The New England Patriots scored their first win of the season on Sunday, squeaking past the New York Jets 15-10 at MetLife Stadium. Here’s a closer look at how each position group fared in that Week 3 matchup:

Mac Jones had some great throws on third down in this game. The ones to Mike Gesicki and DeVante Parker were perfectly placed along the left sideline, and the ones to Kendrick Bourne and Demario Douglas had the proper amount of zip and loft, respectively, to maneuver around Jets defenders.

Jones missed on his final three third-down attempts, however, including two on fades to JuJu Smith-Schuster (more on those below). The deep ball overall remains the weakest element of the Patriots’ passing game. Jones went 0-for-5 Sunday on passes that traveled more than 20 yards downfield, per Pro Football Focus.

The third-year pro has attempted 18 such passes this season, more than any other NFL QB. How many were completed? Three. That 16.7% hit rate was tied for second-worst in the league entering Monday night’s games.

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“Those are statistically the hardest passes to hit,” head coach Bill Belichick said Monday. “Completion percentage and all that is true of every team. But we’ve got to hit them, we’ve got to throw them, and we need more production out of the deep balls.

“I mean, not every play is going to be a 40-yard pass, but the ones that we throw during the game 30 yards, 40 yards, 25 yards, whatever it is, we want to be productive on those plays. So we just need to keep working on them.”

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It’s hard to go higher than “C” when the entire position group manages just 85 yards. Bourne led the way with 46 on four catches, including one for 18 yards in the fourth quarter off a great route against Sauce Gardner. Parker had a 16-yarder on third down and another grab for 3 yards, and Douglas caught one of his three targets for 15 yards (with officials missing a blatant pass interference on another).

Smith-Schuster brought up the rear, catching just one pass on three targets for 5 yards and adding an illegal blindside block penalty to boot. On both of the aforementioned third-down misses, Jones tried to throw back-shoulder balls, and he and Smith-Schuster were not in sync. On one, the wideout tripped and fell as the ball arrived.

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It was just the fourth one- or zero-catch outing of Smith-Schuster’s seven-year career. He has just 66 receiving yards through three games and ranks 52nd out of 53 wideouts with at least 15 targets in yards per catch (6.6).

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The Zeke-aissance! This easily was Ezekiel Elliott’s best game as a Patriot. He rushed for 80 yards and averaged 5.0 per carry — marks he hit just twice in his final season with Dallas — as the Patriots pounded the run game in the second half to bleed clock.

That strategy nearly backfired — New York had a chance to win on a last-second Hail Mary that almost worked — but Elliott did his part. The ex-Cowboys star surely be motivated this week as he prepares to face his former team on Sunday.

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Rhamondre Stevenson rushed 19 times for 59 yards (3.9 per) and had a costly third-down drop early in the game.

Hats off to Pharaoh Brown. The Patriots’ least heralded offensive weapon made the play of his career Sunday, scoring a 58-yard catch-and-run touchdown off a well-schemed play-action pass. The third-string tight end also delivered a sweet stiff-arm on a subsequent 13-yard completion and blocked well in the run game.

Gesicki and Hunter Henry combined for just three receptions but had a couple of third-down conversions in the first half.

Think the Patriots were happy to have Trent Brown back? The big left tackle was excellent outside of one false start penalty, allowing zero pressures on 30 pass-blocking snaps. The O-line as a whole held the Jets without a sack and performed much better in the ground game than it did in Weeks 1 and 2.

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Left guard Cole Strange, though, had a drive-killing holding penalty and struggled at times before leaving with a knee injury in the third quarter. Rookie Atonio Mafi replaced him. Mike Onwenu also was flagged for a false start one play after Brown’s.

PFF hated new right tackle Vederian Lowe’s outing (eight pressures, two hits), but he looked better over there than the man he replaced, Calvin Anderson.

The Patriots’ defensive game plan was a simple one: load up to stop the run and force Zach Wilson to beat them. And this group delivered despite losing Davon Godchaux and Daniel Ekuale to injuries on back-to-back second-quarter plays. Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook combined for 36 yards on 20 attempts and didn’t have a run longer than 7 yards.

Christian Barmore, who played nearly every snap after Godchaux and Ekuale went down, was a pass-rushing menace with seven pressures, a sack and a pass deflection. His 65% snap rate was the fourth-highest of his career.

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Deatrich Wise bowled over an offensive lineman to draw a holding penalty near New York’s goal line. Rookie Keion White ran through three blockers on an early third down to hit Wilson and nearly force an interception.

If he didn’t already, Wilson is going to have nightmares about Matthew Judon and Josh Uche, who teamed up for 10 pressures and never let the Jets QB get comfortable. Judon sacked Wilson once in the end zone for a safety and technically was credited with another sack, though Wilson actually just spun around and fell down himself without being touched.

Anfernee Jennings, coming off back-to-back healthy scratches, was a surprise standout in his season debut. He notched tackles on the Jets’ first two plays — including a tackle for loss on the second — and later was in on Barmore’s sack and decked Wilson with a red-zone QB hit.

Ja’Whaun Bentley also was impactful with six tackles, two QB hits, a TFL and a near-interception off White’s pressure.

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Another standout performance by rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez, who bottled up Garrett Wilson one week after largely silencing Tyreek Hill. The first-round pick has played all but one defensive snap this season and has more than held his own against some of the NFL’s premier receivers. Belichick on Monday said Gonzalez’s even-keeled demeanor reminds him of Stephon Gilmore.

Myles Bryant was the Patriots’ No. 2 corner with Jonathan Jones, Jack Jones and Marcus Jones all unavailable. Bryant largely played well in that increased role, earning praise from Belichick for a few “really good reads.” But he missed a tackle in the red zone and was called for a questionable pass interference penalty in the end zone, which prevented this group from earning a straight “A.” Shaun Wade was the nickel, with Bryant moving into the slot in three-corner looks.

Kyle Dugger and Jabrill Peppers were flying around in the run game and on short passes. Dugger also ran over running back Michael Carter on a blitz to flush Wilson from the pocket and blow up a third-down play. Dugger did lose tight end Tyler Conklin in coverage to extend New York’s lone touchdown drive, but he later planted Conklin to force a turnover on downs in the final minutes.

We expected a group effort to replace Devin McCourty, but it’s been nearly all Dugger and Peppers thus far. They’ve played 100% and 94% of snaps through three games, respectively, while Marte Mapu, Jalen Mills and Adrian Phillips all are below 25%.

A respectable grade for this group in tough kicking conditions, despite some mistakes.

Chad Ryland made field goals from 48 and 51 yards but missed from 48 and 57, with both of those featuring high snaps from Joe Cardona. Some of Bryce Baringer’s punts weren’t the prettiest, but he pinned the Jets inside their own 20 with four of them, including three in the fourth quarter.

Douglas bobbled his first punt return but held on. It wasn’t clear whether that close call changed New England’s plans, but Peppers returned the next punt — his first since 2021 — and picked up 18 yards. They rotated for the rest of the game.

Featured image via Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports Images