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Patriots 10, Jets 3

How it happened: A last-minute touchdown, the only one of the game, gives Patriots a hard-fought victory

Marcus Jones scored the first punt-return touchdown of the 2022 NFL season.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Marcus Jones scored the only touchdown of the game on an 84-yard punt return with 5 seconds left to lift the Patriots to a 10-3 victory over the Jets on Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

Jones, who briefly left the game because of an ankle injury – he said he just needed to have it taped up – said he expected the Jets to kick the ball out of bounds. Instead he fielded it at the 16 and went up the sideline before cutting across the field at the 50 and racing into the end zone.

“I’m happy for the divisional win. That’s the main thing,” Jones said with a smile afterward. “Now, I’m on to the next week.”


It was New England’s second victory over the Jets in four weeks, and 14th consecutive in the series. The Patriots won in New Jersey, 22-17, on Oct. 30.

The Patriots and Jets are both 6-4. The Patriots have won three straight, and face the Vikings on Thursday night.

“We knew it was going to be a battle there all the way to the end,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “Great ending there with the punt return. We came close on a couple of punt rushes, blocked a punt last week, so a combination of rushing and returning is a good weapon to have.”

Because of the windy conditions and physical defenses, both offenses struggled to find their footing throughout Sunday afternoon.

Linebacker Matthew Judon provided steady pressure for a New England defense that held quarterback Zach Wilson and the Jets in check most of the afternoon. Wilson completed 9 of 22 passes for 77 yards. He was sacked four times, including one and a half credited to Judon.

“Obviously a big day for us defensively, [holding the Jets to] 100 yards total offense,” Belichick said. “That’s a great job by the staff, the players and all the units that played, running game, passing game, pass rush, coverage, third down.”


Patriots quarterback Mac Jones completed 23 of 27 passes for 246 yards. He was sacked six times. Damien Harris carried eight times for 65 yards, and running back Rhamondre Stevenson was New England’s leading receiver with six receptions for 56 yards.

Kickers Nick Folk and Greg Zuerlein provided the offense through the first three-plus quarters, with Folk putting the Patriots on the board first with a 24-yarder with 14:57 left in the first half. Zuerlein answered with a 45-yarder with 9:38 to go in the second quarter.

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Instant Analysis: The Patriots’ offense is broken — 6:20 p.m.

It’s hard to pinpoint what’s wrong with the Patriots offense, because the answer is “everything.”

Mac Jones isn’t seeing the field? Check.

The offensive line can’t block? Check.

The play-calling is disjointed and predictable? Check.

The receivers aren’t getting open? Check.

The Patriots should have won in a blowout. Zach Wilson was totally overmatched as the Jets had more punts (10) than completions (9). The Patriots had opportunity after opportunity to put the game away in the second half, but couldn’t get out of their own way with sacks and negative plays on offense. The Patriots started one drive in the fourth quarter on their 45-yard line, went three and out, and got booed by the fans as they jogged off the field. A few fans even chanted for Bailey Zappe.


Read Ben Volin’s full analysis of the Patriots’ game here.

Shaughnessy: Once again, the Jets are the Jets — 5:57 p.m.

In the end, the Jets are going to Jet. And Belichick is going to Belichick. And when just when you think you have wasted three hours of your life, the Patriots reward you with one of the most exciting plays in sports; an 84-yard, last-minute, game-winning punt return by a player who is unknown to most New England sports fans.

The Patriots beat the Jets, 10-3, Sunday and Jones won the game.

Not quarterback Mac Jones.

Not ballhawk defensive back Jonathan Jones.

Not Dalton Jones, Sam Jones, K.C. Jones, Popeye Jones, Adam Jones, Tom Jones, nor Me and Mrs. Jones.

Marcus Jones; a 5-foot-8-inch, 175-pound defensive back from Enterprise, Ala., and the University of Houston won the game. That’s Marcus Jones, last spring’s third-round draft pick who started his college career at Troy University in Troy, Ala.

