This weekend was Mac Jones first legitimate game since Week 4 and he did not disappoint. Jones went 24-for-35 with 194 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also carried the ball 20 yards on 7 carries, picking up multiple first downs with his legs.
The Patriots won the game 22-17 over the New York Jets but the game really wasn't as close as the score would seem. The Jets would take a 10-3 lead into halftime after a sluggish start from Jones and the Patriots offense. Once the second half started though the Patriots would score right away on Jones only touchdown throw. This would start a 19-0 run by the Patriots, leaving the Jets shutout for the second half until a touchdown with 1:51 left in the 4th quarter.
The Patriots defense were really on point in this game with 2 team sacks, 6 pass deflections and 3 interceptions. Devin McCourty was holding it down in the secondary, swatting two passes and catching two of those picks and returning both into good scoring position for the offense. Lawrence Guy also got a sack in the game as he continues his quietly great season controlling the middle. Guy is normally applauded for his run stuffing but he has dramatically increased his role in rushing the passer this year as the 32-year old makes a case for his best season of his career.
This game was a slowly played chess match between two very good defenses and two offenses led by inexperienced and potential-filled quarterbacks. The Patriots defense was able to hold the Jets to a quiet game but the Jets defense also did a great job at pressuring the Patriots. The Jets would come up with 6 team sacks on 8 QB hits and a total of 13 TFLs. This was an all-around defensive effort as not one Jet had more than 1 sack or more than 2 TFLs. The Jets were able to bend and not break in this game, unfortunately for them one of the Patriots MVPs of the season has been their kicker Nick Folk, who had another 5 field goal day including 4 from 40+ yards.
Folk has made 15 field goals this year which makes him the highest scoring player on this team and has now had two games of 15 points and won both of them. The Patriots have always had a spectacular special teams unit as a point of emphasis under Bill Belichick, a great strategy for a team built to get into these slow, close and scrappy games.
Next week the Patriots come back home to face the 3-4-1 Indianapolis Colts in a game they will be heavily favored in. The Patriots strong rush defense will be useful against Jonathan Taylor and the Colts strong O-line and make their weak passing game have to contend with Devin McCourty and company. This game will almost certainly be a low-scoring affair in Gillette.
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