Sep. 20—The Patriots beat the Jets, 25-6, in convincing fashion after a competitive 20 minutes in the first half.
Here are five quick takes on the Patriots win:
Mac over Zach
It wasn’t a knockout or TKO, because Mac Jones was not a star in East Rutherford, N.J. on Sunday afternoon, but the Pats’ young QB made the fewest mistakes and in pro football, that matters.
Zach Wilson has a really nice arm, but he made four really bad decisions and paid for each other. In fact, the Patriots’ defense didn’t really pressure him on any of those interceptions. He just appears to have a strong desire to throw the ball downfield when a shorter, efficient pass would do.
Damien Harris needed a game like this, and really a play like the one he ran in the third quarter, dragging in several Jets after it appeared he was stopped at the 5-yard line and scoring on a 26-yard run.
After his fumble last Sunday that basically cost the Pats a win over the Dolphins late in the fourth quarter, he ran hard and was productive (16 rushes, 62 yards) this week. Harris won a lot of praise from his teammates for not letting last week get him down. An impressive day for Harris.
Defense wins …
The Patriots’ defense was better, sort of stingy, and never really gave up a substantial play that mattered. In fact, keeping the Jets out of the end zone in the second quarter, on a 1st-and-goal from the 8-yard line, forcing a field goal set the tone for the rest of the day. The Jets had been moving the ball, but with nothing to show for it. The Pats’ defense was good, possibly very good. But next Sunday with Saints will be a truer test.
Jets on mend under Saleh
Jets head coach Robert Saleh has definitely brought more grit to the Jets sidelines. These Jets, particularly on defense, were tough. They were animated. It was cool to see. It didn’t help matters that Zach Wilson was throwing ball around as if he was in some park playing catch with Brett Favre. The Jets have a long way to go, but I like Saleh’s style. He’s got work to do with this offense.
Jets fans quit
The first half was electric here at MetLife Stadium. The Jets fans came to play. So did the Jets. But the beginning of the second half the noise had completely disappeared.
They were probably upset at Zach Wilson’s three bad interceptions. But the Jets were down 13-3 at the half and were receiving the second half kick. Yet a lot of fans left, probably falling into the “Same old Jets” mantra. It was disappointing because the fan participation helped the Jets defense and bothered Mac Jones. Whatever.