Another Sunday, another win: the New England Patriots entered their Week 3 game against the New York Jets as three-touchdown favorites. While the club was unable to win by 21 points, it did control the contest from start to finish and bring home a comfortable victory despite some late miscues. Now at 3-0, the Patriots are still looking like the best team in football — especially on the defensive side of the ball.
Patriots (3-0) 30 : 14 Jets (0-3)
The Patriots won the coin toss and kicked off to the Jets to open the game. Even though the visitors, led by third-string quarterback Luke Falk, moved the football well early on, New England’s defense did get a stop on its first third down opportunity.
The offense took advantage of getting the football quickly, even though it had to start at its own 12-yard line. With Tom Brady moving the football well through the air, the unit went 88 yards in nine plays — a 41-yard reception by Ryan Izzo on 3rd and 1 was the series’ biggest play — capped by a 5-yard touchdown run by Sony Michel. Unfortunately for the home team, however, the extra point sailed wide right. [Patriots 6 : 0 Jets]
New York failed to respond to the Patriots’ first scoring drive, and instead went three-and-out — with two loss-of-yardage plays being made by New England defenders: first, Jamie Collins Sr. had an 8-yard sack. On the following play, Duron Harmon had a tackle for a loss of another eight yards. The ensuing punt and 5-yard return by Gunner Olszewski set the Patriots up at the Jets’ 45-yard line, and the team drove down the field again.
This time, it took the Patriots just three plays to find the end zone again: after a short run by Brandon Bolden, Brady first hit Josh Gordon for a 17-yard gain, before finding a wide open Phillip Dorsett for a catch-and-run score. The 25-yard touchdown gave Brady to 523 regular season touchdown passes and into second place all time behind long-time rival Peyton Manning and his 539. [Patriots 13 : 0 Jets]
The Jets’ next series went just like the last one, with the defense just overwhelming the offense at the point of attack: Michael Bennett registered a 5-yard sack on the first play of the series and set the tone for the rest of the drive, with New York being unable to get anything going afterwards. Punter Lac Edwards was called on again, and for the second straight series New England started with prime field position following a 7-yard run back from Olszewski.
Starting at their own 41-yard line, the Patriots moved the football quickly down the field again — mostly because of their passing game, with Julian Edelman having two receptions before the end of the first quarter.
Different quarter, same game: the Patriots continued the drive they started to end the first period by continuing their march down the field. Even rookie Jakobi Meyers had a reception before a Brady pass to Edelman added to the club’s lead. With the extra point being good, the Patriots went up 20-0 with almost three full quarters left in the game. [Patriots 20 : 0 Jets]
New York responded with another three-and-out, and another punt to Olszewski who returned it for 13 yards. The Patriots offense had a tougher time on its next possession, and struggled with inconsistency both on the ground and through the air. The result was the team’s first punt of the day, one that rookie Jake Bailey sent 58 yards down the field to set the Jets up at their own 12-yard line.
Once again, the Jets were unable to do anything when in possession of the football and had to punt for a fifth straight time. New England, however, failed to add to its lead on the subsequent series and for the second time had to bring Jake Bailey on to punt. Even though the team added a second straight possession without putting points on the board, it remained in full control as the defense forced another New York punt.
The Patriots offense again failed to get much going on its next possession, and along the way it saw its top two wide receivers suffer minor-looking injuries: Josh Gordon appeared to hurt his back, Julian Edelman his ribs or shoulder. While the injuries did not look major, both wideouts were taken out of the game. The drive ended with a punt on 4th and 1, leading to the Jets running out the clock on the first half.
New England received the second half kickoff but again did not go anywhere as the drive stalled on a third down incompletion intended for Phillip Dorsett. While the wide receiver appeared to have come up with the catch the call was not overturned after a Patriots challenge. Instead, the team punted the football for the fourth straight time. This time, however, they got it back rather quickly as the Jets’ first possession of the second half lasted only three plays.
Devin McCourty came up with his third interception of the season, setting up the Patriots at the Jets’ 17-yard line:
The offense did not advance any further, however, and instead had to settle for a 37-yard field goal following a series of penalties. Yet, the team still added to its lead as Gostkowski’s kick sailed through the uprights. [Patriots 23 : 0 Jets]
Not much changed on the next drive: the Jets struggled to build any momentum against a terrific New England defense, and had to punt again. The Patriots, meanwhile, were able to finally get something going on offense again after a few inconsistent possessions to end the second and open the third quarter: the world champions drove 60 yards in 10 plays, with a Josh Gordon 28-yard catch one of the highlights of the series:
Three plays after Gordon’s spectacular catch — one he made with two of his fingers apparently taped together after an earlier injury — Rex Burkhead found the end zone from 2 yards out to put his team up 30-0. [Patriots 30 : 0 Jets]
New York’s next possession saw the team move the football down the field comparatively well, but the Patriots forced another punt with Dont’a Hightower and Adam Butler combined to take down Luke Falk on third down. However, the ensuing punt ended in disaster for the home team: Gunner Olszewski, who had looked good up until this point in his rookie season, muffed the kick and the Jets recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown — the first surrendered by New England since the fourth quarter of the AFC title game. [Patriots 30 : 7 Jets]
Despite another spectacular grab by Josh Gordon, the Patriots were unable to match the Jets’ points with some of their own. Instead, the team had to punt for a fifth time. New York did not do anything with the football and the momentum, however, and saw another drive end with a punt after failing to convert their 10th straight third down. At that point, the Patriots sent in Jarrett Stidham at quarterback instead of Tom Brady.
While Stidham completed his first two pass attempts after entering the game, the fourth-round rookie threw an interception that was returned 60 yards for a touchdown by Jets safety Jamal Adams. [Patriots 30 : 14 Jets]
The Patriots reinserted Brady into the lineup on the following possession — after Ja’Whaun Bentley recovered an onside kick — but the results were only marginally better: New England went three-and-out and had to punt back to the opponent. However, the field position battle continued to work in the team’s favor as punter Jake Bailey and special teams ace Matthew Slater set the Jets up at their own 1-yard line. The defense then forced another three-and-out.
New England didn’t do much with the following possession, but it actually did not matter: the team preserved its 30-14 victory to improve to 3-0 on the year.
Pats Pulpit: For New England Patriots News: Pats Pulpit Live: Week 3 vs. the New York Jets
Welcome to another victory edition of Pats Pulpit Live!Posted by Pats Pulpit: For New England Patriots News on Sunday, September 22, 2019