Behind Enemy Lines: Previewing Week 2 with Patriots Wire

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The Jets and Patriots will meet Sunday as fans return to MetLife Stadium to see Gang Green in regular season action for the first time since 2019.

Week 2 will also be the first matchup between first-round rookie quarterbacks Zach Wilson and Mac Jones. To get an inside look at Jones’ debut chapter and what could be in store for the Jets this weekend, we spoke with Henry McKenna, the managing editor at Patriots Wire.

What impressed you most about Mac Jones in his debut?

(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

He was exactly what he was billed to be: quick to deliver the ball and efficient. His completion percentage (74.4%) was the highest ever by a rookie with more than 25 passes in their first NFL start. Jones didn't turn the ball over, even though he seemed to panic on his first dropback when he fumbled. Jones was the safe and smart game-manager that we saw in training camp and the preseason. It's good to see him ready for NFL speed, even when he was getting hammered with constant pressure and nine quarterback hits.

What about his performance was concerning?

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

It took him about 25 minutes to complete a pass that netted more than 20 yards. He's sometimes too safe. And it's clear New England is urging him to be as conservative as possible, which limits the offense. As Jones continues to get comfortable in the offense, it would be nice to see him drive the ball downfield, something we started to see in the second half. But because the Patriots relied upon their run game, Jones never really made a highlight-reel play. He may not for a few weeks, considering how much the Patriots are using scheme to protect him from himself.

What are expectations for Damien Harris after an up and down Week 1?

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it was a monster week... until his 23rd carry when he fumbled the ball and, in turn, cost the Patriots a chance at a win. Harris was on the 9-yard line with about three minutes left in the game. New England was trailing one point. All the Pats needed was a field goal and a defensive stop. Instead, Harris fumbled. Sometimes, a fumble can cost an RB a job in New England. So we'll see how the Patriots proceed with him in Week 2. It's likely they brush it off, giving him another shot at getting over 100 yards. If that's the case (and he continues to protect the football), Harris could put together a big season on the ground. Maybe 1,200 rushing yards.

What has Bill Belichick had to say about Zach Wilson?

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

In classic Belichick fashion, the coach is killing the Jets with kindness. Here are Belichick's comments from Wednesday: "He's an explosive player. He's got a great arm. Live arm. Makes all the throws. Athletic. Like any young player, you know, they gain experience and get better every time they go out there." That's honestly not all that different from what Belichick said about Sam Darnold, Dwayne Haskins and Jared Goff. Interpret the comments as you'd like.

There’s a lot of new faces in this rivalry. How do you imagine it playing out over the next few years?

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

It's exciting. Jones and Wilson are total opposites as far as quarterback prospects go. New York and New England are fairly different as far as franchises go. So I'm looking forward to seeing how each signal-caller develops. Are we going to see a turning of the tide in the AFC East? Or are these two moves going to resolidify New England's power over New York? It's anyone's guess.

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