So that was … better? I guess.
After getting embarrassed by the Bears last Monday night, New England got themselves back to .500 on Sunday with a 22-10 win over the New York Jets.
Here’s a look a look at the scoring drives from Sunday afternoon:
Patriots 0 – Jets 3 | 10 plays, 82 yards – Greg Zuerlein 28-yard FG
Patriots 3 – Jets 3 | 15 plays, 62 yards – Nick Folk 31-yard FG
Patriots 3 – Jets 10 | 6 plays, 75 yards – Tyler Conklin 8-yard TD
Patriots 6 – Jets 10 | 5 plays, 16 yards – Nick Folk 42-yard FG
Patriots 13 – Jets 10 | 6 plays, 62 yards – Jakobi Meyers 5-yard TD
Patriots 16 – Jets 10 | 10 plays, 34 yards – Nick Folk 40-yard FG
Patriots 19 – Jets 10 | 4 plays, 0 yards – Nick Folk 45-yard FG
Patriots 22 – Jets 10 | 4 plays, 4 yards – Nick Folk 52-yard FG
Patriots 22 – Jets 17 | 6 plays, 88 yards – Tyler Conklin 9-yard TD
It wasn’t pretty. Frankly, it was really ugly. But New England got the win. Here are my five takeaways:
5. Kyle Dugger is the most valuable Patriots defender.
Safety Kyle Dugger has been a monster for the New England defense this season, and he’s been brutally missed when he’s been hurt – specifically when trying to cover tight ends.
Dugger missed week three against the Ravens, and they let up 11 catches for 105 yards and 3 touchdowns to tight ends. Last week vs. the Bears he left early with an ankle injury and though it was better, (3 catches for 37 yards), they allowed Cole Kmet to convert some key plays to Cole Kmet that helped Chicago to their dominant win.
Sunday against the Jets, New England allowed 6 catches for 79 yards and two TD’s to tight end Tyler Conklin – who isn’t very good. They need Dugger on backend of this defense.
4. The Jets will struggle until Zach Wilson gets better.
The New York Jets are a solid football team. They’re 5-3 with a bunch of solid pieces to build around.
But their quarterback is not great. Zach Wilson, the 2021 second overall pick, was awful today against the Patriots. He completed just 20 of his 41 pass attempts and threw three brutal interceptions. He’s really good at alluding pressure, but as soon as he has to actually throw the football, his decision making is awful. He needs to desperately fix that to give New York a chance.
3. The Patriots are no longer a special teams juggernaut.
New England’s special teams unit made some really good plays today. There were several field-flipping punt returns from Marcus Jones, Nick Folk was automatic kicking the football, and Jake Bailey looked to have gotten his leg back.
However, they ruined potentially getting their mojo back on a completely awful play on a great Bailey punt. Damarcus Mitchell downed the ball at the one yard line and and stupidly rolled into the end zone, allowing a touchback.
It ultimately didn’t alter the result of the game, but in a closer game it easily could have.
2. New England ruined their season by not bringing in an actual offensive coordinator.
I know Mac Jones was not good today, but having Matt Patricia calling plays does him literally zero favors.
There were so many poor play calls on Sunday: the 4th down attempt in the first half, the 3rd-and-1 at the goal line, and the slowing down of a rolling hurry up offense to name a few.
The idea that Belichick and the Patriots didn’t want to bring in a seasoned and reliable OC because they might leave in a year is such a weak excuse – and is no way to treat your second year franchise quarterback who desperately needs some guidance.
1. A win’s a win, but this team has a lot of work to do.
Look, the Patriots got themselves a win today. They’re 4-4 and are still firmly cemented in the AFC playoff race, so it’s hard to nitpick the game. They got the job done.
However, they still have so much to improve upon. The offense is pedestrian at best, the defense has clear holes when banged, and the special teams unit is more inconsistent than a Dunkin’ iced coffee.
The Colts come to town next Sunday with second year QB Sam Ehlinger under center, which should hopefully be a win to get them into the bye week.
I’ll be at Gillette on Sunday for the matchup against Indianapolis, and we’ll have you covered all week here on CLNSMedia.com and on YouTube at Patriots Press Pass!
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