Ryan L. Fox
Sometimes we need to vent when we’re angry or faced with a stressful situation. Some take to exercise; others turn to arts and craft. For the New England Patriots, it was taking to the field this past Sunday afternoon against their AFC East rival New York Jets. This comes after the whole debacle and circus that was Antonio Brown, whom the Patriots cut last Friday.
They welcomed the Jets into Foxborough, who were down to their 3rd-string QB. Looking to continue their impressive start of the 2019 season, the Patriots were poised for another big game. And a big game they had.
The Jets opened up the game with the ball as they allowed the opening kickoff to go into the endzone, putting the ball on the 25. The offense was able to get as far as the New England 49 before being forced to punt to the New England 12.
At the 12, QB Tom Brady and the offense took to the field. He opened up the drive by finding back-up RB/ST Brandon Bolden on two consecutive passes for 21 yards up to the New England 33. Three plays later, the team found themselves facing a 3rd and 1 on their own 42. There, Brady found TE Ryan Izzo for a big 41-yard pass down to the New York 17. From there, the Patriots offense got all the way down to the New York 5. From there, RB Sony Michel took the rock and carried it over for the first touchdown of the game. However, K Stephen Gostkowski ended up missing the PAT to make it 6-0.
After the defense forced the Jets to punt, the Patriots got the ball back on the New York 45. It didn’t take that long for their offense to go down the field. Rather it took just two plays just to get down to the New York 25. There, Brady found WR Phillip Dorsett over the right side for a short pass. Dorsett ended up taking the pass all the way into the endzone for the touchdown. For the PAT, Gostkowski barely snuck it through the upright to make it 13-0.
After forcing another Jets punt, the Patriots got the ball back on their own 41. They were able to move the ball all the way down to the New York 28 as the 1st quarter ended. When the 2nd quarter began, the Patriots opened up with an 18-yard pass from Brady to rookie WR Jakobi Meyers down to the New York 10. Three plays later, Brady found WR Julian Edelman over the left side for a 3-yard touchdown pass. Gostkowski booted the PAT through to make it 20-0.
Then for the remainder of the quarter, both teams just continued to exchange punts with one another. Six possessions, six punts. The only break in that pattern was when the Jets got the ball back with 34 seconds left in the half. The only reason why there was a break was because they decided to run the clock out to end the half.
When the 2nd half opened up, the Patriots received the ball as they got the ball on their own 25. However, they could only advance the ball up to the 37 before being forced to punt.
The Jets got the ball on their own 8 to begin their first possession of the 2nd half. They got as far as their own 16 as they were faced with 3rd and 2. QB Luke Falk tried to find WR Jamison Crowder deep over the left side. However there appeared to be miscommunication as Crowder ran a deep route instead of cutting in. Instead, the ball found the waiting hands of FS Devin McCourty at the New York 41.
McCourty ended up bringing the ball back to the New York 17, where the offense took over. However, the Patriots offense ended up settling for a 37-yard field goal by Gostkowski to make it 23-0.
After forcing another Jets punt, the Patriots offense got the ball back on their own 40. They were able to move the ball down to the New York 20 before getting hit with a false start penalty on Meyers. That made it 1st and 15. Brady then found WR Josh Gordon for a small gain, setting up a 2nd and 12 from the Jets 22. Brady tried to dump a pass off short, but a Jets defender appeared to knock it down. However, the refs hit Brady with a questionable intentional grounding penalty, pushing the ball back to the New York 32. On 3rd and 22, Brady found Gordon down the left sideline for a big 28-yard pass down to the New York 4 to keep the drive alive. Three plays later, RB Rex Burkhead bowled his way over the left side for a 2-yard touchdown. Gostkowski booted the PAT to make it 30-0.
The Jets got the ball back on their own 25 as it seemed like there was life within their offense. A 23-yard pass from Falk to former Pats WR Braxton Berrios and then a roughing the passer penalty on Pats DE Deatrich Wise put the ball at the New England 37. But in typical Jets fashion, they were pushed back all the way to their own 49. They were then forced to punt as WR/PR Gunner Olszewski waited for the ball at the New England 12. Olszewski ended up muffing the ball as it rolled back down to the goalline. Jets CB/ST Arthur Maulet ended up with the ball in the endzone for the touchdown, the first time this season an opponent scored a touchdown against the Patriots. K Sam Ficken booted the PAT through to make it 30-7.
The teams then exchanged punts with one another to end the 3rd quarter and through the 4th quarter.
Around 8:41 left in the game and at their own 45, the Patriots made a QB change as backup QB Jarrett Stidham came in. His first NFL pass went to Dorsett for 11 yards to the New York 44. A sack on the ensuing play and then a small 3-yard pass to Burkhead made it 3rd and long at the New York 48. Stidham then looked to pass to Bolden but overthrew him and into the waiting arms of S Jamaal Adams. Adams took the ball 60-yards untouched for the Pick 6 as Ficken’s ensuing PAT made it 30-14.
The Patriots then yanked Stidham and slotted in Brady to finish the remainder of the game.
There was little offense for the remainder of the game as each team just continued to punt to one another. After the Jets failed to convert on a 4th and long on their own 24, the Patriots got the ball back on the New York 27. Brady simply knelt twice to run the clock out and give the Patriots the 30-14 victory, making them 3-0 on the young 2019 season.
