Jones brushed off the shoving after a short fourth-quarter run as he helped the Patriots earn their first victory of the season 15-10 victory over the Jets on Sunday, September 24. Jones didn’t gain a yard on that play, but he took care of the ball the rest of the way as the Patriots survived an AFC East bout.
“Just football,” Jones told reporters on Sunday regarding the Jets’ extra physicality. “I think it’s a physical game, and at that point in the game, you just have to fight to get it no matter what you got to do to get that one yard, so it’s just part of the game. No big deal.”
Jones also dismissed a hit by Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner, who didn’t get flagged.
“No. I think just trying to get the first down,” Jones said. “Definitely a physical play. A lot of guys are in there. That’s kind of like the famous quarterback sneak that everybody does. All the guys on both teams are in there.”
Jones faced a rather tough day against the Jets defense aside from a 58-yard touchdown to tight end Pharaoh Brown in the first half. The offense otherwise stalled throughout the game as the 358 total yards looked like a mirage amid seven punts.
“Definitely inconsistent but happy with a win,” Jones said.
Patriots wide receivers couldn’t make clutch catches and calls didn’t work in the team’s favor. While Patriots running back Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 80 yards on 16, the running attack couldn’t put the game away.
“Look, it was one of those messy games,” Patriots offensive lineman David Andrews told the media. “We have two really good backs, and we have to hold up our end of the bargain for them.”
“There’s a lot we can clean up,” Andrews added. “We’ll take it from there and keep moving forward.”
Patriots Survive a Close Call Against Jets
Because of offensive struggles, the Patriots defense had to stop a resurgent Jets quarterback Zach Wilson twice in the final minute — including a deflected ball to wide receiver Randall Cobb in the end zone as time expired. The Patriots defense also secured the win with late safety that prevented a Jets tie with a field goal.
“We were doing our thing, gave up some plays late, and it came down to a ‘Hail Mary,'” Patriots safety Jabril Peppers said.
“You’re almost kind of holding your breath, right? Crazy plays, crazy things happen in this league. You never know what’s going to happen,” Andrews said watching the final play from the sideline.
Peppers, as did Andrews, didn’t accept the rainy weather and wet turf as an excuse. The Patriots defense conversely didn’t minimize Wilson’s past struggles nor excuse the close call.
“We just want to make it hard on him,” Peppers said. “It wasn’t a pretty win.”
Patriots Look Ahead to Dallas Cowboys in Week 4
New England won for the first time this season, which gives the Patriots a shot in the AFC East going forward. The Patriots visit the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4 on October 1.
“It’s always nice when you can correct things after a win,” Peppers said, who noted it’s business as usual heading to Big D.
For Elliott, he will return to face the team that cut him in the offseason after seven productive seasons. Elliott signed with the Patriots during training camp, and he produced his best game in a Patriots uniform on Sunday.
“I think he’s done a really good job. We’ve got two really good backs. We’ve got to hold up our end of the bargain up front,” Andrews said.