It has been anything but an ideal season for the New England Patriots, but they can still count on beating the New York Jets.
New England overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter and extended its winning streak against its AFC East rival to nine games with a 30-27 victory in Monday's showdown at MetLife Stadium. Nick Folk drilled the winning field goal, while Cam Newton and Jakobi Meyers led the way for the Patriots as they snapped a four-game losing streak and improved to 3-5 on the campaign.
A solid showing from Joe Flacco was not enough for the 0-9 Jets to finally register a win.
Both teams are looking up at the 7-2 Buffalo Bills and 5-3 Miami Dolphins in the division.
Notable Player Stats
- Cam Newton, QB, NE: 27-of-35 for 274 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs; 10 carries for 16 yards, 2 TDs
- Rex Burkhead, RB, NE: 12 carries for 56 yards, 1 TD; 3 catches for 11 yards
- Jakobi Meyers, WR, NE: 12 catches for 169 yards
- Joe Flacco, QB, NYJ: 18-of-25 for 262 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
- Breshad Perriman, WR, NYJ: 5 catches for 101 yards, 2 TDs
Cam Newton Maximizes Lackluster Weapons in Win
The Patriots struggled in a number of areas during their four-game losing streak, but Newton was under the microscope.
After all, it looked as if he was going to thrive this year, as he accounted for five touchdowns in the first two weeks, but he has struggled since returning from the reserve/COVID-19 list. In fact, he tallied zero touchdown passes and five interceptions in his last three games and fumbled late in the most recent loss to the Bills.
It's not as if Newton is working with top-notch weapons, though, especially with Julian Edelman sidelined.
To Newton's credit, he maximized the playmakers available as he bounced back with an impressive showing against the Jets. Meyers was his No. 1 option, and the wide receiver hauled in a deep ball to set up Newton's touchdown run on the team's first possession.
The three-time Pro Bowler had just one incompletion in the first half and relied on underneath routes, between-the-tackle runs and Meyers.
Down 27-17, Newton and Co. took over in the fourth quarter with a 17-play field-goal drive, and Newton ran for a touchdown after a big play by Damiere Byrd. The winning field goal came after a clutch 20-yard pass from Newton to Meyers.
It seemed as if every Patriots drive dragged on with so many underneath routes and runs, but Newton took what the defense gave him and led his team to a bounce-back win.
Jets Offense Collapses in 4th Quarter
Flacco and Frank Gore would have been quite the backfield in 2012, but it surely wasn't what the Jets expected to roll with this season.
That is what they had Monday, though, with Le'Veon Bell no longer on the roster and Sam Darnold sidelined with a shoulder injury. Throw in Jamison Crowder's groin injury, which kept him out the previous two games, and the Jets were not exactly lined up to challenge with their offense.
They must have missed the memo.
Next Gen Stats @NextGenStats
Joe Flacco and Jamison Crowder's 20-yard TD had a 6.2% completion probability, the most improbable completion of the season, and most improbable touchdown since 2017. ➤ Air Distance: 45.2 yds ➤ Receiver Separation: 0.9 yds ➤ Sideline Distance: 0.2 yds #NYJvsNE | #TakeFlight https://t.co/dt4RIZXr0v
Flacco found Crowder and Breshad Perriman with beautifully placed deep balls for touchdowns in the first half in a throwback showing as he picked apart the secondary like he was in his prime with the Baltimore Ravens.
It looked as if it would be more of the same in the second half when J.C. Jackson tripped and left a wide-open Perriman for another touchdown, underscoring just how much New England missed Stephon Gilmore.
However, it all fell apart in the fourth quarter.
New York ran four plays in the final 15 minutes, one of which was a terrible interception to Jackson—who earned some redemption—when Flacco threw into double coverage with a seven-point lead and six minutes remaining. The Jets still had a chance to win after the Patriots tied the game after Newton's second scoring run, but they went three-and-out and never had the ball again.
It was an abysmal finish to what had been a memorable game for the unit.
The Patriots host the Baltimore Ravens in Week 10, while the Jets head into their bye before they are at the Los Angeles Chargers on Nov. 22.