QB Tom Brady: 28-for-42 for 306 yards and 2 TDs for a QB Rating of 103.9, 2 carries for -1 yards (2 kneels)
RB Rex Burkhead: 11 carries for 47 yards (4.3 yards per carry) and 1 TD, 6 catches (on 7 targets) for 22 yards
WR Josh Gordon: 6 catches (on 11 targets) for 83 yards
WR Julian Edelman: 7 catches (on 10 targets) for 62 yards and 1 TD
WR Phillip Dorsett: 6 catches (on 7 targets) for 53 yards and 1 TD
P Jake Bailey: 7 punts for 310 yards (44.3 yards per punt), 5 downed inside 20, 1 touchback
LB Jamie Collins: 7 tackles (5 solo, 2 assists), 2.0 sacks, 1 passes defended
NT Danny Shelton: 6 tackles (4 solo, 2 assists)
DE Chase Winovich: 2 tackles (1 solo, 1 assist), 1.5 sacks
Numbers! Numbers! Numbers!
8 – The number of times coach Bill Belichick has started a season (3-0)
10 – The number of quarters the Patriots held opponents out of the endzone during the 2019 season prior to the Maulet touchdown
0 – The number of touchdowns opposing offenses have scored against the Patriots defense during the 2019 season
.970 – The winning percentage of QB Tom Brady against AFC East opponents at home since Week 15 of 2006 (65-2)
210 – The number of regular wins by QB Tom Brady, the 2nd most by a starter in NFL history trailing only former teammate K Adam Vinatieri (239)
524 – The career total of regular season touchdown passes by Brady, putting him 2nd all-time (Peyton Manning, 539)
35 – The approximate average points scored by the Patriots through the first 3 games of the season (106 points total)
105 – The total amount of yards allowed by the Patriots defense (average 2.2 yards per play)
6 – The number of first downs made by the Jets for the entire game
Injury Bug Strikes Again
That pesky injury bug struck again for the New England Patriots.
In the 2nd quarter, Brady found Edelman for a pass over the middle for 14-yards. But after the catch, Edelman came up in pain. He had to leave the game at that point as it looked like he was having a hard time trying to breath. It then turned out he had suffered a chest injury and was ruled out for the remainder of the game.
Fellow WR Josh Gordon was also battling through injuries he suffered throughout the game. First, he suffered a hip/back injury in the early goings of the game. Then later on in the 2nd quarter, Gordon suffered a left-hand injury that caused him to momentarily leave the game. Gordon came back but suffered another injury to his left hand before leaving the game for good.
Then in 3rd quarter, LB Dont’a Hightower and DT Adam Butler convergred on Jets QB Luke Falk for a 6-yard sack. But on the play, Butler ended up rolling up his ankle and was out for the remainder of the game.
Then later on in the 4th quarter, Hightower himself was taken out of the game with a left shoulder injury.
Hightower’s injury wasn’t considered to be serious but there’s still the injury history that’s a cause for a concern. Butler’s injury can be weathered for the most part as the depth of the defensive line for the Patriots can make-up for his absence.
The injuries to Gordon and Edelman are a big red flag, Edelman with the bigger flag. Already getting over a thumb injury that forced him to miss significant time in the preseason, this new chest injury (possibly ribs) to Edelman would mean that Brady may miss his best offensive weapon for some time. Also with the injuries to Gordon, should he and Edelman miss some time, the WR group of the Patriots would be down to the likes of Phillip Dorsett and Jakobi Meyers as well as WR/STs Gunner Olszweski and Matthew Slater.
Bye Bye AB
There was one face that was missing on the field and sidelines for the entire game and that was WR Antonio Brown.
The reason why he wasn’t there was because he was released Friday afternoon after it was found out that he sent threatening/intimidating texts to some of his people about woman that he had sexual harassed in the past. This also included posting pictures of the woman’s kids in the thread as well as including the woman in the thread as well.
This followed after a former trainer of Brown had filed a civil suit against the NFL receiver, claiming sexual assault and rape.
Although some Patriots fans didn’t think that was an issue (some even claimed they were made-up), the Patriots brass (more likely than not the Krafts than Belichick) had enough. So around 4:00 p.m. on Friday, it was announced the Patriots had released the controversial receiver.
All I can say is this was the best move the Patriots could do. It was clear that Brown was a major problem, that all his off-field and on-field issues did not outweigh the talent he had. Although Belichick tried to make it work, clearly this wasn’t his best move.
With Brown gone, it feels like a big weight has been lifted off the Patriots organization. Now they can focus on trying to win title No. 7 after
Fox Fist Bump
The Fox Fist Bump goes to LB Jamie Collins.
After his giant week in Miami, Collins followed it up with another strong game against the Jets where he had 7 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 1 pass defended, and countless QB pressures. It seemed like on almost every play, #58 was around the ball or in the vicinity.
It pained me to see Collins get resigned by the Patriots (being a Giants fan and what not) because you knew that A. He was physically gifted, and B. Belichick was going to get the best out of him. After being sent to football Siberia (the 2016 Browns), Collins came back to New England hungrier and wiser. That meant bad news for everybody.
I expect to give more Fox Fist Bumps to Collins as the season goes on.
The Meatball of the Game goes to the Injury Bug. Edelman, Gordon, Hightower, and Butler all got bitten by it. Although all 4 of those injuries had no significant impact on the outcome of the game, going forward the dream of going 19-0 will be put into jeopardy due to those injuries.
I’m sure Patriots fans are upset at that perky Injury Bug and hope that it gets squashed soon.
Play of the Game
Damn it Gunner!
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