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Instant analysis from Patriots’ 22-17 win over Jets

Observations from Sunday’s AFC East matinee at MetLife Stadium.

The New England Patriots outlasted the New York Jets by a score of 22-17 Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.

Head coach Bill Belichick’s side now stands at 4-4 while he stands ahead of George Halas on the NFL’s all-time wins list with No. 325.

Here’s a glance back on the AFC East meeting before the calendar turns from October to November.

Jones goes four quarters in up-and-down restart

Mac Jones would be on the field for more than three series in East Rutherford. After his Monday night against the Chicago Bears ended with less passing yards than rushing yards and an interception, the quarterback completed 24-of-35 through the air on Sunday. Those passes brought 194 yards, one touchdown and one skyscraping interception by cornerback Michael Carter II.

No. 10 was sacked on his second dropback by defensive lineman Carl Lawson. John Franklin-Myers and Nathan Shepherd got the next takedowns for the Jets before the opening quarter came to a close. The left high-ankle sprain no longer resided on the injury report, but the pressure remained through play action as well multiple scrambles.

The Patriots went 6-for-19 on third down and 1-for-2 on fourth down. And what would have been a pick-six instead became roughing the passer. It set up one of five field goals made by former Jets kicker Nick Folk.

Andrews-less Patriots offensive line without answers in pass protection

David Andrews entered the NFL’s concussion protocol after taking an illegal blindside block in the Patriots’ 33-14 loss to the Bears. He remained a non-participant through the quick turnaround to the Jets before being ruled out on Friday.

In the absence of the franchise All-Decade selection, who has started 93 games in the regular season since arriving as an undrafted free agent in 2015, veteran backup James Ferentz made his seventh career start. Joining the 33-year-old center on the offensive line would be Trent Brown at left tackle, Cole Strange at left guard, Mike Onwenu at right guard and the 34-year-old Marcus Cannon at right tackle. But there would be more movement.

Isaiah Wynn, who was scratched the previous week due to a shoulder injury and returned for work at tackle in jumbo sets, found himself overpowered on one sack. He would be taken out on the next snap and later subbed back in at left guard amid holding penalties from New England’s rookie out of Chattanooga. But lapses in communication by all stifled drives. That was seen through a career-high six sacks on Jones. It was also seen as Jets defensive end Bryce Huff hit home at the release point on a turnover.

New England’s defense gets three picks in third meeting with Wilson

As a rookie starter against New England last fall, Zach Wilson completed 58 percent of his passes for no touchdowns and four interceptions while being sacked on a handful of occasions. New York’s quarterback would fare similar on Sunday.

After the opening drive brought a three-and-out, Wilson evaded the pocket to find tight end Tyler Conklin for a first down and then wide receiver Garrett Wilson for 54 yards and another. But he finished 20-of-41 passing for 355 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. And with throwaways that were not always throwaways.

The Brigham Young product rushed once against a defense that had allowed 82 to its previous opposing quarterback. He was sacked twice late. By then, linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley had taken advantage of a frenetic, back-footed toss that became a turnover going into intermission. Safety Devin McCourty corralled two more after it. And with his 32nd and 33rd career interceptions, the Patriots captain since 2011 surpassed the Baltimore Ravens’ Marcus Peters for the most among active players.

Peppers leads the way in tackles with Dugger down

Patriots safety Kyle Dugger had exited with an ankle injury midway through Monday night and was downgraded from questionable by Saturday afternoon. Without the top choice from the organization’s 2020 draft class, who stands with an interception and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown this campaign, versatility got the call.

Jabrill Peppers started in the nickel package. The April signing flew around for a team-high eight tackles, including one for loss, and was penalized for unnecessary roughness on Jets running back Michael Carter. Spelling him in the dime secondary was 2021 sixth-round pick Joshuah Bledsoe’s coverage, which was tested on two touchdowns by the aforementioned Conklin.

An onside kick also landed in the hands of Peppers with 1:51 remaining on the game clock.

2020 Patriots first-team All-Pro punter averages 40.8 yards per

After signing a four-year, $13.5 million contract extension in August, Jake Bailey entered Sunday ranked last around the NFL with a net average of 35.4 yards per punt and with an average hangtime of 4.15 seconds, according to Pro Football Focus. His performance had led to free agents visiting Foxborough for workouts.

But the 2020 first-team All-Pro would punt four times for 163 yards during the visit to the Meadowlands. His first chance resulted in a fair catch eight yards from the end zone. His second chance resulted in a touchback after officials ruled that undrafted linebacker DaMarcus Mitchell slid in despite halting it.

Rookie cornerback and punt returner Marcus Jones also helped the cause on special teams. The reigning Paul Hornung Award winner had a runback of 32 yards that brought New England’s offense onto the field at the New York 27.

Stevenson, Harris total 195 scrimmage yards against stingy Jets front

The San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills marked the lone defenses allowing fewer yards per rushing attempt than New York’s 3.9 this season.

It was up to Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris to test that rate against an interior occupied by Quinnen WIlliams. And while the second-and-10 calls to the ground game went without much movement early on, New England’s tandem would average an even 4.0 yards per on Sunday.

Harris drew the start and rushed for 37 yards on 11 carries, including a long of 11. Stevenson rotated into the lead role and rushed for 71 yards on 16 carries, including a long of 35. The running backs by way of Oklahoma and Alabama also combined to account for 87 receiving yards. Rookie Pierre Strong Jr. from South Dakota State handled the opening tackle in kickoff coverage behind them.

Parker exits New England’s receiving corps as Meyers returns to the end zone

The Patriots stood with a full 53-man roster of wide receivers for Sunday. But DeVante Parker would be announced as questionable to return after having his knee rolled up on an incompletion midway through the first quarter.

The trade acquisition from the Miami Dolphins went to the locker room and was ruled out following halftime.

Jakobi Meyers picked up the slack by catching a team-best nine passes. Those passes gave way to 60 yards and a diving fourth-and-1 touchdown from empty. It would be the impending free agent’s third trip to the end zone since October began. Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne and rookie second-rounder Tyquan Thornton rounded out the room with two receptions on four targets.