The last time the New York Jets defeated the New England Patriots, Barack Obama was president and the NFL still had franchises in San Diego and St. Louis.
It was Dec. 27, 2015, when Ryan Fitzpatrick hit Eric Decker for a Jets touchdown in overtime after Bill Belichick told his captains to kick it away if New England won the coin toss.
The Patriots have beaten the Jets 14 straight times since then, and after a winless start to the 2023 season, they will set their sights on Zach Wilson and try for No. 15 on Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J.
If New England (0-2) wins, it will match the Kansas City Chiefs’ 15-game run against the Denver Broncos as the longest active winning streaks against one opponent.
But the Patriots just had another streak come to an end with their 24-17 Sunday night loss to the Miami Dolphins. They are 0-2 to start a season for the first time since 2001, the year Drew Bledsoe got hurt (against the Jets) and backup Tom Brady stepped in.
Mac Jones leads the league in pass attempts, having completed 66 of 96 throws for 547 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions through two games. The Patriots have gained just 164 yards on the ground, sixth fewest in the league, but Belichick does not believe the imbalance is a pattern at this stage.
“We’ve won games throwing three passes and we’ve won games throwing 50 passes,” Belichick said. “So do what you need to do to win.”
Jones said he needs to improve but isn’t going to press.
“What’s the play? What’s my job?” Jones said he asks himself. “How can I do it really well? And how can I bring others with me?”
Starting left tackle Trent Brown missed Week 2 with a concussion but returned as a limited participant at Wednesday’s practice. Cornerback Marcus Jones (shoulder) was out while defensive lineman Christian Barmore (knee), defensive back Jonathan Jones (ankle), wide receiver DeVante Parker (knee) and offensive linemen Mike Onwenu (ankle), Sidy Sow (concussion) and Cole Strange (knee) were also limited.
For the Jets (1-1), the loss of Aaron Rodgers in the season opener created an emotional nosedive. After beating the Buffalo Bills on a walk-off punt return TD in overtime, the Jets were handed a 30-10 loss by the Dallas Cowboys.
Wilson went 12-for-27 passing for 170 yards and a touchdown against Dallas but threw interceptions on each of the final three drives with the loss already secured. He was sacked three times and constantly under pressure, placing the Jets’ offensive line under the microscope.
Center Connor McGovern said Wilson is “a damn good player” when his confidence is high.
“It’s tough to have his confidence be high when, on the first third down, he gets sacked within 2 1/2 seconds or something crazy. That’s on the O-line,” McGovern said.
The Jets’ young core has not been part of many defeats to New England, but players recognize the losing streak and want to start their own history.
“It’s time that things change around here,” wide receiver Garrett Wilson said on an ESPN New York radio appearance. “I don’t like talking about it too much, but this is one of the first steps. Fourteen straight is unacceptable. That’s unacceptable. I’m 0-2 against them. That’s unacceptable.”
Left tackle Duane Brown (shoulder, hip) missed Wednesday’s practice, as did safety Tony Adams (hamstring), defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers (hip) and kicker Greg Zuerlein (right groin). Austin Seibert was elevated from the practice squad to handle kicking duties in Week 2 when Zuerlein couldn’t go.
Right tackle Mekhi Becton (knee), running back Breece Hall (knee), linebacker Quincy Williams (knee) and cornerback Michael Carter II (elbow) were limited Wednesday.