The Patriots crushed the New York Jets on Sunday, coasting to a 54-13 victory at Gillette Stadium in which New England scored on each of its first six possessions.
The Patriots’ first win at home this season left them with a 3-4 record. The game was a rematch of a Week 2 Patriots victory over the Jets, and this time the Patriots delivered an even more convincing performance.
Quarterback Mac Jones, who gave way to backup Brian Hoyer in the fourth quarter after the Patriots had taken a 47-13 lead, connected on 24 of 36 passes for 307 yards and two touchdowns.
“That’s what we want to do,” Jones said. “I think we got a little flavor of if we do everything right throughout the week and practice well, and do our job in the game, it kind of translates over and you just play together as a unit, as an offense. And then special teams played well, and the defense played great, so it’s all three phases, and that’s what happens when you can do that.”
Damien Harris rushed 14 times for 106 yards and scored two touchdowns for New England, which faces the Los Angeles Chargers next Sunday in Los Angeles. The Patriots also forced three turnovers – interceptions by Kyle Dugger and J.C. Jackson and a fumble recovery by Josh Uche.
“I’ve stood up here [after losses] saying we need improvement, improvement, improvement. I think we’re seeing some of the fruits of those labors,” Patriots center David Andrews said.
The Jets also lost starting quarterback Zach Wilson, who left the game in the first half because of a knee injury and did not return.
“We’re not satisfied. We’ve got plenty of games left, and we’re excited we finally kind of saw a little bit of a result that was good, and we’ve just got to stick to the formula and stick to the process,” Jones said.
The Patriots built a 31-7 lead in the first half, scoring on all five of their possessions.
They used a double-pass play to get on the board early – receiver Kendrick Bourne caught a backward pass from Mac Jones, then lofted one to fellow receiver Nelson Agholor, who was wide-open and waltzed into the end zone.
Also in the first half, the Patriots added a touchdown run from Harris, touchdowns on passes from Jones to Brandon Bolden and Hunter Henry, and a field goal by Nick Folk.
“We’re moving in the right direction. We’re working hard to get better,” Andrews said.
Below is commentary and analysis from Khari Thompson of Boston.com that was posted throughout the game.
Patriots eclipse the 50-point mark — 4:05 p.m.
A N’Keal Harry sighting, and a 50-burger all in one possession! The big wide receiver fought through a pass interference penalty to wrestle a deep ball away from the Jets’ Javelin Guidry and set the Patriots up at the 1-yard line.
It was a slightly underthrown ball from Brian Hoyer on a double-move from Harry, but good fight from the receiver to pull in the 50-50 ball for 28 yards. J.J. Taylor snuck into the end zone from there to push New England over 50 points. The Patriots also went over 500 yards of total offense that drive and have seen 11 different players catch passes in this game.
The rout is on — 3:51 p.m.
So much for taking the foot off the gas pedal. Mac Jones finally has his first 300-yard passing game following a beautiful deep toss down the left sideline to Kendrick Bourne, who couldn’t quite get into the end zone. No matter: J.J. Taylor punched it in from the 1-yard line for his first career rushing touchdown.
It’s 47-13 after Nick Folk shanked the extra point, his third miss of the year on those kicks.
Jones is now 24-of-36 passing for 307 yards – his career-best – and his day appears to be done. Brian Hoyer is in at quarterback for the first time this season after a short drive by the Jets fizzles out.
Harris scores again — 3:38 p.m.
Damien Harris’s second rushing touchdown has put the Patriots up, 41-13, with 13:29 left in this game.
Harris fantasy owners must be thrilled. That’s now 106 yards for New England’s No. 1 running back. The new offensive line – with Michael Onwenu at right tackle and Ted Karras at left guard – has dominated this afternoon. It’s about time to start trying to beat the traffic.
End third quarter: Patriots 34, Jets 13 — 3:36 p.m.
The third quarter is over. Finally. The Patriots hold a commanding 34-13 lead and are already down at the Jets’ 34-yard line thanks to a few Damien Harris carries. Harris now has 103 yards for the game, giving him his sixth career 100-yard rushing game.
Patriots QB Mac Jones doesn’t have incredible numbers, but he’s been efficient once again (228 yards on 20-of-32 passion, two TDs). They might not need him much in the final quarter.
Picked off, Part 2 — 3:33 p.m.
