Heading into their Week 7 game against the New York Jets, the New England Patriots expressed confidence in their abilities despite sitting at 2-4 six games into their season. They did the talk, and on Sunday did the walk as well: New England dominated its AFC East rivals from start to finish, winning with a final score of 54-13.
For the first time all season, the Patriots played near-mistake free football. They may not have been perfect but their offense was productive — scoring on six straight possessions before its first ever punt — while the defense registered two takeaways and consistently kept the Jets from drawing closer.
“I think this week we kind of put together a complete game,” starting center David Andrews said after the game. “Guys really competed, guys really played hard. It was a great team win. Good complementary football. Just a good football team win today.”
The Patriots may still be below .500 on the year, but they were able to bounce back in style after a series of up-and-down performances and close losses. The difference between those games and Sunday’s against the Jets can be found quickly: New England did not shoot itself in the foot.
Be it turnovers on offense or inconsistency on defense, the Patriots appeared to play up to their capabilities on both sides of the ball arguably for the first time all season.
“We’re a couple plays away from winning a lot of games, but we have to make those plays. We don’t take moral victories,” linebacker Matthew Judon said after the contest.
“We don’t live in the if. We live in the now and our record is what it is, but I do think we all see how we play and we all see how we work. When we start making those plays and when we don’t make silly plays, or turnovers, or give up drives, and give up a play here, a play there. When we stop doing that, then we’re going to be there. But right now, we’re close.”
While the Patriots defense has had some stretches of impressive play already this season, the offense remained a work on progress during the early parts of the regular season. Against New York, however, it played its best game of the season both in terms of execution and result: it was the first 50-point outing for the organization since a 2015 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The play-calling was aggressive, while the players — led by first-round rookie quarterback Mac Jones — performed on a consistently high level throughout the day.
“Everybody playing well like that you get those results,” said wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, who contributed four reception and a 25-yard touchdown pass. “I was screaming ‘50 burger’ all time on the sideline. It’s an exciting game, and a game we needed to show us what we’re capable of.”