|NEXT OPPONENT||at Miami Dolphins|
|NEXT OPPONENT||vs Atlanta Falcons|
|NEW YORK JETS||7||7||0||3||17|
|NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS||0||14||7||3||24|
KEY PLAYER FROM GAME – Patriots’ Defense
The Patriots’ defense really stepped up after an ugly first quarter, forcing a few three-and-outs in the second quarter along with two interceptions. While they did let the game get close at the end, it is worth noting that the Patriots’ slip into their prevent defense when ahead once they are halfway through the 4th quarter. Props to the defense for stepping up despite missing starters Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe today.
GAME RECAP AND ANALYSIS
While the New England Patriots got off to a slow start, the New York Jets came out firing and quickly took a 14-0 lead. However, the Patriots stuck to their gameplan and got the ground game going with both Mike Gillislee and Dion Lewis, and Lewis ran in a touchdown in the middle of the second quarter. Quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski were able to hook up for a touchdown at the end of the second quarter — set up by a Stephen Gostkowski missed field goal followed by a Malcolm Butler interception — to tie the game up going into halftime. Tom and Gronk hooked up again to take the lead right out of halftime, and the Patriots did not look back after that.
My overall takeaway for Patriots’ fans is that outside the first quarter, the defense actually looked really good — especially considering that they were without two of their top three cornerbacks in Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe. Special teamer/cornerback Johnson Bademosi filled in admirably opposite stalwart Malcolm Butler. In addition, the Patriots actually got a good amount of pressure when they were rushing only three or four, and even converted some of those pressures into sacks. While it wasn’t pretty, the Patriots’ defense has shown marked improvement since its low point against the Carolina Panthers two weeks ago.
However, this will likely be overshadowed by the controversial touchback call on Austin-Seferian Jenkins that occurred while the Jets were trying to mount a comeback about midway through the fourth quarter. Getting past all of the conspiracy theories, Patriots’ fans have plenty of reason for optimism going forward. However, they will face a difficult test next week when they face off against the Atlanta Falcons in a rematch of Super Bowl 51.