Jets QB Mike White tried to throw an interception on second-and-12, and he managed to finally do it on third down. J.C. Jackson picked off a throw long down the right sideline, stepping in front of Elijah Moore on a deep out route. That’s now two interceptions in the last two drives. Jackson has his third interception of the season, and all three have been against the Jets.
Picked off — 3:22 p.m.
Jets QB Mike White’s throw over the middle sailed too high for Ryan Griffin, and Kyle Dugger at first appeared to scoop it off the turf before it hit the ground.
After review, Dugger’s interception stood. What a play to grab that one off his shoestrings and provide the defense’s first takeaway of the day.
Mac Jones wasted no time when the Patriots got the ball back, hitting Nelson Agholor on a short throw that Agholor takes for 26 yards.
But the Patriots couldn’t capitalize on the Dugger interception. Jones missed Hunter Henry deep down the right sideline and Isaiah Wynn committed a holding penalty. It took a while for Wynn to get dinged today, and he wasn’t the man responsible for the Jets’ lone sack on Jones. But the left tackle’s less-than-stellar season continues.
Then, on the ensuing punt, a personal foul penalty on New England’s Brandon King nets the Jets 15 extra yards. They’ll start at the 33-yard line.
Folk connects again — 3:10 p.m.
Patriots kicker Nick Folk increased New England’s lead to 34-13 midway through the third quarter with a 50-yard field goal. New England has scored on every one of its possessions at this point.
A Patriots third-down play had no chance when Mac Jones was snowed under immediately by Del’Shawn Phillips. It was the first sack surrendered by the offensive line today.
But Folk was accurate, and whatever is going on with his left knee, it hasn’t stopped him from being automatic when the kicks matter.
Injuries mount for Jets — 3:05 p.m.
New York is having all kinds of injury issues in this game, with edge defender Jonathan Franklin-Myers – the team’s best player on the defensive front – down on the ground along with linebacker Blake Cashman.
On another note, the Patriots’ 31 points in the first half are apparently the most they’ve scored in a half since 2014.
Jets score to open second half — 2:55 p.m.
Elijah Moore’s 19-yard touchdown run gives the Jets some life. They trail, 31-13, after a failed 2-point rush attempt.
The Jets offense got some help from a Jalen Mills pass interference penalty, then it punched it in on a reverse to Elijah Moore, who scored his first NFL touchdown. Moore simply hit fifth gear as Deatrich Wise Jr. closed in on him from behind, and no one else could get him.
Patriots’ Smith, Jets’ Wilson out for rest of game — 2:54 p.m.
Tough news for the Patriots: tight end Jonnu Smith is now out of the game with a shoulder injury suffered in the first half. That’s unfortunate after he had his best half of football yet this season, putting up 57 total yards (52 receiving, five rushing). Linebacker Harvey Langi is also out for the game.
Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has also officially been ruled out with a right knee injury.
Halftime: Patriots lead, 31-7 — 2:38 p.m.
The Jets tried to run a few plays before the half after falling behind 31-7 with 27 seconds left, but a sack from Daniel Ekuale, who was elevated from the practice squad this week, ended that.
The Patriots have three passing touchdowns – two from Mac Jones, (16-of-26 passing for 169 yards) and one from Kendrick Bourne – and Damien Harris had an excellent first half on the ground (83 yards on eight carries, 1 TD).
New England’s defense hasn’t forced a turnover yet, but it did stuff the Jets on fourth down to set up the Patriots’ last score before the half.
Key injuries on both sides — 2:34 p.m.
From Nicole Yang: A play in the second quarter of Sunday’s Patriots-Jets game resulted in injuries to key players for both teams.
On a first and 10 from New England’s 48-yard line, Jets quarterback Zach Wilson threw a deep pass intended for wide receiver Keelan Cole. After Wilson released the ball, Patriots outside linebacker Matthew Judon tackled Wilson, who remained on the ground for several minutes. There was no flag for roughing the passer on the play.
The Jets’ medical staff tended to Wilson, while the Patriots had safety Devin McCourty getting treated in the end zone. McCourty, who nearly picked off Wilson’s pass, had landed hard on his stomach while trying to make the interception. He was able to stand up but was noticeably in pain, favoring his right side.
Both Wilson and McCourty visited their respective medical tents on the sidelines, before Wilson walked to the locker room with trainers.
Wilson was ruled questionable to return with a knee injury, while McCourty was also listed as questionable with an abdomen injury. Neither player returned to action for the remainder of the first half.
