The good times keep on rolling for the New England Patriots as they improved to 3-0 on the young season after an impressive win over the New York Jets, 30-14. The win set an NFL record for most wins in a decade
After an early burst of offense, the Patriots’ defense took over and dominated for much of the game. A special teams’ mistake and a pick-6 thrown by rookie Jarrett Stidham accounted for the Jets’ scoring. But aside from that, Le’Veon Bell never really got in motion and the Jets’ offensive line struggled to contain the Patriots’ pass rush. The Patriots still have not allowed an offensive touchdown this year.
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The Patriots lost receiver Julian Edelman to injury at the end of the first half, and he did not return to action with a chest injury. Josh Gordon was also banged up with a hand ailment but returned to make two incredible catches in tight coverage.
Here’s what we learned…
Jamie Collins Looks Like an All-Pro
In his second stint with the team, the linebacker has looked like one of the best defensive players in the game. He had four total tackles against the Jets, including two sacks for a loss of 11 yards. That sacks were two of his three tackles for a loss on the game. Add in two QB hits and it completes the busy day for Collins. Coming off a game where he had two interceptions, name a linebacker in the NFL who is playing better than Collins this season? I’ll wait…
Run Protection is Shockingly Bad
Bad or predictable, really can’t tell. Just about every time Sony Michel is in the game, the Patriots either run or throw play action. This lack of variety has made it easy for opposing defenses to key in on which direction the Patriots will be going. Missing James White might have made it difficult to vary things up, and not having a blocker like James Develin in the lineup also stung. But after three drives, New England stalled offensively as the majority of passing plays made it simple for the Jets to figure it out.
Special Teams’ Struggles
Right off the bat, Stephen Gostkowski’s struggles continued as the kicker missed an extra point on the first Patriots touchdown. He was perfect after the miss, but something’s got to give with Gostkowski. It has gotten to the point where the Patriots may not trust him enough to kick a field goal in a close game.
Later in the game, Gunner Olszewski muffed a punt and fumbled it into the endzone resulting in a Jets touchdown. The last time a Patriots player fumbled a punt, Riley McCarron in last year’s opener, it resulted in his release a day later. We shall see if they feel Gunner is expendable for that mistake, though he has been effective otherwise.
Third and None
The biggest discrepancy for the game was New England allowing zero third-down conversions for the game. That’s right, the Jets went 0 for 12 on third downs and missed their only fourth-down conversion as well. The Patriots have allowed opponents to convert just 18 percent of third downs this season, second-best in the league.
Josh Gordon is a Beast
Gordon was banged up on two occasions and even had two fingers taped during the game. But through all that, he came back to make a pair of insane catches in tight coverage. The first one set up New England’s last touchdown and was a one-handed grab along the sideline. The second was even better as Gordon darted to the middle of the field and somehow caught the pass between four Jets’ defenders. Antonio who?
The Patriots were leading 43-0 late in the fourth quarter at Miami and DID NOT put their rookie backup Jarrett Stidham into the game. But nursing a 30-7 lead, the Patriots took their chances by putting Stidham in with over six minutes to play. It did not go well for the rookie, who threw a pick-6 to Jets’ safety Jamal Adams. Brady re-entered the game on the next possession. Putting in a backup and having his confidence shot isn’t a way to start off a career in the NFL.