The New England Patriots’ 2020 season comes to an end on Sunday with a game against a familiar opponent: the New York Jets will visit Gillette Stadium, trying to get revenge for a loss earlier this season. The first meeting between the two clubs was decided 30-27 in the Patriots’ favor thanks to a last-second field goal by Nick Folk from 51 yards out.
Since then, however, a lot has changed for both clubs. Let’s therefore take a look back and see how they compare to their Week 9 versions.
The following 44 players from the teams’ last meeting on on November 9 are still on New England’s active roster:
C David Andrews, P Jake Bailey, LB Ja’Whaun Bentley, CB Justin Bethel, LB Tashawn Bower, S Terrence Brooks, DT Adam Butler, CB Myles Bryant, WR Damiere Byrd, LB Shilique Calhoun, LS Joe Cardona, DT Byron Cowart, OT Korey Cunningham, S Cody Davis, S Kyle Dugger, C James Ferentz, K Nick Folk, DT Lawrence Guy, RB Damien Harris, WR N’Keal Harry, LB Terez Hall, QB Brian Hoyer, CB J.C. Jackson, LB Anfernee Jennings, FB Jakob Johnson, CB Jonathan Jones, TE Dalton Keene, G Shaq Mason, WR Jakobi Meyers, S Devin McCourty, CB Jason McCourty, QB Cam Newton, OT Michael Onwenu, WR Gunner Olszewski, S Adrian Phillips, LB John Simon, WR Matthew Slater, QB Jarrett Stidham, RB J.J. Taylor, G Joe Thuney, RB James White, CB Joejuan Williams, LB Chase Winovich, DE Deatrich Wise Jr.
Meanwhile, the following 11 players are no longer on the Patriots’ active roster:
RB Rex Burkhead, DT Carl Davis, G Hjalte Froholdt, CB Stephon Gilmore, TE Ryan Izzo, LB Cassh Maluia, LB Derek Rivers, DT Nick Thurman, LB Josh Uche, WR Kristian Wilkerson, OT Isaiah Wynn
Offense: Patriots starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn was sent to injured reserve because of a knee ailment suffered later in November; he will be replaced by Justin Herron who himself was on IR when New England played New York the first time. Elsewhere, the young guard at the skill positions returns with N’Keal Harry, Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene all expected to play prominent roles after being out in Week 9. Sony Michel is also back, meanwhile, while Rex Burkhead will miss the remainder of the season after tearing his ACL. The Patriots are also projected to be without Damien Harris, David Andrews and Shaq Mason after they missed all practice sessions of the week.
Defense: The biggest roster change since Week 9 is Stephon Gilmore being placed on injured reserve after partially tearing his quad muscle last week. However, Gilmore was not on the field against the Jets in early November following a knee injury suffered in practice. The biggest actual change, therefore, is probably the potential return of Lawrence Guy: the veteran defensive tackle missed the first game versus New York because of a shoulder injury. Outside linebacker Josh Uche, meanwhile, will be out after getting placed on injured reserve.
Special teams: While the majority of New England’s special teams operation remains intact, the team did see a change at the returner positions. Gunner Olszewski is now only focusing on punts, while Donte Moncrief took over the kickoff role. The change has worked out well for the Patriots so far.
Coaching staff: The Patriots’ coaching staff did see one change since the last time the team went up against Buffalo: quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch left for the University of Arizona, with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels taking over his duties for the rest of the 2020 season.
The following 39 players from the teams’ last meeting on on November 9 are still on New York’s active roster:
DE Henry Anderson, CB Blessuan Austin, LB Tarell Basham, OT Mekhi Becton, WR Braxton Berrios, TE Daniel Brown, G Cameron Clark, WR Jamison Crowder, QB Sam Darnold, OT Chuma Edoga, OT George Fant, S Matthias Farley, DT Folorunso Fatukasi, K Sam Ficken, QB Joe Flacco, DE John Franklin-Myers, TE Ryan Griffin, CB Javelin Guidry, LB Bryce Hager, CB Bryce Hall, LB Bryce Huff, LS Thomas Hennessy, TE Chris Herndon, LB Neville Hewitt, CB Lamar Jackson, RB Ty Johnson, P Braden Mann, CB Arthur Maulet, S Marcus Maye, OT Connor McDermott, C Connor McGovern, QB James Morgan, WR Denzel Mims, WR Breshad Perriman, DE Nathan Shepherd, WR Jeff Smith, WR Vyncint Smith, TE Ross Travis, LB Jabari Zuniga
Meanwhile, the following 16 players are no longer on the Jets’ active roster:
G Josh Andrews, LB Blake Cashman, K Sergio Castillo, S Ashtyn Davis, RB La’Mical Perine, CB Pierre Desir, RB Frank Gore, S Bennett Jackson, LB Jordan Jenkins, LB Harvey Langi, G Alex Lewis, CB Brian Poole, DE Tanzel Smart, G Greg Van Roten, QB Mike White, DT Quinnen Williams
Offense: The Jets’ offense has seen quite a few personnel changes over the last few weeks, with the biggest obviously happening at quarterback: former first-round draft pick Sam Darnold is back in the lineup after struggling with a shoulder injury earlier during the year, replacing veteran Joe Flacco who posted a passer rating of 128.7 in Week 9 versus New England. Another prominent change happened at running back, where neither Frank Gore nor La’Mical Perine will be available — Ty Johnson is projected to take over as the lead back.
Defense: New York will be without some core defenders on all three levels. Quinnen Williams, who already missed Week 9 because of a hamstring injury, has since been sent to injured reserve due to a concussion and neck ailment; linebackers Jordan Jenkins and Harvey Langi are also on IR. The secondary, meanwhile, lost three starters in cornerbacks Brian Poole (IR) and Pierre Desir (released) as well as safety Ashtyn Davis (IR).
Special teams: Sergio Castillo made two field goals against the Patriots in early November but has since been moved back to the practice squad. In his place, the Jets employ Chase McLaughlin and Sam Ficken as their place kickers. Coverage safety Bennett Jackson, who placed 58 percent of special teams snaps in Week 9, is also out this week after being sent to injured reserve last month.
Coaching staff: After their last-second loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, the Jets decided to part ways with defensive coordinator Gregg Williams: a questionable zero blitz call on the game’s pivotal play sealed New York’s fate that day, and led the organization to make a change. Inside linebackers coach Frank Bush has since succeeded Williams as the Jets’ leading defensive assistant coach.