At the beginning of the second half, the Jets downgraded Wilson to out.
Adrian Phillips moved to free safety. The 34-year-old McCourty has been incredibly durable for the Patriots, missing only five games over his 12 NFL seasons. He had been on the field for a team-high 99.8 percent of defensive snaps this season.
Backup Mike White took over at quarterback for the Jets. He finished the drive with a three-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Corey Davis.
Also questionable to return for the Patriots are tight end Jonnu Smith (shoulder), defensive tackle Carl Davis (wrist), and linebacker Harvey Langi (knee).
Another touchdown for Patriots — 2:30 p.m.
The Patriots took a 31-7 lead with 27 seconds left in the first half. Mac Jones connected with Hunter Henry on a 1-yard touchdown pass play.
Jakobi Meyers couldn’t get his first career touchdown on third-and-goal, but he helped the Patriots out anyway by drawing a holding penalty on the play to get New England a new set of downs.
From there, Jones found Henry in the end zone for the fourth straight game. Henry shook free of his defender and corraled the throw from Jones with one hand. After getting phased out of the game plan somewhat last week, Henry and Jonnu Smith have had multiple big plays in this one.
Jets denied on fourth down — 2:21 p.m.
The Jets went for it on fourth-and-1 just after the 2-minute warning, but New England stuffed the run and took over on its own 28. Christian Barmore was credited with the tackle.
Patriots add to their lead — 2:11 p.m.
Mac Jones connected with Brandon Bolden on a 15-yard screen pass for a touchdown with 5:29 left in the first half. The Patriots lead is 24-7.
Bolden got into the end zone for the first time this season on a perfectly executed screen pass. It was a great play call, using Jakobi Meyers as a decoy before dumping it to Bolden with no one around. He just had to get the corner to score, and he did.
A few plays before that, Mac “Hot Wheels” Jones couldn’t find anyone open on yet another third-and-10, so he turned on the jets around the right end for his longest career run – a 13-yard scramble to convert yet another third down. The common theme on the two plays: the Jets have lost contain several times in this game – including on this drive – and it’s burned them.
Jets finally score — 1:53 p.m.
Jets backup quarterback Mike White managed to punch it in with Zach Wilson out of the game, tossing a three-yard touchdown pass to Corey Davis. The play looked like it could’ve been offensive pass interference on Davis, who pushed off a bit on cornerback Jalen Mills, but referees picked up the flag and let the play stand. So the blowout gets halted for the moment, and the Patriots lead, 17-7.
Meanwhile, Zach Wilson, who had played much better so far in his second game against New England, is heading to the locker room with an apparent right leg injury. Wilson had actually gotten rolled up earlier on the drive by Lawrence Guy, who hit the rookie quarterback low as he scrambled toward the sideline and threw the football away. But he didn’t show ill effects until he got hit by Judon two plays later. It might be White’s show from here on out.
Jets QB injured — 1:50 p.m.
Jets quarterback Zach Wilson walked off the field gingerly after taking a big hit from Patriots linebacker Matt Judon, who also landed on him. Jets backup QB Mike White is in the game.
It was an incredibly eventful play there for many reasons. Zach Wilson’s pass down field to Keelan Cole was nearly intercepted by Devin McCourty, but Kyle Dugger gets flagged for pass interference on Cole at the 2-yard line. The Jets will get the ball there with a chance to cut into the lead. But Wilson also took a hit from Judon while rolling out of the pocket, went down hard and couldn’t get up on his own.
Folk connects from 39 yards — 1:45 p.m.
Nick Folk’s field goal early in the second quarter has given the Patriots a 17-0 lead.
There did not appear to be any problems for Folk, who has been listed on the Patriots’ official injury report with a left knee injury, on that one. The Patriots’ drive fizzled out just outside the red zone thanks to two misses from Mac Jones to tight end Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry. All in all, though, he’s had plenty of time to throw and has yet to be hit yet, which is a major improvement no matter how you slice it.
End first quarter: Patriots 14, Jets 0 — 1:42 p.m.
That’ll do it for the first quarter, with the Patriots ahead 14-0. New England is driving, though the series almost started with disaster.Mac Jones nearly threw an interception on the first play of the drive on a pass intended for tight end Jonnu Smith, but it went off linebacker Quincy Williams’s fingertips.
The Patriots made the Jets pay on the next play with a 24-yard pitch-and-catch to Smith. The New England tight end is having his best game of the year by far with 52 yards already on two catches, with most of those yards coming after the catch.
