The Patriots spent most of their Monday Night Football game chasing the Jets after falling into an early point deficit, but they would eventually catch up and then finally get over the late-game-comeback hump with a 51-yard game-winning field goal to knock off the Jets 30-27. It was just the kind of win the Patriots needed. It wasn't all pretty or perfect, but it was finally enough to get a much-needed victory.
New England moves to 3-5, but the team continues to battle a laundry list of injuries. The Pats need to get healthy, but by getting back on the winning track they've got something to build off of.
Here's everything that stood out from a big win!
- The Jets put together a nice first drive, highlighted by a 26-yard pass to rookie Denzel Mims that saw him break free from Jason McCourty. The Patriots would stiffen inside the red zone though, with J.C. Jackson getting a pass defense on third down to hold the Jets to a field goal. There wasn't much secret to the Jets run-heavy approach, as they picked up 22 yards on the ground as the drive lasted 12 plays, 6:27.
- Personnel notes...with Ja'Whaun Bentley and Lawrence Guy out the Patriots saw three players from their practice squad start in the front seven of their defense in Terez Hall, Tashaun Bower and Nick Thurman...Carl Davis entered the game at nose tackle on the second drive of the game...Isaiah Wynn would leave the game on New England's second drive, was replaced by Korey Cunningham...Anfernee Jennings entered the game at linebacker on the Jets third drive, the rookie did not play last week against the Bills...Wynn would return in the second half.
- New England would respond on their first drive with their first first-quarter touchdown of the season, coming on an impressively-balanced drive that quickly moved down the field on a seven-play, 70-yard drive. With the Jets paying special attention to the run, Newton looked comfortable in the pocket, especially finding Jakobi Meyers for 33 yards downfield, throwing with anticipation to set up five-yard keeper for the touchdown. It was New England's best early drive of the season.
- The Jets racked up 40 rushing yards on their first two drives, good for 4.4 yards-per-rush, as the Patriots struggles against the run continued, which wasn't all that surprising given the personnel and injuries. This was an area of weakness before they lost two of their best front seven run defenders. An injury to rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton was a big blow to the Jets near the end of the first quarter, as they were clear in their desire to run behind the mammoth Becton.
- Newton couldn't get it going on the Patriots second drive as the Jets sniffed out some of the run attempts and contained them. Jakobi Meyers continues to impress, as a he added three catches for 53 yards in the early going.
- The Patriots pass defense was supposed to be the strength of the unit, but they were attacked and exposed in the second quarter as the Jets put together a touchdown-scoring drive that went 93 yards in just five plays, capped off by a 50 yard throw from Joe Flacco to Breshad Perriman. Perriman beat J.C. Jackson on the play after Jackson had been flagged for a pass interference penalty on the previous play. 80 of the yards on the drive came through the air as Flacco brought back memories of past performances where he had success through the air against the Patriots defense.
- New England's offense was unable to spark a response after the Jets took the 10-7 lead, with a fourth-down rushing attempt by James White at the Jets 39 getting snuffed out, and even forcing White to put the ball on the ground. David Andrews was beat off the snap, as the play never really had a chance. After a strong first drive, the Pats offense started to sputter as they had less and less success on the ground in the second quarter.
- The Jets would get another big passing play on the first play of their ensuing drive, starting things off with a nice 23-yard play action pass by Flacco. The Pats defense would stiffen and hold the Jets to another field goal, but New York carried much of the play on the strength of their downfield passing game, extending their lead to 13-7.
- Cam Newton completed his 11th pass on his 11th attempt with a big third-down conversion to Jakobi Meyers as time was winding down on the first half. Despite Newton's efficiency the Patriots offense continued their sporadic effectiveness. Nick Folk would hit a crucial 45-yard to close it to 13-10. Meyers would finish the first half with 93 receiving yards on seven catches. Rex Burkhead was second with two catches for 10 yards.
- Flacco would get the ball back with :56 seconds left from his own 23-yard line, but it would take just two plays and a penalty for them to get into the end zone. Jason McCourty drew a 42-yard pass interference penalty, then was beat on the 20-yard touchdown that was initially ruled out of bounds but reversed after review. It was a brutal end to the half by the Patriots, who showed the kind of situational football failing that was rare in these parts before this season.
- In the first half, the Patriots took four penalties for 62 yards while allowing 244 yards of total offense to the winless Jets. That was more total offense than they had accrued in their previous two games.
- Down 20-10 to start the second half, the Patriots would get their running game going again on their opening drive and it would make all the difference, as New England would put together a 13-play, 78-yard touchdown-scoring drive. Rex Burkhead was a key player on the drive, converting two third downs and capping things off with a one-yard touchdown that closed the score to 20-17. The drive took up a whopping 7:33 of clock and was much needed after the way things ended in the first half.
- However, the Patriots defense didn't find any answers in the locker room at the half, watching the Jets answer the extended drive by the Patriots with one of their own. The key play came on third-and-nine, as the Patriots sent a full blitz but Flacco calmly completed the pass before the rush arrived, picking up the conversion to get inside the Patriots red zone. After weeks of struggling on early downs, the Pats third down defense became the problem in this one. J.C. Jackson would trip off the line of scrimmage two plays later, allowing an easy touchdown toss by Flacco to Perriman, his second of the game, making it 27-17 near the end of the third quarter.
- It was an 11-play, 75-yard drive as the Jets continued to exert their will on the Patriots defense. The offensive success of both teams kept the game moving at a crisp clip, completing three quarters in just over two hours.
- The Patriots offense would keep fighting despite falling back into another 10-point hole with Rex Burkhead leading the way once again. Newton would get tripped up on third-and-one and it looked like the drive would stall out, but the Jets would have 12 men on defense for the field goal attempt, picking up a penalty and giving New England a new set of downs at the nine-yard line. The Patriots couldn't capitalize though, as a Michael Onwenu holding penalty backed them up and helped hold them to a field goal. It was a 17-play drive that went just 58 yards while eating up 9:26 of clock. That field goal drive sums up the Patriots offense in this one.
- It was a tough game for J.C. Jackson, who was targeted on two touchdowns and picked up a pass interference penalty, but when Flacco tried another first-down play action pass, Jackson was ready, picking off his fourth pass in four games and fifth of the season, best in the NFL. It was the first turrnover of the game for either team and it was just the boost that the Patriots needed, taking over at their own 28-yard line with just under six minutes remaining.
- The final drive for the Patriots offense was once again a grind, but an effective one that included picking up a critical 19 yards on third-and-20 which saw a fourth-down QB sneak for the conversion. A 31-yard catch-and-run by Damiere Byrd set the Patriots up inside the five-yard line. Newton would take it in with another QB sneak to tie the game just after the two-minute warning.
- The defense would deliver, forcing a three-and-out by the Jets to give their offense once last chance at winning the game in regulation. In all, the Jets would run just four offensive plays in the fourth quarter.
- Newton would finally get over the hump and deliver on the final drive, with a huge throw to Meyers for 20 yards to set up Nick Folk's 51-yard game-winning field goal. After falling short on multiple chances to win games on their final possession, the Patriots came through to break their losing streak and get their season back on track.
- It wasn't perfect but a win is a win and at this point in the season, that's all that matters for this Patriots team who now turn their sights to the Baltimore Ravens and their second-straight primetime game this Sunday night.