Five months later, it was Ryland who played a key role in the Patriots defeating the Jets.
The rookie opened the scoring on Sunday as he booted through a 48-yard field goal in a rainy and windy MetLife Stadium. Ryland was then called on two more times in the first half, but similar results did not follow.
On a second 48-yard attempt, Ryland’s ball appeared to be pushed just wide right by the wind. He then missed badly left from 57 yards to conclude the half. Both kicks, however, featured high snaps from veteran long snapper Joe Cardona.
“Timing on a couple of them could’ve been better,” Bill Belichick said post game. “We need to have a cleaner operation.”
Despite the two misses, the Patriots went right back to Ryland on their first drive of the second half. The rookie responded by connecting on a 51 yarder, which happened to eventually be the game-winning points in a 15-10 victory.
“It was a tough day to kick. Bunch of long ones. The weather wasn’t great. I thought he hit the ball pretty well,” Belichick said of Ryland.
“I thought he showed mental toughness coming back and making that kick in the third quarter after the one at the half that just wasn’t a great operation. But, did a good job for us.”
Three weeks into his NFL career, Ryland has had to battle poor weather conditions twice now. While that’s unique this early in the season, it’s valuable experience for the rookie.
“Been a couple of bad weather games already in September which is not usually the case but that’s what it is and that’s what we’re going to have to play in, so some good learning experiences,” Belichick added.
Things should get easier for Ryland and Co. next week, as the Patriots will play their first indoor game of the season against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.
“Obviously, we wanted to do a little bit better than we did, but we’re happy with the win,” Ryland said. “Now, we’re getting ready to go back and prepare to play Dallas.”