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Jets-Patriots Prediction: Can New York Exact Revenge in New England?

Last time the Jets faced New England, Zach Wilson threw four interceptions in a brutal loss. Will we see more of the same, or can New York bounce back from their bye week with a win on the road?

The only way for the Patriots' overtime loss to the Cowboys last week to look worse is if New England loses to the Jets on their home turf on Sunday. 

Coming off a bye week, the Jets (1-4) travel up to Foxborough to finish off the season series against their division rival.

Last time these two teams faced off, back in Week 2, the Patriots had the upper hand in a 25-6 victory. New England jumped in front early, consistently marching down the field while keeping the Jets out of the end zone.

Oh, and rookie quarterback Zach Wilson struggled immensely, throwing four interceptions. To this day, that's the worst performance of Wilson's first year with the Jets. 

So, what can we expect in Week 7? Can the Jets exact some revenge by handing New England their second straight loss? Remember, if the Jets win on Sunday, they'll leapfrog the Patriots in the standings, ending up in second place in the AFC East. 

That in mind, as you get situated for a jam-packed Sunday of football, here's this week's prediction of how the Jets will fare between the lines.

Max Goodman's prediction: Jets 19, Patriots 24

It won't take long to see if the Jets had a productive bye week.

For weeks, we've been talking about New York's inability to start strong. The numbers are staggering. The results are a clear correlation. 

That in mind, he first quarter on Sunday will tell us whether or not the Jets made a fix during their week off. Further, the first 15 minutes will decide the result of this game. 

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Either the Jets jump out early on with an efficient and effective drive, putting points on the board in the first quarter. That'll prove they were able to pinpoint the source of their first-half woes and turn that prep into production. Or, we see more of the same. Wilson and the offense will fail to move the football, punting or turning the ball over before establishing any sort of momentum.

Even if the Jets made a clear effort to address this issue during their bye week—and both coaches and players have spoken about the progress made—it's hard to believe it until we see it. I mean, we're talking about a team that has been outscored 30-0 on the season in the first quarter.

I'm prepared to be proven wrong. Maybe coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur have some tricks up their sleeves, mixing a pregame script with some spur of the moment playcalling. Maybe rookie quarterback Zach Wilson had a revelation during his film study that has him ready to do damage during his first few opportunities. Until we see it, however, I'm still expecting a scoreless first quarter and an early deficit. 

Okay, I'll give the Jets a field goal in the first quarter. Maybe another field goal in the second. But when New York heads back to the locker room losing 14-6 at halftime, it'll take another complete performance in the second half to keep this team in position to win.

While the Jets already have experience with this New England offense, I still see Mac Jones having his way, dinking and dunking the Jets defense all afternoon. Last time against the Patriots, New York's defense held New England to just 260 total yards. Coming off back-to-back games allowing 400-plus yards, I think the Jets will keep the Pats right around the 350-yard mark. Jones will throw for 250, his fifth straight game with 200-plus yards through the air. 

As for Wilson, the rookie will have a solid day. He'll make the easy throws, showing he is making progress in reading the defense and utilizing his checkdowns. But with New York trying to play catch-up late in the second half, that's when Bill Belichick's defense will pounce. Wilson will end up throwing two interceptions, trying his best to make something happen and bring his team back into striking distance. 

It's worth noting that New York's running game has been practically nonexistent since Gang Green's loss to the Patriots in Week 2. They had 152 yards on the ground in that game and haven't had more than 67 rushing yards in any other contest this season. 

New England will be prepared on Sunday, ready to stop the run early and force Wilson to beat them through the air. He's done it before, and will showcase his ability to move out of the pocket and make strong throws down the field, but against this defense, the margin for error is very slim.

MORE: Jets' LB C.J. Mosley Inactive vs. Patriots

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