The New England Patriots just played a quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa who had never lost to Bill Belichick in his young career. He's still perfect (5-0) against the Patriots after the Miami Dolphins earned a 24-17 victory on "Sunday Night Football" in Week 2.
Week 3 presents the opposite scenario for the Patriots.
The New York Jets, who will host the Patriots at MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon, have announced they will start Zach Wilson at quarterback.
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The Patriots defense must be licking its chops.
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Wilson took over as the Jets' starting quarterback early in Week 1 when Aaron Rodgers was lost for the season with an Achilles tear. He has been one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL over the first two weeks of the campaign.
Wilson's 53.3 QB rating ranks dead last in the league. He also leads all quarterbacks with four interceptions. A couple of them have come on absolutely brutal throws, including this poor read in Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills.
The Dallas Cowboys defense dominated Wilson in Week 2 and picked him off three times in a 30-10 victory.
Forcing turnovers from Wilson is where the Patriots defense can be most effective against the Jets and help the team earn its first win of the 2022 season.
Wilson has thrown seven interceptions in four career games against the Patriots. No other team has intercepted Wilson more than three times. He also has tallied a 50.6 QB rating and a completion percentage well below 60 in these meetings.
Putting pressure on Wilson has been key to forcing him into mistakes. New England has sacked him 11 times in four matchups. Only the Buffalo Bills (12) have sacked Wilson more in his career. The Patriots also were credited with 21 QB hits in four games against Wilson since 2021.
Forcing turnovers from Wilson should give the Patriots better field position as well. New England has started just three of its 24 offensive drives through two games inside opponents' territory. One of those three drives with good starting field position was the result of a blocked field goal against the Dolphins. Two of the three interceptions Wilson threw against the Cowboys on Sunday put Dallas deep into New York territory. His only interception against the Bills also gave Buffalo great field position in Jets' territory.
Capitalizing on mistakes by Wilson and getting good field position will give the Patriots a much better chance of scoring points because driving the length of the field against the Jets defense is not easy. New York's D ranks eighth in yards per play allowed (4.8), while the Patriots offense ranks 28th in yards per play on offense (4.5).
The Jets defense has plenty of playmakers, including cornerback Sauce Gardner and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams. New York's pass rush is pretty good, too, and has totaled six sacks in two games. This is a concern for a Patriots offensive line that has played poorly and is ravaged by injuries right now.
The Patriots are road favorites against the Jets and have beaten their rivals 14 consecutives times dating back to 2015. Dropping to 0-3 would be catastrophic for the Patriots, and the best way to avoid that is making Wilson's life miserable Sunday afternoon. Bill Belichick's defense has done it four times already since 2021, so there's no excuse for failure this weekend.