Final, Patriots 33-0: The New England Patriots improved to 7-0 on Monday night with an emphatic 33-0 victory over the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.
New England’s defense terrorized Sam Darnold into five turnovers (four interceptions, one fumble), and Sony Michel provided the bulk of the scoring with three short-yardage touchdowns. Tom Brady completed 31 of 45 passes for 249 yards and one touchdown with one interception, and six different Patriots tallied multiple receptions.
Next up for the Patriots is a matchup with Baker Mayfield and the struggling Cleveland Browns this Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
Fourth quarter, 3:06, Patriots 33-0: One situation we’ll be monitoring: Sony Michel was slow to get up after he dropped for a 4-yard loss. He eventually jogged to the sideline and did not visit the medical tent.
The injury allowed Damien Harris to finally log the first offensive snap of his NFL career. Harris picked up 13 yards on third-and-14 on his first carry. The Patriots punted, but Braxton Berrios muffed it, extending the Patriots’ drive.
Jarrett Stidham now is in at quarterback.
Fourth quarter, 12:03, Patriots 33-0: Sam Darnold’s interception total (four) is higher than his passer rating (2.8).
The Patriots take over at the Jets’ 41 after a 22-yard punt return by Gunner Olszewski.
Fourth quarter, 12:32, Patriots 33-0: Those looking to poke holes in this Patriots performance could point to the fact their offense had failed to score a point in their previous five drives. This most recent possession will quell any concerns.
The Patriots marched 59 yards in 11 plays, employing a steady diet of James White (four catches, 39 yards). Sony Michel opened the drive with a 9-yard run and capped it with a 1-yard touchdown behind lead blocker Elandon Roberts, his third of the night.
We could be closing in on Jarrett Stidham time as Jets fans stream toward the exits.
Third quarter, 6:08, Patriots 26-0: Jakobi Meyers continued his strong night by drawing a defensive pass interference penalty on third-and-10, but the Patriots punted shortly thereafter following an intentional grounding call on Tom Brady.
Brady was not pleased with the call. His emphatic argument to Shawn Hochuli (“He’s right there!”) was picked up by the referee’s microphone.
The Jets managed to not turn the ball over on the ensuing drive, but they did punt after a quick three-and-out.
Third quarter, 6:08, Patriots 26-0: A Tom Brady interception — Leonard Williams hit him as he threw, causing the pass to flutter — gave the Jets’ offense a prime scoring opportunity, but Sam Darnold spoiled that with yet another poor decision.
Darnold tried to force a pass to Demaryius Thomas in the end zone but wound up throwing his fourth interception of the game, this one to former Jets safety Terrence Brooks.
Dont’a Hightower also made a splash play two snaps earlier, burying running back Le’Veon Bell on a swing pass.
This Patriots defense is relentless.
Third quarter, 7:37, Patriots 26-0: Sam Darnold, backed up against his own goal line, against this Patriots defense? You could predict how that would turn out.
The result: a safety.
The Patriots’ defense has scored more points than it’s allowed tonight.
Third quarter, 8:25, Patriots 24-0: Jakobi Meyers is proving he deserves pass-catching opportunities even after Josh Gordon returns from injury.
Over the last two games, the undrafted rookie has caught eight passes on eight targets for 97 yards. He’s up to four grabs for 43 yards so far tonight.
The Patriots’ latest drive ended in a punt, with Jake Bailey pinning the Jets at their own 3-yard line.
Third quarter, 11:02, Patriots 24-0: The ghosts Sam Darnold was seeing in the first half haven’t left the building.
Two plays after Robby Anderson beat Stephon Gilmore for the first time tonight, Gilmore stepped in front of an errant pass intended for Anderson for the Patriots’ fourth takeaway of the game.
Once again, pressure helped force Darnold to misfire, as Devin McCourty came unblocked on a safety blitz.
Halftime, Patriots 24-0: Total dominance from the Patriots through two quarters.
A drop by Julian Edelman in the final minute prevented New England from tacking on another score before the break, but the Patriots have this game firmly in hand.
The Jets will receive the second-half kickoff.
