The New England Patriots last faced off with the New York Jets in Gillette Stadium on Oct. 24, 2021. This game saw the Patriots dominate in a 54-13 win.
Let’s see what has changed since then.
The following 32 players were on New England’s game-day roster for that 2021 meeting and are still on the active roster in 2022:
QB Mac Jones, RB Damien Harris, RB Rhamondre Stevenson, WR Jakobi Meyers, WR Kendrick Bourne, WR Nelson Agholor, TE Hunter Henry, TE Jonnu Smith, OT Trent Brown, OT Isaiah Wynn, G Michael Onwenu, C David Andrews, OL James Ferentz, DL Daniel Ekuale, DL Lawrence Guy, DE Dietrich Wise Jr., DT Davon Godchaux, DT Carl Davis, DL Christian Barmore, OLB Matthew Judon, OLB Josh Uche, LB Ja’Whaun Bentley, LB Jahlani Tavai, CB Shaun Wade, CB Jalen Mills, CB Myles Bryant, S Kyle Dugger, S Adrian Phillips, S Devin McCourty, K Nick Folk, P Jake Bailey, LS Joe Cardona, ST Matthew Slater
Offense: The quarterback room is pretty much the same as last year with the addition of one Bailey Zappe and a recent quarterback controversy. Mac Jones was named the starter for this game, but do not be surprised if Zappe ends up entering in case the sophomore quarterback struggles again.
The same continuity can also be found at running back, even though Brandon Bolden is now in Las Vegas. Rhamondre Stevenson will likely be the feature back with Damien Harris still continuing to see work. Pierre Strong Jr. or Kevin Harris will be the third active back in this game.
The receiving corps still features the likes of Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor. DeVante Parker was added to the mix and will see heavy action on the outside. Rookie Tyquan Thornton will also play a major role in this game, especially if Bourne is forced to sit with injury. Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith are still the two tight ends and figure to rotate in and out.
The offensive line retains four players who are starters this year, but some shifting has been done. Trent Brown is manning the left side with rookie Cole Strange taking over at left guard. David Andrews remains as the center and is a vocal leader on the offense. Michael Onwenu takes over at the starting right guard and Isaiah Wynn slides over to right tackle. Andrews left last game with a concussion and Wynn missed it with an injured shoulder. This would mean James Ferentz would likely get the not at center and Marcus Cannon at right tackle if both normal starters are unable to go.
No longer with the team are Ted Karras and Shaq Mason, who started at left and right guard, respectively, the last time these teams met.
Defense: The defense retains a lot of the same players especially on the defensive line. Deatrich Wise Jr., Christian Barmore, Lawrence Guy and Davon Godchaux all continue to play prominent roles. Daniel Ekuale and Carl Davis could see expanded roles if Barmore is out with a knee injury. Rookie Sam Roberts is also in the mix and could see limited work.
The most significant change has come at linebacker, where the likes of Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy are no longer with the team. For comparison, Matthew Judon and Ja’Whaun Bentley still are and continue seeing a ton of work. Jahlani Tavai has turned into a player who is on the field a lot defensively, while Mack Wilson and Raekwon McMillan have also been added to the group and see different roles depending on the week. Like McMillan, Anfernee Jennings was not on the active roster last year as he was on IR but will be in action on Sunday as a rotational pass rusher along with the potentially returning Josh Uche.
Jalen Mills, Myles Bryant and Shaun Wade all remain at cornerback with Jonathan Jones returning after he not play in the game against the Jets last year while on injured reserve. Rookies Jack and Marcus Jones join this group and figure to have an impact on this game. They will help fill the void created by the departure of last year’s starting CB, J.C. Jackson.
The same three safeties will see a ton of playing time in Devin McCourty, Kyle Dugger and Adrian Phillips; Dugger and Phillips, however, left the game last week with injuries. This means more Jabrill Peppers, an offseason acquisition, and possibly some game action for Joshuah Bledsoe.
Special Teams: The special teams unit is almost identical to last season with Nick Folk and Jake Bailey handling the kicking and punting duties. Joe Cardona continues to be a reliable long snapper, while Matthew Slater is a mainstay on the coverage units.
