Conditions were not easy on Sunday afternoon, and for a New England Patriots team that had turned the ball over four times over its first two games of the season that could have spelled disaster. As opposed to the losses against Philadelphia and Miami, however, the Week 3 game against the New York Jets saw some improved ball security.
The rainy weather did impact the ability to haul in passes, with several drops hurting the Patriots’ offensive progress. Turnovers, though? Zero.
“No turnovers. That’s a good place to start,” said head coach Bill Belichick after the game.
“Most important thing is points. Next most important thing is turnovers, so there’s certainly a correlation there. If we take better care of the ball then that gives us a lot better chance to win.”
In Weeks 1 and 2, the Patriots threw two interceptions and lost a pair of fumbles — all of them contributing to the team falling into early holes it was unable to climb out of. No such thing happened against the Jets.
Instead, the Patriots jumped out to a 10-0 lead and were able to keep their division rivals in check for much of the afternoon en route to a 15-10 victory.
“Good team win. Starts with no turnovers and that was a huge thing for us up front,” said center David Andrews. “Thought we battled hard, did some things well, some things we can clean up. Obviously — weather game — so taking care of the football was a big emphasis. Thought we did a really good job of that today.”
Quarterback Mac Jones, who ended the game going 15-for-29 for 201 yards with one touchdown, also mentioned New England’s ball security when assessing the win during his post-game press conference.
“I think for sure that was our goal, no turnovers. So, we definitely did that,” he said. “Offensive line did a great job keeping me upright and really proud of those guys and the backs for running hard. When we had to make plays, we did, but definitely inconsistent. Got to be happy with the win. That’s all we came here for.”
The Patriots are now 1-2 on the year, even though their turnover differential remains at -2. Getting onto to the plus side in this category will be another big step, and one that would help the team build some positive momentum after its first win.