Read Dan’s Shaughnessy’s full column here.

Bill Belichick: ‘We had some good opportunities’ — 5:37 p.m.

Three takeaways from Bill Belichick’s postgame press conference:

On the struggles of quarterback Mac Jones and the offense Sunday against the Jets: “We moved the ball. We just didn’t have enough points. We have to do a better job of scoring points when we get down there,” he said. “It wasn’t like we couldn’t move the ball. We had some good opportunities.

“Give the Jets credit,” he added. “They have a really good defense. But we’re going to see good defenses the rest of the year as well. We just have to coach and play better.”


On sitting Trent Brown to start the game, and not having him play until there was an injury along the offensive line: “It was a coaching decision.”

On Marcus Jones. “He’s an explosive playmaker,” said Belichick, who credited coach Troy Brown for working with Jones.

“Troy’s done a tremendous job with Marcus,” Belichick said of the rookie, who is now “oceans apart” from where he was at the start of the season.

“He’s had a number of big returns for us,” Belichick said of his game-winning punt return. “Great execution by the punt return team to get Marcus started.”

Devin McCourty takes all the credit — 5:17 p.m.

After Sunday’s win over the Jets, veteran Patriots safety Devin McCourty offered a tongue-in-cheek assessment of linebacker Matthew Judon’s season, saying he was the reason for Judon’s greatness.

Just as quickly, McCourty reversed field, saying that the edge rusher has set a great example for the rest of the roster since he first arrived prior to the start of the 2021 season.

“He comes in here every day since he got here a year ago and tries to outwork and outcompete everybody,” McCourty said of Judon.

“The way he’s rolling, I think we’re all just trying to follow his lead,” McCourty said.

Judon, who had 1.5 sacks Sunday against the Jets, now has 13, a career-high. He’s on pace for 23 sacks, which would break the NFL record of 22.5 (shared by Michael Strahan and J.J. Watt).


“It’s my teammates and the guys who sit here in this room with me,” he said when asked about the secret to his success. “They push me. They challenge me every day.

“It could be anybody in this situation. It’s really just team defense.”

Judon said one of the most important elements of pressure comes down to timing.

“You put them in third and long and you take them out of their game plan,” Judon said. “When you get sacks like that, it really helps the defense.”

On Sunday, Judon and the defense led the way to the Patriots’ third straight win.

“What a heck of a game. What a way to end it,” Judon said of the dramatic 10-3 victory. “The defense played a heck of a game. The offense did their part. And Marcus Jones. Marcus Jones.

“We were up to the task today. That’s how we have to play.”

Marcus Jones knew it was time for a special teams play — 4:36 p.m.

Standing back to return the punt with less than a minute to go in regulation Sunday, Patriots returner Marcus Jones, like just about everyone else, expected the Jets to kick the ball out of bounds.

But when he saw the ball sailing in his direction, he heard the words of the New England coaching staff: “We have to make a play on special teams.”

Jones answered with an 84-yard return for a touchdown — the first of the year in the NFL — to help the Patriots pull off a dramatic 10-3 win over the Jets Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

“I’m happy for the divisional win. That’s the main thing,” Jones said with a smile afterward. “Now, I’m on to the next week.”

Jones, whose parents were at a Patriots game in Foxborough for the first time all season, had success as a returner in college, but said Sunday’s moment was the biggest he could remember.

“I honestly don’t remember. This is the biggest one” he said.

The key to being a good returner? It’s simple.

“The main thing is definitely confidence — being back there and just trusting my teammates most of the time,” he said.

Patriots take the lead — 4:06 p.m.

What did we say about special teams magic? Marcus Jones delivered a 84-yard punt return for a touchdown with less than a minute to go to give the Patriots a 10-3 lead with five seconds left.

It’s been a tough day for Mac Jones — 3:50 p.m.

With 6:33 left in regulation, Mac Jones has now been sacked six times, tying a career-high.