Second quarter, 3:31, Patriots 24-0: Three Patriots penalties (two on J.C. Jackson, one on Danny Shelton) moved the Jets into striking distance, but their drive culminated in yet another Patriots takeaway.
A dreadful throw by Sam Darnold found the hands of a leaping Duron Harmon, who was 5-plus yards away from the nearest Jets receiver. It was Darnold’s third giveaway of the game (two picks, one fumble).
Darnold, who’s mic’d up for this game, admitted on the sideline he’s “seeing ghosts.” a reference to the disguises New England’s defense uses to fluster opposing quarterbacks. They’re clearly having their desired effect tonight.
The Patriots punted on the ensuing possession.
Second quarter, 9:22, Patriots 24-0: Good news for the Jets: They picked up their first first down of the night when Le’Veon Bell rumbled for 19 yards on second-and-3.
Bad news for the Jets: One play later, this happened:
Kyle Van Noy’s touchdown was disallowed — he was touched after he recovered the ball — but his recovery set up another Patriots score.
After a block in the back by Julian Edelman negated a James White touchdown run and a drawn pass interference by Jakobi Meyers — who also had a 23-yard catch earlier in the drive — moved the Patriots back to the goal line, New England brought in its new-look jumbo package for three straight shots at the goal line.
The Patriots ran two running plays with linebacker Elandon Roberts at fullback and one with reserve offensive lineman James Ferentz in that spot. Sony Michel was stopped short of the line on both of Roberts’ reps but found paydirt on Ferentz’s for his second touchdown of the evening.
First quarter, 0:09, Patriots 17-0: Remember when we said this should be a closer game than the first Pats-Jets matchup? Yeah, about that…
The Patriots now lead 17-0 after Tom Brady hit Phillip Dorsett for a gorgeous 26-yard touchdown.
Earlier in the drive, Brady connected with emerging offensive weapon Brandon Bolden on a back-shoulder throw that picked up 28 yards down the left sideline, and after missing an open Julian Edelman on third-and-6, he hit Ben Watson for 7 yards on fourth down to move the chains.
First quarter, 2:29, Patriots 10-0: Demaryius Thomas dropped his first target against his former team. The Patriots will take over following a Jets three-and-out.
First quarter, 3:49, Patriots 10-0: The Patriots’ opening drive lasted 16 plays. The Jets’ lasted two.
With New York buried deep in its own territory after being flagged for an illegal blindside block on Jake Bailey’s kickoff, New England brought the house on second-and-8. Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower both pressured Sam Darnold up the middle, causing the second-year QB to throw wildly off his back foot.
The result was Devin McCourty’s fifth interception of the season and the NFL-leading 15th for the Patriots’ defense. A Mike Nugent field goal on the ensuing drive extended New England’s lead to 10-0.
First quarter, 6:13, Patriots 7-0: Talk about a strong start.
The Patriots opened with a 16-play, 78-yard drive that took 8:42 to complete and culminated in a 3-yard Sony Michel touchdown run. Tom Brady completed 8 of 9 passes for 55 yards on the drive, and his lone incompletion hit tight end Ben Watson in the facemask.
Watson atoned for that miscue, though. He caught a 10-yard pass to move the chains on third-and-5 and served as the lead blocker on Michel’s touchdown after lining up as a fullback.
Julian Edelman and Jakobi Meyers converted third downs, as well, with Meyers also laying a key block on Edelman’s.
The Patriots showed a variety of different looks during their prolonged scoring march, utilizing two tight ends on several snaps and four wide receivers on at least four others. Watson and Eric Tomlinson also both took snaps from the fullback position.
First quarter, 15:00, 0-0: The Jets won the opening coin toss and chose to defer. It’ll be Patriots ball first as we get underway in East Rutherford.
Of note: New York sent ex-Patriots receiver Demaryius Thomas out as one of its coin toss captains.
7:44 p.m.: With Josh Gordon, Rex Burkhead, Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo all out, here’s a quick look at the weapons Tom Brady will have to work with tonight:
WR: Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski
TE: Ben Watson, Eric Tomlinson
RB: Sony Michel, James White, Brandon Bolden, Damien Harris
Don’t be surprised if Brady tries to get Watson — his teammate from 2004 to 2009 — involved early. This also could be another big night for Edelman, who’s always had success against Adam Gase-coached teams.
