The Patriots had a messy win today against the New York Jets (3-8), as they triumphed 27-13 over their longtime rivals to move to 8-3 on the season. Despite of a bevy of penalties, the Pats used a balanced offensive attack in order to pull away from the Jets in the second half, and improved to the #2 in the AFC with Pittsburgh’s loss in Denver.
Here are some takeaways from today’s victory.
1. Michel and White lead the way for the offense!
Sony Michel and James White collaborated for a dynamic performance today, as they combined for over 200 yards on the ground (Michel had 133 yards off of 21 carries and a touchdown, while White had 73 yards off of 9 carries). Michel was clearly the best player on the field, as he made good use of the gaping holes provided by the offensive line and raced past hapless Jets defenders. Luckily enough for the Patriots, Michel avoided a serious injury when he was bended backwards in the third quarter during an awkward tackle, which left him writhing in pain on the field.
If Michel and White continue to play at this level, it will be hard for opponents to stop the Patriots over the rest of the season.
2. Strong bounce-back for the passing game!
Week 11’s loss at Tennessee was especially ugly for the passing game, as Tom Brady could not get anything going due to the constant pressure coming through the middle. Today could not have been more different, as the offensive line rebounded with a great performance and gave up zero sacks against a stout Jets defensive line. Rob Gronkowski had an efficient return from injury, as he had 3 catches for 56 yards and a touchdown. Julian Edelman (4 catches for 84 yards and a touchdown), Josh Gordon (5 catches for 70 yards), and Chris Hogan (2 catches for 47 yards) also had good contributions, as they helped stretch the field for the Patriots.
This was an encouraging performance by the Pats’ passing attack, as they overcame great coverage by the Jets’ secondary to be successful throughout the game.
3. The defense had a steady performance
The Pats’ defense bounced back from Week 11 in a big way, as they clamped down on New York, and allowed only 3 points in the second half. Trey Flowers led the way for the Patriots’ pass rush, as he constantly got after Josh McCown, with 3 hits and 1 sack. Being able to get after the quarterback made it easier for the secondary to perform with confidence, with Stephon Gilmore being the clear star in the backend of the field (he only allowed 1 catch for 17 yards off of 5 targets, and had an interception). The Pats also limited Isaiah Crowell to 30 yards off of 6 carries on the ground.
The defense still has room to improve, but this was definitely a step in the right direction.
4. Are penalties an area of concern for the Pats?
The Pats definitely had a messy performance against the Jets, as they were called for 11 penalties that resulted in 105 yards. This was out of character for the Patriots, as Bill Belichick is known for preparing his team to avoid such mistakes. Constant penalties allowed the Jets to stay in the game, as Patriot drives were halted, while New York drives were extended.
The Patriots played well enough to overcome their messy performance, but they will not be so lucky if they continue to be penalized like this.
- Passing: Tom Brady – 20/31 for 283 yards, and 2 touchdowns
- Rushing: Sony Michel – 21 carries for 133 yards, and 1 touchdown
- Receiving: Julian Edelman – 4 catches for 84 yards and 1 touchdown
- Defensive: Patrick Chung – 13 tackles
- Passing: Josh McCown – 26/45 for 276 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception
- Rushing: Isaiah Crowell – 6 carries for 30 yards
- Receiving: Quincy Enunwa – 4 catches for 73 yards
- Avery Williamson – 11 tackles
What’s next?: The Patriots welcome the Minnesota Vikings (5-4-1) in a game that will test them, as Minnesota features a stout defense and a talented offense.