Demario Davis found his way back home to the Jets. After less than 100 total tackles in each of the last two seasons, he already has 40 through just five games so far this year. The rightside linebacker is a ballhawk who always knows where he is supposed to be, and he could cause a lot of headaches for the offensive line of New England.
The New England Patriots are a very good team with a lot of great players, but there is still something keeping them from knowing just what type of team they are. Five weeks through the season, the offense is running like a well-oiled machine while the defense is hapless. The week the defense picks it up, the offense falters in numerous aspects. The Pats will need to play a solid 60 minutes on both sides of the ball if they don’t want to fall back to .500 and are looking to stop the New York Jets’ winning streak.