There’s been a combined 10 sacks on the afternoon by these two defenses. Deatrich Wise, Jr. had the last one to force a Jets punt. New England takes possession at its 34-yard line with 3:18 to go. Feels like the next offensive error will end up deciding this game.

It’s a great day to be a punter — 3:41 p.m.

We have reached the “trading punts” portion of the game. The Patriots, who have now punted five times, gave up possession. The Jets took over at their 18 with 10:52 left in the game, went three-and-out, and then punted for the eighth time.

Well, at least there’s only one quarter left — 3:25 p.m.

The third quarter is done, and the score is 3-3

Stats leaders: Mac Jones: 19/22, 207 yards; Damien Harris: 8 carries, 65 yards; Rhamondre Stevenson: 11 carries, 20 yards; Jakobi Meyers: 3 catches, 4 targets, 44 yards

Perhaps there’s some special teams magic to be discovered? — 3:19 p.m.

One of the thing that helped get the Patriots unstuck earlier in the year against the Steelers was some special teams magic. In that case, it was a fumbled punt by Pittsburgh’s Gunner Olszewski that helped pave the way for a victory.

Could they get it again this time around? Braxton Berrios hasn’t lost a fumble this season, but his decision to let that last punt wobble all the way down inside the New York 10 was questionable. In a game that could come down to a battle for field position, it’s the sort of decision that could play a role going forward.

Patriots lose Andrews, Wynn to injuries — 3:14 p.m.

The Patriots lost two members of their offensive line to injury Sunday afternoon.

At the start of the second half against the Jets, the team downgraded center David Andrews (thigh) and tackle Isaiah Wynn (foot) to out. Both players were initially considered questionable to return.

On New England’s third drive of the game, Andrews limped off in obvious pain and had to be helped down the stairs to the locker room. It is unclear when Wynn sustained his injury, but he left the game soon after.

Backup center James Ferentz, who started in Weeks 8 and 9 when Andrews was sidelined with a concussion, stepped in once again. Trent Brown, who mysteriously opened the game on the sidelines after being a full participant in practice all week, replaced Wynn.

– Nicole Yang

What is the lowest-scoring Patriots home game? — 3:10 p.m.

The lowest scoring game in Foxborough history is the Snow Plow Game, a 3-0 win over the Dolphins on Dec. 12, 1982. The way things are going, this one might end up being the second-lowest scoring game. New England and the Jets are tied at three with 7:32 left in the third.

Nick Folk misfires again — 3:03 p.m.

A 43-yard field goal attempt from Nick Folk was no good. It’s still tied, 3-3, with 9:08 to go in the third quarter.

Two quick drive notes:

• It appears the return of Damien Harris will be the best thing about the New England offense this afternoon. On that last sequence, Harris (who had a team-high 32 yards in the first half) ripped off a 30-yard run to reach New York territory, and added a 15-yarder shortly after that. He has six carries for 62 yards.

• Jones is not playing well, but if they’re going to win this thing, they’ll do it in spite of the Patriots’ offensive line. They just had a miserable back-to-back sequence where they yielded a seven-yard sack, followed by a holding call on James Ferentz.

Signs of life — 2:55 p.m.

We’re seeing more playmaking potential from the New England defense on the last two sequences, with Matthew Judon delivering his first sack of the afternoon on third down to set up a punt to conclude the Jets’ first possession of the second half. The Patriots will take over at their own 28 with 13:05 left in the third quarter.

A few notes on a pretty awful first half — 2:42 p.m.

