Week 7 was equal parts insult and injury for the New York Jets, who took a 54-13 beatdown from the New England Patriots in Foxborough. Zach Wilson left the game in the second quarter after taking a couple of awkward falls on hits to the lower body, and the defense caved to New England's balanced attack.
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Mac Jones has strung together consecutive strong performances after last week’s game against Dallas and this Sunday against New York. This was his first career 300-yard game, and 14 of his 24 completions went for a first down. The rookie QB had no turnover-worthy plays.
Damien Harris dominated the Jets run defense with a 7.6 yards per carry average and half of his 14 carries going for first downs. He scored a touchdown in each half, and he owes many thanks to the run scheme and offensive line, with almost two-thirds of his yards coming before contact.
Jones spread the wealth against the Jets' soft coverage, repeatedly finding receivers in the holes of the defense. Five different Patriots logged more than 40 yards through the air, with Kendrick Bourne leading all receivers with 68 yards on just four targets.
New England has operated on a mantra of pass rush by committee, hoping that one-on-one opportunities will provide returns in the aggregate. Christian Barmore logged a team-leading four pressures as a result, and Daniel Ekuale had the lone sack of the position group.
With the way New England likes to match up bodies based on personnel, there will often be some variance in the way second-level defenders perform for the Patriots. The unit had two stops and a tackle for loss against the run, along with a QB hit, and allowed just 38 yards in coverage.
J.C. Jackson should continue to climb the ranks of best corners in the sport, allowing only half of his eight targets to be completed for a total of 37 yards. The fourth-year corner added an interception.
Zach Wilson wasn’t having the best performance before being ruled out of Sunday’s game, with an average depth of target at 4.7 yards and 5.1 yards per attempt on his 11 dropbacks. Mike White took over and worked through the end of the second and beginning of the third quarter efficiently. Eventually New England took advantage of the backup with two interceptions.
Michael Carter couldn’t find much airspace on the ground against the Patriots’ odd front, single-high defense. On his 11 carries, he had more yards after contact (41) than total yards rushing (37).
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Corey Davis’ name came up as a potential trade option for the Jets, but he went on the field and showed exactly why he’s likely too valuable to move on from at this stage in the season. His 47 yards on six targets led all Jets wide receivers, and his average depth of target (12.3) suggests he’s the only consistent downfield option for this offense.
A pressure on Wilson ultimately ended his day early, but the Jets have made some real improvements up front over the last few weeks. As a team, New York allowed just six pressures from New England and one QB hit.
Quinnen Williams had four pressures on Sunday and was productive for the Jets up front. The point has been beaten down plenty, but without an edge like Carl Lawson on roster, there isn’t nearly enough to consistently affect the QB and protect the defenders in coverage.
Attacking the second level was a point of emphasis for New England, and the offense executed. The offense had over 100 yards through the air attacking linebackers, completing all but one of nine targets. The average depth of tackle on runs was four and a half yards up the field, but the unit did find its way to a sack and two hurries in blitzing opportunities.
Marcus Maye was the unlucky member of the secondary this week, being attacked through the air to the tune of 97 yards and a touchdown allowed on seven coverage targets. Four of the receptions were explosive gains of 15 or more yards, and 71% of his catches allowed resulted in a touchdown or first down.