There was a raucous crowd on hand to celebrate Halloween weekend at MetLife Stadium with the Jets decked in all-black and competing against a formidable coach notorious for rattling young quarterbacks. After this game, it is Jets fans who will be having nightmares after Zach Wilson threw three bad interceptions and the Patriots scored 19 unanswered points to get the win on the road.
This was a frustrating loss for the Jets who were in control for much of the first half, but the game took on a familiar pattern as their old nemesis took control in the third quarter. This was New England’s 13th consecutive win over the Jets.
This should be a wake-up call for the Jets, who had won Wilson’s first four starts of the season, but could drop to 5-4 next week as they host one of the league’s best teams in the Buffalo Bills.
Here are the key takeaways…
- Despite an appeal from head coach Robert Saleh for the fans to be in their seats on time, the stadium still looked half-empty at kick-off. The Jets started slowly as they opened up by going three and out with a shanked punt that gave New England great field position. However, the defense held firm with Carl Lawson registering a third down sack to force a punt. The Jets ended up with six sacks by six different defensive linemen.
- After barely even attempting to throw the ball past the sticks last week, Wilson made a couple of big throws on the Jets’ second possession, as they drove downfield into the red zone to kick a field goal for the opening score. He had surpassed his passing yardage total from each of the previous two games early in the second quarter and ended up with the first 300-yard passing day of his career but completed just 5 of 18 passes with three interceptions during one troubling stretch.
- The Jets struggled to get off the field on their next drive, despite registering two more sacks. New England eventually put together a 15-play drive to tie the score at 3-3 at the end of the first quarter.
- The Jets took a 10-3 lead on their third drive, which was one of the most impressive they’ve had all season as Wilson (twice) and Carter caught first down passes. Conklin’s touchdown catch gave the Jets a 10-3 lead. Conklin also added a consolation score with less than two minutes to go.
- New York looked set to go in at the half with a 14-point lead when Michael Carter II returned an interception for a touchdown late in the second quarter. However, a John Franklin-Myers roughing the passer penalty negated the score and New England was able to kick a field goal to pull within 10-6 at the break. That proved to be a turning point as they marched downfield at the start of the second half to take a 13-10 lead on a Jakobi Meyers touchdown catch and extended that to 22-10 early in the fourth quarter with field goals on their next three drives.
- The Jets have been among the league leaders in penalty yardage all season but only committed four penalties all day. However, the Franklin-Myers penalty was a killer and CJ Mosley also had a personal foul.
- With Corey Davis unavailable, it was a good chance for Garrett Wilson to step up and they responded well. with his second career 100-yard game. Elijah Moore and Denzel Mims, on the other hand, struggled to take advantage of the opportunity for more playing time as Moore went without a catch. Mims had two catches, including a big play, but these were not until the fourth quarter.
- The Jets special teams units had performed well all season, but were uncharacteristically poor against a Patriots unit that hasn’t been that good this season. The Jets had a shanked punt, a missed field goal, two kickoff returns blown up inside the 15 and gave up a long punt return to set up a field goal.
The Jets face another divisional rival at MetLife Stadium as they host the Buffalo Bills next Sunday at 1 p.m.