Two quarters are in the books in Foxborough, and the game is tied at three. Here are a few quick notes:

Patriots stat leaders: Mac Jones: 12/15, 120 yards; Damien Harris: 5 carries, 32 yards; Jonnu Smith: 3 catches, 3 targets, 37 yards; Rhamondre Stevenson: 7 carries, 16 yards; 4 catches, 4 targets, 34 yards

Jets stats leaders: Zach Wilson: 5/11, 57 yards; 3 carries, 26 yards; Denzel Mims: 1 catch, 2 targets, 34 yards

• First team to reach double digits wins? There’s just no offensive consistency to speak of, from either team. When the Patriots did look like they were putting together a few nice plays, they’d stall because of penalty, injury (including one to center David Andrews, who left with what the team was calling a thigh injury early in the second quarter), or poor execution. Smith, Harris, and Stevenson have had their moments, although Smith nearly lost the handle on a run deep in New York territory. On the other side, other than one 34-yard pass to Mims, there’s been zero offensive presence from the Jets.

• It was one of the weirdest first quarters I can remember. A late start because of “technical difficulties,” no offensive rhythm from either team, a bunch of penalties, a punt that bounced off someone’s head, and no scoring. (The TV feed didn’t have announcers for the first few minutes.) Just an uneven start. Not sure if it was the wind or what. But neither team had success in the early going.

• Of the two offenses, the Patriots were probably the closest to being successful in the early going. (And even then, “successful” is a relative term.) New England put together an inconsistent drive that went 74 yards and took 14 plays, and ended with a 24-yard field goal from Nick Folk. (The kick was made after the Patriots decided to eschew a fourth-and-1 situation in the red zone. We’ll see if the decision to settle for three as opposed to going for seven comes back to bite New England.)

• Offensive lineman Trent Brown was in and out of the lineup over the first two quarters.

• I really like what Robert Saleh is building with the Jets, but given what we’ve seen in the early stages of this one, I just have no confidence in the long-term success of quarterback Zach Wilson against the Patriots. I’ll give you that playing on the road in dicey conditions can be a challenge, but he hasn’t done anything to provide people with any sense he will find success against Belichick and New England. He had one big play, a 34-yarder to Mims that set the Jets up for their field goal. But other than that? Not much else.

• In a first half with six total points, you’d be inclined to say this is a defensive showdown. The truth of the matter is that the defense has been good, but not great, with the Jets making their fair share of plays against Mac Jones. New York has three sacks of Jones, including a nine-yarder on a third-down play that likely played a role in a missed field-goal attempt by the Patriots late in the second quarter. Devin McCourty dropped a sure interception with less than a minute to go in first half.

• Special teams was a mixed bag over the first two quarters. A special teams penalty on Raekwon McMillan led to multiple New York punts, a sequence that ended with a punt going doink off the head of a Jets special teamer. Newcomer Michael Palardy was relatively smooth punting for New England, and Nick Folk delivered a 24-yard field goal without a problem. Considering what we saw over the first two quarters, we’ll give them a passing grade, although that’s on a curve.

• The Jets will get the ball to start the second half.

Nick Folk misses field goal attempt — 2:23 p.m.

It’s just a wildly inconsistent afternoon for the New England offense, which came close on that last sequence, but couldn’t convert. The misery was capped by a missed 44-yard field goal attempt from Nick Folk, whose kick hit the crossbar. It remains 3-3 with 2:49 to go in the first half. It wasn’t the only reason, but a nine-yard sack taken by Jones on the third down before the field goal attempt played a role in the miss.

Jets finally score — 2:07 p.m.

New York has tied things up, thanks in large part to a 34-yard pass from Wilson to Mims — on a play where Mims could have been called for offensive pass interference — that set the Jets up at the New England 25-yard line. The Jets couldn’t get much closer, and had to settle for a 45-yard field goal. The game is tied, 3-3, with 9:38 left in the first half.

Patriots finally score — 1:57 p.m.

Nick Folk’s 24-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter gave New England a 3-0 lead.

The first team to gain some offensive traction? The Patriots, who just put together a ramshackle drive (14 plays, 74 yards) that ended with the first score of the game for either team, a 24-yard field goal from Nick Folk that made it 3-0 at the start of the second quarter.