Jets remain scoreless in first quarter — 1:33 p.m.
New York’s Matt Ammendola missed a 48-yard field goal attempt, and the Jets still have not put points on the board in the first quarter of a game this season.
The Patriots’ defense recovered from a somewhat sloppy drive to force the Jets to kick a field goal. The defense could’ve gotten off the field long before that, of course, but missed tackles allowed running back Ty Johnson and Elijah Moore to pick up first downs and help the Jets get into Patriots territory.
But a good stop by Jalen Mills, who failed to stop Moore earlier on the drive, on Jamison Crowder and a third-down incompletion killed the drive. New England, which leads 14-0 after one quarter, can really hurt the Jets with a score now.
Two possessions, two touchdowns — 1:21 p.m.
The Patriots have taken a two-touchdown lead, with Damien Harris finishing off New England’s second possession with a 1-yard TD run. With 7:21 left in the first quarter, it’s 14-0 Patriots.
That makes it three straight games with a touchdown for Harris, who looks like he’s already on his way to a career game with 60 yards on just five carries. He owned the last three plays of that drive, ripping off a 32-yard run to set the Patriots up in the red zone and nearly punching it in on the next play from the 7-yard line before sledgehammering in on second-and-goal.
With the Jets yet to score in the first quarter this season and going three-and-out on their first drive, this one could get out of hand quickly.
Patriots look good early — 1:15 p.m.
This game could hardly be going better for the Patriots. A quick score on offense was followed up by a defensive three-and-out from the defense, highlighted by Myles Bryant bringing down Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson on third down for his first career sack.
Bourne to Agholor for an early TD — 1:08 p.m.
That was quick! Patriots gunslinger Kendrick Bourne gets the scoring started with a gadget-play pass to fellow receiver Nelson Agholor for a touchdown, and Nick Folk hit the extra point to make the score 7-0.
Mac Jones took the snap and threw a bubble screen backward along the line of scrimmage to Bourne, who then hit a wide-open Agholor streaking down the right sideline for a 25-yard score.
The Patriots had everything going on a four-play, 65-yard drive (aside from a holding penalty on Shaq Mason), from a big kick return by Gunner Olszewski, a nice run by Damien Harris on the first play from scrimmage, and a 28-yard catch-and-run from tight end Jonnu Smith, who also had a carry on the drive, on a screen pass.
Game on — 1:01 p.m.
The Jets won the coin toss and deferred. The Patriots will start with the ball.
Offensive line changes for Patriots — 12:48 p.m.
A long-awaited switch on the Patriots’ offensive line seems finally to have happened. Michael Onwenu appears to have shifted to right tackle for today’s game based on warmups, with Ted Karras taking over Onwenu’s spot at left guard.
The Patriots had gone through a revolving door on the right side once Trent Brown went out with an injury after just one series in Week 1, starting Justin Herron, Yasir Durant, and Yodny Cajuste on the right side in relief. The team had seemed reluctant, however, to move Onwenu, who started almost his entire rookie year at right tackle last season, to that spot, opting to keep him at left guard.
But New England notably played Onwenu at right tackle last week against Dallas after he returned from the reserve/COVID list, signaling a more permanent move might be coming.
The starting offensive line group (from left to right) of Wynn, Karras, David Andrews, Shaq Mason and Onwenu should be the team’s best offensive line group until Brown returns.
Folk’s knee remains a concern — 12:26 p.m.
Another story worth monitoring as the Patriots go through the season is Nick Folk’s health. The veteran kicker has been excellent this season, missing just one attempt (the potential game-winner against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers).
But warmups the last few weeks have been an adventure, with Folk spraying the ball around the yard more than usual. The reason for his struggles may be a left knee injury, which would affect his ability to plant on kicks.
Folk didn’t have to kick any field goals against Dallas last week but hit all three of his extra-point attempts, suggesting he should be able to do his job. But his nagging knee injury is far from ideal for the Patriots, who only have punter Jake Bailey available to kick in emergency situations with kicker Quinn Nordin on injured reserve.
Stevenson a surprise inactive — 11:59 a.m.
From Jim McBride in Foxborough: Rhamondre Stevenson was a surprise inactive as the rookie running back was coming off his most productive game. Stevenson, who had 62 yards from scrimmage on eight touches against the Cowboys, did not appear on the injury list leading up to Sunday’s game.