New additions to the unit are undrafted rookies Brenden Schooler, DaMarcus Mitchell and Raleigh Webb who have been menaces on the coverage teams and are helping replace the since-released Justin Bethel as well as the injured Cody Davis. The new kick returner is Marcus Jones, taking over for Gunner Olszewski.
Coaching: Bill Belichick remains as the head coach, but he has a new signal caller on offense in Matt Patricia. He essentially replaced Josh McDaniels who left to coach the Las Vegas Raiders. Joe Judge returned as the quarterbacks coach and as an offensive assistant. Ivan Fears retired and Vinnie Sunseri took over as the running backs coach.
The defensive side of things stays the same with the likes of Jerod Mayo, Steve and Brian Belichick and Demarcus Covington. Cameron Achord is the special teams coordinator with Joe Houston as an assistant.
The following 28 players were on New York’s game-day roster for that 2021 meeting and are still on the active roster in 2022:
QB Zach Wilson, QB Mike White, RB Michael Carter, RB Ty Johnson, WR Corey Davis, WR Denzel Mims, WR Braxton Berrios, WR Jeff Smith, WR Elijah Moore, C Connor McGovern, OL Dan Feeney, DL Quinnen Williams, DE Bryce Huff, DE John Franklin-Myers, DT Sheldon Rankins, DT Micheal Clemons, DT Nathan Shepherd, OLB Quincy Williams, LB CJ Mosely, LB Jamien Sherwood, CB Lamarcus Joyner, CB Bryce Hall, CB Michael Carter, CB Brandin Echols, S Will Parks, S Ashtyn Davis, P Braden Mann, LS Thomas Hennessy
Offense: The quarterback room is almost the same as last October with Zach Wilson leading the team and Mike White still around in a backup capacity. Joe Flacco is also part of the group.
Michael Carter will be the primary running back again just like last season. This is mainly because rookie sensation Breece Hall went down with an ACL injury and is out for the season. In wake of that, James Robinson was acquired in a trade for draft compensation and will serve as the backup.
Five wide receivers return for the Jets, but they have a new number one. Rookie Garrett Wilson is a stud and is their top guy alongside Corey Davis. Elijah Moore would likely man the slot if he is on the field. The new tight ends are Tyler Conklin and C.J. Uzomah. They replace Ryan Griffin and Tyler Kroft.
The offensive line has shifted a bunch due to injuries and free agency additions. Duane Brown is at left tackle with Laken Tomlinson at left guard. Connor McGovern shifts over to center with Nate Herbig at right guard. The right tackle is Cedric Ogbuehi on what has been an improved offensive line this season.
Defense: Three of their four starting defensive linemen from last season return in John Franklin-Myers, Sheldon Rankins and Quinnen Williams. The newcomer is Carl Lawson at defensive end. Bryce Huff, Solomon Thomas and Vinny Curry all will rotate in for reps as well.
The linebacking group also returns two starters from last season with Quincy Williams and C.J. Mosley. The latter, however, was inactive for the game against the Patriots. Kwon Alexander was brought in to start alongside them on the outside. Jamien Sherwood and Marcell Harris will also see reps in this unit.
The secondary is the part of the defense that has changed the most for the Jets. Their top two cornerbacks are standout rookie Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner and D.J. Reed. The backups are last year's starters Bryce Hall and Brandin Echols. Lamarcus Joyner returns at safety and welcomes in Jordan Whitehead to start alongside him over Ashtyn Davis.
Special Teams: The Jets special teams unit also returns a bunch of guys like punter Braden Mann and long snapper Thomas Hennessy. Braxton Berrios also returns as the primary returner on kickoffs and punt returns.
The new member of the group is kicker Greg Zuerlein, who has a massive leg and is replacing Matt Ammendola. This could make a difference on Sunday as New York struggled in the kicking game last year.
Coaching: The coaching staff is the exact same with Robert Salah running the show for the second year in a row. Mike LaFleur is the offensive coordinator and has established the run game well thus far this season. Miles Austin is the receivers coach and is really the only big-name positions coach on the staff.
Defensively Jeff Ulbrich remains as the play-caller. Salah definitely has his fingerprints all over the defense as well, but Ulbrich is his right-hand man. The special teams coordinator is Brant Boyer who returns with 11 years of experience.