Patriots at Jets score, takeaways: New England shuts out New York as defense continues dominance
The Patriots are now 7-0 on the season after defeating the Jets 33-0 Monday night at MetLife Stadium.
New England was able to get on Adam Gase’s team from the jump, going on a 16-play drive to begin the game that culminated in a touchdown from Sony Michel, his first of three scores on the night. He also put up 42 yards on he ground. Tom Brady, meanwhile, was able to keep the offense moving completing 31 of his 45 passes for 249 yards, a touchdown and a pick.
In the end, however, the defense continues to be the story for the Patriots as they were able to post their second shutout of the season. They created constant pressure on Sam Darnold and forced him to throw four interceptions to go along with a fumble. For the game, Darnold completed just eleven of his 32 passes for 86 yards along with those turnovers.
Le’Veon Bell was able to find some success in this game rushing for 70 yards on 4.7 yards per-carry, but it wasn’t enough on this night.
The Patriots barely worked up a sweat against the Jets, but can they finish the season unbeaten? John Breech, Ryan Wilson and Sean Wagner-McGough join host Will Brinson to break it all down on the Pick Six Podcast; listen below and subscribe right here for daily NFL goodness fired into your eardrums.
Why the Patriots won: Have you seen their defense? New England came in with one of the top-ranked units in the league, and it absolutely smothered Adam Gases’s favorite side of the ball. (We refuse to call what the Jets put forth on Monday night “offense.”) Sam Darnold was painfully off the mark, yes, but a defense also doesn’t force five turnovers by accident. For crying out loud, Bill Belichick’s fearsome defenders limited New York to a measly 154 yards from scrimmage on 53 plays — a pitiful average of 2.9 per play. Because of the defensive dominance, Tom Brady didn’t even have to come close to playing superhero, finishing with pedestrian numbers after an early-game dime touchdown pass to Phillip Dorsett. Devin McCourty, Kyle Van Noy and a handful of others deserve the game ball for making the Jets look like a high-school squad, and the special-teams unit put the icing on the Jets’ cake of embarrassment with a sixth takeaway in the fourth.
Why the Jets lost: The scoreboard makes it look like Brady had a field day throwing up and down the field, but while the Pats did pad an early lead thanks to a deep TD pass, Gregg Williams’ pass rush had No. 12 uncomfortable for several stretches of the night. The Jets lost, then, because their offense reverted all the way back to the Luke Falk era (remember those days?). It sounds like the straight inverse of what the Patriots did well to win (big defensive plays), but honestly, New York did so little in Monday night’s game that Darnold and Co.’s ineptitude is worth highlighting twice. If not for their five giveaways (four picks and a fumble), it seriously may have been a close game. Darnold, in particular, was atrocious, throwing off-balance all night en route to this final stat line: 11 of 32 for 86 yards, zero TDs and four INTs.
Turning point: The Patriots took their sweet time moving the ball down the field on their opening drive, going 16 plays and 78 yards for the first points of the game, but it was what they did almost immediately after that opening touchdown that sent Darnold and the Jets spiraling out of control. Backed up to its own 10 after a penalty on the ensuing kick return, New York managed just one play from scrimmage before Darnold tossed his first pick to safety Devin McCourty, giving the Pats possession at the 12-yard line, setting up a 10-0 New England lead and digging the Jets an early and inescapable hole.
Play of the game: Pretty much every turnover by the Jets was a masterful display of pressure affecting an opposing QB, and Brady was far from the main reason the Patriots blew their rivals out of the water, but Tom’s terrific floater to Dorsett to put New England up 17-0 early in the game was one of the best throw-and-catch highlights of the evening.
Darnold was mic’d-up for Monday night’s game, and he probably started wishing he wasn’t within the first few minutes of action. That line, in particular, though, captured by ESPN’s broadcast following one of his four interceptions, might follow Darnold for weeks, months, maybe even years. It’s just not something you ever, ever, ever want your franchise quarterback to be saying, let alone in his second pro season, under the lights of prime time. It’s indicative, though, of how broken these Jets are.
What’s next: The Patriots (7-0) will return home in Week 8 on Sunday, Oct. 27, for a 4:25 p.m. ET matchup with Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns (2-4), who are desperate to rebound after a much-needed bye week. The Jets (1-5), meanwhile, will begin a two-game road trip against the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4) that same day, taking on Gardner Minshew and Co. at 1 p.m. ET.