Second-year back J.J. Taylor, who had a costly fumble in the Tampa Bay game, returned to the lineup after being inactive the last two weeks.
The Patriots were also without their leader on the defensive front seven as linebacker Dont’a Hightower, who has been battling elbow and ankle injuries, also was inactive. It was the first game the veteran linebacker and captain has missed this season after opting out in 2020.
Offensive lineman Yasir Durant was inactive for the first time as right guard Shaq Mason (abdomen) returned after missing the last two games.
Tight end Devin Asiasi, linebacker Ronnie Perkins, and cornerback Shaun Wade rounded out the inactive list. None have played in a game yet this season.
For the Jets, leading tackler C.J. Mosley was inactive as he deals with a hamstring injury. Also out were safety Adrian Colbert, defensive lineman Jonathan Marshall, running back Tevin Coleman, receiver Jeff Smith, and tight end Tyler Kroft.
Inactives — 11:33 a.m.
Patriots: LB Dont’a Hightower, RB Rhamondre Stevenson, LB Ronnie Perkins, TE Devin Asiasi, OL Yasir Durant, CB Shaun Wade.
Notes: RG Shaq Mason is active after missing the last two games with an abdomen injury. First time since Week 4 that Patriots have 4 starters on the OL (Wynn, Onwenu, Andrews, Mason) ... Stevenson is a big surprise here as the rookie running back is coming off his best game of the season and was not on the injury report this week ... Hightower had been listed as questionable this week with elbow and ankle injuries and did not practice on Wednesday and Friday ... Stevenson, however, appears to be a healthy scratch after two solid weeks of play, giving J.J. Taylor an opportunity to get some run against the Jets ... Cornerback Joejuan Williams could also see some action Sunday with the cornerback position looking perilously thin due to Jonathan Jones landing on injured reserve.
Jets: TE Tyler Kroft, RB Tevin Coleman, LB CJ Mosley, DL Jonathan Marshall, WR Jeff Smith, S Adrian Colbert
Mac Jones weapons vs. Jets:— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) October 24, 2021
WR: Agholor, Meyers, Bourne, Olszewski, Harry
TE: Henry, Smith
RB: Harris, Taylor, Bolden
Patriots put up 29 points last week, and now the OL is getting healthy. Can they keep it going?
Keys for the Patriots — 11:24 a.m.
3 things to watch with the Patriots:— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) October 24, 2021
*Offensive Line Shuffle: Does Wynn return to LT or kick to LG? Does Onwenu stick at LG or move to RT? Pats need to find the right mix
*Can CB Myles Bryant step up in Jon Jones’ absence?
*Will Belichick be more aggressive on 4th down?
Pregame scenes and observations — 11:13 a.m.
From our reporters at Gillette Stadium:
Since they last met — 10:31 a.m.
Following that Week 2 meeting with the Jets, the Patriots went 1-3. They lost to the Saints, Buccaneers, and Cowboys and defeated the Texans. Aside from a 28-13 embarrassment vs. New Orleans, the other games have been close – losses by 2 and 6 points, and a 3-point margin of victory vs. Houston.
New England is 2-4 heading into Sunday’s game.
The Jets picked up their first win in Week 4, a 27-24 victory over the Titans. They lost to the Broncos and Falcons, and are coming off a bye in Week 6.
Injury report — 9:47 a.m.
A look at the latest Patriots’ injury report (released on Friday):
OUT: CB Jonathan Jones, shoulder; CB Shaun Wade, concussion
DOUBTFUL: No players listed.
QUESTIONABLE: DL Christian Barmore, shoulder; LB Ja’Whaun Bentley, ribs; RB Brandon Bolden, thigh; S Kyle Dugger, knee; K Nick Folk, left knee; DL Davon Godchaux, finger; LB Dont’a Hightower, elbow/ankle; ; LB Brandon King, thigh; G Shaq Mason, abdomen; DB Jalen Mills, hamstring; DB Adrian Phillips, back; LB Josh Uche, shoulder; LB Kyle Van Noy, groin; DL Deatrich Wise Jr., knee.
Pregame reading — 9:38 a.m.
A few suggestions to get you ready for the game:
• Chad Finn’s Unconventional Preview: Patriots need to string together some wins, and it should begin against the Jets
• Patriots notebook: Patriots place Jonathan Jones on IR, now the scramble begins to fill his roles
• Sunday Football Notes: Should the Browns commit long term, and big money, to Baker Mayfield?