FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — The Patriots hit the practice field again on Thursday as they look to bounce back from Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins.
This week, they’ll take a short trip south to New Jersey to take on another division rival they’ve dominated in recent years. The Patriots have come out on top in their last 10 meetings with the Jets.
For the second straight day, linebacker Kyle Van Noy and offensive tackle Trent Brown were absent from practice; Van Noy is dealing with a throat issue while Brown suffered a calf injury early in the game against Miami.
Sunday’s game pits rookie QB Mac Jones — the 15th overall pick in the NFL Draft — against rookie QB Zach Wilson — the second overall pick.
“He’s comfortable, he doesn’t mind getting hit,” Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower said of Wilson. “Just got to do a good job of being on him.”
Both teams will be looking for their first win of the season after the Jets fell to the Panthers last weekend.
Ball security, eliminating mistakes the focus as Patriots prep for Jets
FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — Ball security and eliminating mistakes — those are the focus for the Patriots this week as they prepare to take on another division opponent, hoping for a different result.
Starting offensive lineman Trent Brown, who left Sunday’s game with a calf injury, was absent from Wednesday’s practice. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy was also notably absent.
Another area of focus, particularly for the offensive line, is keeping rookie quarterback Mac Jones clean after he was hit nine times in Sunday’s 17-16 loss to the Dolphins. Although this area needs work, some players expressed how this earned Jones their respect.
“I was really proud of how he handled it,” tight end Hunter Henry said. “Standing in the pocket, taking hits — that shows a lot to us.”
After falling to the Dolphins, the Patriots are now getting ready to take on the New York Jets.
The Jets have both a new coach in Robert Saleh — previously San Francisco’s defensive coordinator — and quarterback in rookie Zach Wilson out of Brigham Young University.
During his time as the Patriots’ head coach, Bill Belichick has dominated against rookie quarterbacks. He has a 21-6 record since 2000 when his team has faced a rookie signal caller.
“He’s an explosive player,” Belichick said of Wilson. “He can make all the throws.”
Both teams are 0-1 on the season, so one will earn its first win at Met Life Stadium on Sunday.