The machine that is the New England Patriots continues to roll.
New England won its seventh straight game to start the 2019 season with a 33-0 victory over the New York Jets in Monday's AFC East showdown at MetLife Stadium. The reigning Super Bowl champions still haven't lost since Dec. 16 and remain one loss ahead of the 5-1 Buffalo Bills in the division thanks to Sony Michel's nose for the end zone and a stifling defense.
As for the Jets, they fell to 1-5 and are staring at an uphill battle just to reach playoff consideration by the stretch run.
Notable Fantasy Stats
- NE QB Tom Brady: 31-of-45 for 249 yards, one touchdown and one interception
- NE RB Sony Michel: 19 carries for 42 yards and three touchdowns
- NE WR Phillip Dorsett: three catches for 46 yards and one touchdown
- NYJ QB Sam Darnold: 11-of-32 for 86 yards, zero touchdowns and four interceptions
- NYJ RB Le'Veon Bell: 15 carries for 70 yards; one catch for six yards
Patriots May Not Have Any Weaknesses
The Patriots' dynasty is so often defined by the relationship between Tom Brady and Bill Belichick and what they have accomplished together, but this year is more about the stout defense than anything else.
New England entered Monday's contest second in the league in yards allowed per game, first in points allowed per game and first in interceptions and was coming off a win over the New York Giants that featured two defensive/special teams touchdowns.
That defense wasted no time announcing its presence with a Devin McCourty interception on New York's first possession, a John Simon strip-sack and a Duron Harmon interception at the 1-yard line on the Jets' first promising drive. Just for good measure, the defense notched interceptions from Stephon Gilmore and Terrence Brooks and a safety in the second half.
It was a total beatdown by arguably the league's best unit and sent a message that will reverberate around the league—an offense led by perhaps the best quarterback in NFL history isn't even New England's best weapon.
That offense still did its part and was surgical from the start with a 16-play, 78-yard touchdown drive that lasted eight minutes and 47 seconds to open the game.
Michel served as the ideal short-yardage option with multiple touchdowns, Brady mixed in a perfectly placed deep ball to Phillip Dorsett to break the game open before the end of the opening quarter and eight different pass-catchers registered a reception.
New England has the defense to contain the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson, among others, in the AFC and a six-time Lombardi Trophy winner under center to make the necessary offensive plays to put teams away.
It is a borderline unfair combination and has the Patriots on course for their fourth straight Super Bowl appearance. Best of luck standing in their way.
Jets Once Again a Lost Cause in the AFC East
The Jets can hit reset all they like, but they're never going to be a legitimate factor in the AFC East until they can figure out the Patriots.
New England has now won eight in a row against its division rival and is a stunning 16-2 in the last 18 meetings. While nobody has consistently figured out the Belichick-Brady combination, that head-turning level of ineptitude is especially painful for New York because of the division factor.
The Jets haven't made the playoffs since the 2010 campaign and likely won't change that in the immediate future following an abysmal start.
There was optimism in place entering the season because Sam Darnold figured to make strides in his second year after New York selected him with No. 3 overall pick in 2018. The addition of three-time Pro Bowler Le'Veon Bell to the backfield only amplified those expectations.
Everything was put on pause, though, when Darnold was diagnosed with mononucleosis, and Bell failed to run for more than 68 yards in any of the first five games. To make matters worse, New York was without left tackle Kelvin Beachum and left guard Kelechi Osemele during Monday's contest, which was a recipe for disaster against New England's daunting defensive front.
Disaster is exactly what the Jets treated their home fans to with six turnovers and the inability to come through with a meaningful defensive stop when the game was still hanging in the balance in the early going.
It's shaping up to be another lost year in the Big Apple.
Both teams face AFC foes in Week 8. New York is at the Jacksonville Jaguars, while New England hosts the Cleveland Browns.