The Patriots snuck by the New York Jets, winning the game 24-17. The Pats were able to overcome their early struggles in the first half, where they fell behind 14-0.
Here are 5 takeaways from yesterday’s game.
- Tom Brady was not as accurate as the Patriots need him to be
Brady finished the game with 257 passing yards to go along with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Surprisingly, Brady had a completion percentage of around 50, which is a drop from 75% in Week 5. Throughout the game, Brady missed multiple throws, and some of his attempts were either behind his receivers or very low. The Patriots’ receivers needed to adjust to catch several of his throws. Brady’s initial frustration was evident, when he was caught cursing on the CBS broadcast. Brady eventually was able to help lead the Patriots to victory, but he needs to play better for them to have a better chance of winning in the future.
2. TB12 and Brandin Cooks are finally building some chemistry
The Patriots’ biggest move of the offseason was trading their 1st round pick to New Orleans for receiver Brandin Cooks. In the beginning of the season, it was evident that Cooks and Brady were still searching for some common ground, as the two of them appeared to have miscommunication at times. Cooks’ breakout game was against the Houston Texans in Week 3, where he had several key catches, including the game-winning touchdown. Cooks followed that game up with a mediocre performance against the Carolina Panthers, where had only 3 catches for 38 yards. In the last 2 weeks, Cooks has recorded 5 catches for 85 yards, and 6 catches for 93 yards. It is becoming clear that he has earned Brady’s trust, and he was responsible for one of the game’s turning points, when he caught a 42 yard bomb to set up the game-tying score.
3. The Patriots’ defense is steadily improving
Although looking at the statistics of the Patriots’ defense may show how mediocre they have been playing (due to the fact that Josh McCown was the sixth straight quarterback to record a 300 yard game against them), it is clear that the Patriots’ defense is taking a step forward. In the beginning of the game, they struggled mightily, as they gave up 3 touchdowns, falling behind 14-0. However, the Jets scored their second touchdown with 12:18 left in the second quarter, and did not score again until the 3 minute mark in the fourth quarter. The Patriots’ defense was able to dominate the Jets’ rushing attack, and make McCown uneasy. One of the game’s turning points came in the end of the first half, when Malcolm Butler intercepted McCown, to set up the game-tying score.
4. The Gronk is back!
Rob Gronkowski returned to form in the stadium where his season ended last year. Gronk recorded 6 catches for 83 yards, along with 2 touchdowns. In the closing seconds of the first half, Brady rifled a throw at Gronk in the endzone, which went right through the tight end’s hands. Brady’s trust in Gronk was evident, as they went for the same route on the next play, where Gronk corralled the football for a touchdown. Gronk’s breakthrough moment of the game came 3 minutes into the second half, when Jets’ safety Jamal Adams stumbled while trying to deflect a pass to Gronk, allowing #87 to easily score his 71st career touchdown.
5. The Patriots’ offensive line performed much better
One of the biggest worries for the Patriots going into yesterday’s game was the number of hits TB12 was taking per game. The Jets’ defenders made it known that they intended to come after Brady by taking advantage of the Patriots’ weak offensive line. The offensive line was able to protect Brady much better against the Jets, as Brady was sacked zero times, and only absorbed 4 hits. This is a good start for the Patriots’ offensive line who need to carry this momentum forward.