EAST RUNTHERFORD, NJ – The Patriots won a tough battle in the rain, winning 15-10 over the rival New York Jets in a contest that didn’t feature much offense.
The Patriots finally came up with a plan for victory: win in the trenches
Jets CB Sauce Gardner says Mac Jones hit him in his ‘private parts’ during 4th quarter brawl
How appropriate is it that New England scored 15 points in its 15th straight win over the Jets?
Bill Belichick’s defense put on a masterclass in how to stuff the run. The Jets’ ground game, led by Breece Hall and four-time Pro Bowler Dalvin Cook, had just 38 rushing yards on 22 carries. Their longest run was seven meters.
The Jets weren’t much better through the air. Zach Wilson had 29 passing yards at halftime and finished with 157 after a late surge. He looked timid, held the ball so long he was sacked three times and still had plenty of opportunities to erase the Patriots’ lead.
Somehow, despite their putrid offensive performance, the Jets managed to stay in the game until the very end, which was a failed Hail Mary attempt on the final play.
The Patriots stopped the bleeding and climbed to a 1-2 record heading into next week’s game against Dallas. Here are some final thoughts.
Zeke talks about Dallas’ return
One of the most interesting storylines heading into next week’s game is the return of Ezekiel Elliott to AT&T Stadium, where he played for seven years as a Dallas Cowboy.
Elliott’s time in Dallas didn’t end the way he wanted: the Cowboys released him in March.
“I would definitely say disappointed,” Elliot said when asked about his feelings on leaving the Cowboys. “But everything happens for a reason. God has His plan for us and I am excited for this next chapter. I’m excited to be a Patriot. I can’t wait to go get a Super Bowl here.
The veteran back had 16 carries for 80 yards on Sunday, which was by far his best performance as a Patriot thus far.
He feels more comfortable in the system, he said. Despite his accomplishments in Dallas, which include three Pro Bowls and two rushing titles, Elliott said he felt like he had to prove himself once again in New England.
He said he was “super excited” to return to Dallas, where he lives during the offseason. And he reminded reporters that his history at AT&T Stadium goes beyond his time with the Cowboys. He also won a national title in college with Ohio State in the stadium.
“It means a lot…I’ve had a lot of history in this stadium,” Elliott said. “It will be fun to get back in front of the Dallas fans.”
Anfernee Jennings: Playing with swag and composure‘
Anfernee Jennings started at linebacker for New England. He was among several players on the Patriots defense, including Keion White and Sam Roberts, who made their first starts of the season Sunday.
He had five tackles, including four solo tackles and one tackle for loss.
“For Ant to come out there and play with that much drive and style and composure (like he did),” linebacker Matthew Judon said. “And getting big TFLs early in the game, it wasn’t like he was watching us do it, he took it upon himself. He came out prepared. He saw the plays we wanted to play. We called a few plays to get him moving. We know how he can get the edge and we know how physical he is in the running game. He went there and did that.
Return home for Jabrill’s peppers
Jabrill Peppers grew up in Paramus, New Jersey, about ten miles from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.
MetLife Stadium was Peppers’ home field for three seasons while he played with the Giants in his final stop before New England.
Needless to say, he was motivated to beat the Jets.
“It’s the Jets, you know,” Peppers said. “Since I’ve been playing here, every time we play them, it’s been down to the wire. The last game ended in an onside kick, the second game Marcus (Jones) took one to the house. This one we were thinking about and it came up with a belated Hail Mary.
Ja’Whaun Bentley responds to ‘Hard Knocks’ survey
In August, Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich mocked the Patriots’ motto “Do your job” during an episode of Hard Knocks.
“Do my job?” Is it sufficient ? (Journal) no,” the coach said.
Patriots linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley was asked about the comments after the game.
“Well, we did our job today,” Bentley said, drawing laughter from the room where the post-match press conference was held.
More allegations about Mac Jones?
Mac Jones is in his third season in the NFL, but it’s already becoming unclear how many times he’s been accused of dirty plays.
From Brian Burns claiming Jones twisted his ankle to the NFL fining Jones for a low block on Cincinnati’s Eli Apple, there are numerous examples of Jones being called for plays that were perceived by some as dirty.
This time, Sauce Gardner accused Jones of hitting him in the private parts. Gardner joked that he needed to calm down because Jones was trying to stop him from having children.
This isn’t the first time an opposing player has accused Jones of hitting them in the private zone. Chicago Bears safety Jaquan Brisker accused Jones of kicking him during New England’s Monday night game against the Bears last year.
Jones no surprise denied any wrongdoing during his press conference, and who knows what a second look at the film will show. But allegations that Jones is a dirty player continue to pile up, and this is just the latest example.
No matter how tough things get in Foxborough, the Jets are still the Jets
How lucky were the Patriots to meet the Aaron Rodgers-less Jets in Week 3 after their first 0-2 start since 2001?
The Jets haven’t beaten the Patriots since David Andrews’ rookie season in 2015. Even without Tom Brady, the Patriots still find a way to get it done against the Jets.
The Jets are the same franchise that produced Mark Sanchez’s fumble in 2012. Zach Wilson is the same quarterback who threw four picks in his first start against New England. Somehow, they managed to get through Sunday’s game without turning the ball over once.
But even without embarrassing mistakes, the Jets continued their long losing streak against the Patriots. This saved New England from an 0-3 start. The Patriots now have a chance to get back to .500 next week.
Sign up for Patriots updates🏈
Get the latest news and analysis delivered to your inbox this football season.