FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots had Sunday’s 54-13 undressing of the New York Jets well locked up by halftime. But that didn’t stop them from taking shots at the end zone the rest of the afternoon on every possession until the final one, when they just kneeled the clock out.
It was laughable at a certain point. Up 41-13 with less than 10 minutes to play, Mac Jones lofted a pass to Kendrick Bourne, which went for 46 yards as the wideout carried it to the goal line, setting up a J.J. Taylor rushing touchdown.
The next possession, the Patriots put in Brian Hoyer, presumably signaling their intention to run out the clock.
Hoyer threw early and often, completing a 22-yarder to Gunner Olszewski, a 29-yarder to Jakub Johnson and a 28-yard pass to N’Keal Harry. That paved the way for another Taylor rushing touchdown to put the finishing touches on the game.
Belichick hates the Jets, which might’ve been the impetus for the borderline disrespectful finish to the game. New York, for its part, didn’t use it as an opportunity to take shots at the Patriots.
“No (I don’t have a problem with it). It’s the NFL,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said after the game.
Safety Marcus Maye echoed the sentiment verbatim.
“It’s the NFL,” Maye said. “Nobody is going to be feeling sorry for you, you’ve got to find a way to get the ball back.”
Sheldon Rankins was closest to taking the bait, if for no other reason than the framing of the question. The defensive tackle was posed the question of what was going through his mind as the Patriots kept slinging it around.
“Probably some things I’m not going to say (here),” he responded.
He then struck the same chord as other Jets.
“At the end of the day, it’s our job to stop the offense — whether they’re up big, whether it’s a close game,” Rankins said. “Our job is to stop the offense and we just didn’t do that well enough.”
It is, indeed, professional football, so the easy solution is to not put yourself in such a sticky situation. However, the Jets were ravaged by injuries on defense and playing with their backup quarterback, so there was a level of it that was out of their control.
Belichick, clearly, didn’t care.