Let’s take a closer look at the Jets opponent this week:
Head coach: Bill Belichick (18th season); Offensive coordinator: Josh McDaniels; Defensive coordinator: Matt Patricia
Overview: The Patriots have gotten off to a slow start after entering the season with huge expectations. People were predicting them to go 16-0, but they have lost two and won two close games. Their defense is ranked the worst in the NFL right now.
Best offensive player: Guess who? Quarterback Tom Brady is still rolling at 40 years old. He is leading the league in yards, is second in passer rating and is third in touchdown passes. Brady has dealt with an AC sprain in his left shoulder that has kept him out of practice this week, but he will play Sunday.
Best defensive player: The Patriots defense has not played well overall, but defensive end Trey Flowers is having a good season. Flowers has 3 ½ sacks and a forced fumble, picking up where he left off last year.
Biggest offensive concern: Brady is getting hit – a lot. The Patriots have given up 16 sacks and 32 hits on Brady. He injured his shoulder last week against the Buccaneers on one of those hits. The Jets always stress hitting Brady. They should be able to get some hits this year.
Biggest defensive concern: The Patriots have not gotten much of a pass rush. They have 10 sacks, ranked 24th in the league. There have been issues in the secondary, but those can be solved with better communication. The pass rush could be a real problem.
Injury to watch: Tight end Rob Gronkowski missed last week’s game with a thigh injury. He did not practice Wednesday either, but the expectation is that he will play Sunday.
Coach’s quote: “Well, you know, our record is what it is. Right now, we’re focused on getting ready for the Jets and a big division game down in New York. So, we’re not really worried about the past. We’re trying to do the best we can to get ready for the Jets this week.” – Bill Belichick on how the Patriots have played this year.