…Silly mistake by DE Deatrich Wise drew a roughing-the-passer penalty. Wise not only tackled Jets QB Josh McCown late, he also lunged at McCown’s knees, which is a no-no in the NFL nowadays. Wise should have known better, but he wound up costing his team 15 yards on what would be New York’s first scoring drive of the day.
…McCown’s TD throw to WR Jermaine Kearse came as a result of his o-line doing a fine job of blocking to give him time, and a precise route run by Kearse, who head-faked to the outside to shake free of CB Jonathan Jones. The move made Jones hesitate just long enough for Kearse to get a couple of steps in front of Jones, and McCown delivered an easy thrown underneath.
…WR Cordarrelle Patterson should have had a first down on an end-around carry during New England’s second possession, but Jets safety Jamal Adams managed to knife through Patterson’s convoy of blockers to bring him down short of the marker to gain.
…RB/co-captain James White’s offensive pass interference penalty was a very close call. Receivers are allowed to set picks on defenders within a yard of the line of scrimmage. White might have been a half-step over that acceptable yard when he barely brushed the defensive back covering WR Julian Edelman, but referee Shawn Hochuli’s crew thought it warranted a penalty flag. I’m not so sure.
…TE Rob Gronkowski managed to play for the first time in three weeks, and he made an impact almost immediately. While he didn’t come down with the first pass thrown to him, Gronk was open on a 3rd-and-10. QB Tom Brady might have been a second late in seeing him. By the time the ball arrive, a Jets defender did as well and was able to knock the ball away.
However, the next time Gronk saw the ball come his way, on 3rd-and-12 from the Jets 34, Gronkowski did a great job of holding on to a perfect throw as he was being hit by a defender in the end zone.
…The Patriots’ defensive front wasn’t able to get much pressure on McCown in the opening quarter, despite bringing extra rushers at times. The Jets did a good job of picking up bitzes and protecting McCown’s pocket to allow him time to find open receivers.
…Rookie Sony Michel ran very well all afternoon in New York, thanks in large part to his o-line and fullback James Develin providing excellent blocking.
One 25-yard burst, though, got called back in the second quarter because of a holding penalty on LT Trent Brown. I’ve looked the play over several times, even in slow motion, and I can’t find anything that even comes close to resembling a hold by Brown on that play.
…Gronkowski might have had a second touchdown in the first half, but great coverage by Adams, the Jets safety, on consecutive jump-ball passes in the end zone prevented that from happening.
…The second quarter saw New England’s defensive front put more heat on McCown. At one point, pressure by LB Dont’a Hightower nearly resulted in a McCown pick. Later, the pass rush directly resulted in CB Stephon Gilmore’s deep-ball interception at the end of the half. The ball was slightly underthrown because McCown was being hit by a pair of Patriots (DEs Trey Flowers and John Simon) as he unloaded the ball.
…DT Danny Shelton hasn’t done much of note this season, his first with New England, but against New York, his name was called twice, for the wrong reasons. Shelton had an unnecessary roughness penalty in the first half and a false start on a Stephen Gostkowski field goal attempt.
…LB Kyle Van Noy had a solid day all around. He was second on the team with five tackles (all solo takedowns), a tackle for a loss, a quarterback hit, and a pass defensed.
…Michel got a lot of the headlines yesterday, but co-captain James White had a good day running the ball as well. He finished with 73 yards, averaging about 8 per carry.
…Even though he only caught three of seven passes thrown to him, Gronkowski was a factor in the running game as a blocker, and on WR Julian Edelman’s 21-yard touchdown catch-and-run. As Edelman was about five yards away from the end zone, Gronk threw a block in that area to help free up Edelman to make a dive into the end zone for the score.
…Safety Obi Melifonwu made his Patriots debut against the Jets. He contributed on the stat sheet with one special teams tackle, but was in on several specials teams units as well as on defense, where he saw considerable playing time. He didn’t do anything to stand out one way or the other, but the fact that he was involved so much might be an indication of the potential his new coaches think he has.