The Patriots were as dominant as ever for most of Sunday’s 30-14 win over the Jets, highlighted by a defense that once again did not allow a touchdown.
New York’s two scores in the second half came via a Patriots special teams gaffe and a pick-6 thrown by New England backup QB Jarrett Stidham.
Here are three things we learned Sunday afternoon at Gillette.
Streaks are alive
The Patriots defense continued to amaze Sunday as they sacked Jets quarterback Luke Falk five times and held standout running back Le’Veon Bell to just 35 yards on 18 carries.
Not only is the defense’s no TD streak still intact, but safety Devin McCourty had an interception for the third straight game.
Linebacker Jamie Collins was all over the field for the Pats as he recorded two of the five sacks, continually stuffed Bell in the backfield, and also sniffed out some Jets trickery when they went into a Wildcat formation at one point.
It wasn’t all perfect for the Pats on Sunday. Far from it, actually.
Stephen Gostkowski missed an extra point following Sony Michel’s first touchdown of the game, return man Gunner Olszewski muffed a punt return and the Jets pounced on the ball in the end zone, and Stidham tossed the ugly pick-6 in the fourth quarter just moments after Bill Belichick lifted Tom Brady from the game.
The Stidham INT was shades of a 2007 game against the Dolphins in Miami, when Matt Cassel came in for Brady during a blowout and promptly threw an interception. As was the case 12 years ago, Belichick disciplined the backup QB but re-inserting Brady on the very next drive.
The Patriots were also bit by the injury bug against the Jets, as Julian Edelman left the game right before halftime and did not return due to a chest injury. It’s not yet known how severe Edelman’s injury is.
The Patriots never needed Antonio Brown to have a successful offensive attack through the air and that was reassured Sunday as Brady completed passes to seven different receivers.
Josh Gordon led the Pats with six catches for 83 yards, including a pair of highlight reel grabs – one along the sideline that set up a Rex Burkhead touchdown and the other coming over the middle of the field.
Phillip Dorsett was also highly active against New York, hauling in six catches for 53 yards and a touchdown. Jakobi Meyers also got his first significant action of the season, catching two balls for 38 yards.
Brady himself was highly efficient, completing 28 out of 42 passes for 306 yards, two touchdowns and zero picks. He also showed his team-first attitude on one play in the fourth quarter up 30-7 when the Pats ran a reverse and Brady put his body on the line looking to make a block in the open field.