(That’s more of a statistical oddity since Gase is an offensive coach, but still.)
6:45 p.m.: Here are tonight’s Patriots inactives:
WR Josh Gordon
RB Rex Burkhead
TE Matt LaCosse
TE Ryan Izzo
DE Michael Bennett
OT Korey Cunningham
S Patrick Chung
Chung is the only mild surprise on that list, though he was listed as questionable with chest/heel injuries after leaving last week’s game early.
2019 draft picks Damien Harris, Joejuan Williams and Byron Cowart all are active. This is just the second time this season the Patriots have dressed all eight of the rookies on their 53-man roster (Williams, Chase Winovich, Harris, Jarrett Stidham, Cowart, Jake Bailey, Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski).
We’ll see how — or if — Harris is utilized tonight. The Alabama product was active for just one of the Patriots’ first six games (against the Jets in Week 3, coincidentally) and didn’t play a single offensive snap in that one. Bill Belichick also chose not to play him in either of the last two games even with Burkhead sidelined.
Harris missed a decent chunk of time during the summer, but he showed promise in the preseason. It could be wise to get him some work in case Burkhead, Sony Michel or James White misses time later in the season.
Receivers Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett and Olszewski all are active after being listed as questionable.
5:20 p.m.: Tom Brady certainly seemed happy to see Demaryius Thomas during his traditional pregame stroll.
As he walked the field in a gray suit and black tie, Brady stopped to present Thomas, who spent the spring and summer with the Patriots, with what appeared to be a gift. He then had a long conversation with Thomas and former Pittsburgh Steleers wideout-turned-Jets offensive assistant Hines Ward before heading toward the locker room.
The Patriots, who enter tonight’s game with just one fully healthy receiver, likely regret their decision to trade Thomas to the Jets after signing Antonio Brown last month. That move didn’t sit well with Thomas, who called his brief Pats tenure “a waste of time” last week.
8 a.m. ET: The New England Patriots made quick work of the New York Jets back in Week 3, rolling to a 30-14 win at Gillette Stadium.
Tonight’s rematch at MetLife Stadium should be a tighter affair.
Several key Jets players who missed that late-September meeting are expected to play this time around, including quarterback Sam Darnold. Darnold missed three games with mononucleosis, then promptly earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors as he led New York to an upset win over the Dallas Cowboys in his first game back last Sunday.
The Jets should have the services of Pro Bowl linebacker C.J. Mosely, who has not played since injuring his groin in Week 1. Defensive lineman Quinnen Williams, New York’s top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, also is back after sitting out the first Pats-Jets matchup, as is wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who had some harsh words for Bill Belichick and the Patriots this week.
New England, meanwhile, will be without several offensive contributors. Wide receiver Josh Gordon (knee/ankle), running back Rex Burkhead (foot) and tight ends Matt LaCosse (knee) and Ryan Izzo (concussion) all have been ruled out with injuries. Receivers Julian Edelman (chest), Phillip Dorsett (hamstring) and Gunner Olszewski (hamstring) and safety Patrick Chung (heel/chest) are listed as questionable.
The Patriots will rely on Ben Watson and Eric Tomlinson at tight end, neither of whom has appeared in a game for them this season. At running back, it’ll be Sony Michel, James White, Brandon Bolden and potentially third-round draft pick Damien Harris, who has been unable to crack the gameday roster despite Burkhead’s lingering injury. Undrafted rookie Jakobi Meyers is their only fully healthy wideout.
Most of New England’s top-ranked defense remains intact, with the exception of disgruntled defensive end Michael Bennett, who is serving a one-game suspension following an argument with D-line coach Bret Bielema. Bennett has seen his role steadily diminish for a Patriots team that leads the NFL in total defense, scoring defense, interceptions and takeaways and ranks second in sacks.
The Patriots enter as 9 1/2-point road favorites. Five of their last six road games against the Jets have been decided by seven points or fewer, and the lone exception — a 27-13 win last November — was tied late in the third quarter.
Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. ET. Be sure to check back throughout the day for full pregame coverage.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images