Damien Harris ripped off a 22-yard run to kickstart the New England drive, and an 11-yard reception by Jakobi Meyers got the Patriots into New York territory. A few plays later, Jones found Devante Parker for his first catch, for 10 yards. As New England entered the red zone, Jonnu Smith lost the handle on a run and nearly turned the ball over. It won’t remind anyone of the 2007 Patriots, but given the state of both offenses, three points feels like a win.

Two injury/personnel notes: David Andrews went down with some sort of leg injury on that drive; James Ferentz was inserted at center. (Andrews was helped to the locker room.) In addition, Trent Brown continues to sit, as the Patriots have gone with Yodny Cajuste and Isaiah Wynn at the tackle spots.

It’s 0-0 after the first quarter — 1:53 p.m.

End of the first quarter. It’s tied, 0-0.

Mac Jones: 7-9, 56 yards; Damien Harris: 5 carries, 32 yards; Rhamondre Stevenson: 2 catches, 2 target, 13 yards

Neither team looks good on offense — 1:35 p.m.

Neither offense looks comfortable at all out of the gate. There have been a few nice offensive plays for both teams, including a 13-yard scramble from Wilson, as well as seven-yard completions from Jones to Jonnu Smith and Nelson Agholor. But for the most part, the defenses have dictated the tempo through the first half of the first quarter. As we said off the top, this is likely to be a low-scoring contest.

After a few laughable tries at a successful punt, New England will take over at its 20-yard line. There’s 7:43 left in the first quarter of a scoreless game.

Not sure if it was the change in starting time because of technical difficulties or the wind or what, but this has been one of the oddest starts to any New England game in recent memory. Four penalties and four punts combined, and no successful third-down conversions for either team. A pick-6 and fumble have been wiped out, and a punt went ricocheting off someone’s head. All in the first half of the first quarter.

That was kind of weird — 1:24 p.m.

Wow. That was a wild stretch, where a fumble on New England’s second possession was overturned. Even though New England ended up punting, it appears the Patriots may have dodged a bullet. Michael Palardy responded with a good punt, and the Jets will take over a second time with 10:11 left in the first quarter. Mac Jones is 2-3 for 14 yards, and Damien Harris has one carry for four yards.

A strange start for both teams, who appear to be a little thrown by the late kickoff.

Start delayed, then a rough start — 1:15 p.m.

After a brief delay at the start — kickoff was pushed to 1:10 p..m, likely wind-related, by the sound of things — the Patriots opened with a rough offensive start. Tackle Trent Brown wasn’t on the field for the opening sequence, and Mac Jones was sacked. New England couldn’t bail itself out of the early hole, and had to punt. The Jets took possession at their own 25-yard line with 13:07 left in the first quarter.

The Jets suffered the same fate as the Patriots on their first series, going three-and-out. The New England offense has returned to the field, and Trent Brown is apparently still on the sidelines, replaced by Isaiah Wynn. Brown was not on the injury report all week, which means this is a situation worth monitoring. (For what it’s worth, he did note on his Instagram late in the week that he was “sick as hell.’)

Official Price prediction — 12:52 p.m.

Between the weather and a pair of good defenses, this is going to be a low-scoring contest. While I like a lot of the things the Jets are doing on both sides of the ball, they’re still hamstrung by a young quarterback who has made poor decisions at the worst possible time against the Patriots and Bill Belichick.

This afternoon, Jets quarterback Zach Wilson will throw at least one interception, Rhamondre Stevenson will top 90 yards, Matthew Judon will have a pair of sacks, and the Jets will miss at least one field goal attempt because of the wind. In the end, it’ll add up to a narrow New England victory: Patriots 17, Jets 14.

Belichick: ‘We’re back, attentive, and alert’ — 12:40 p.m.

Here are a few of the takeaways from Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s pregame chat with Scott Zolak on 98.5 The Sports Hub:

On returning after the bye: “Always good to get a little break. … But we’re back, attentive, and alert. We had a good week. The Jets are playing well.”

Goals for the second half? While Belichick listed several things, there was one at the top of the list. “Not turn the ball over as much.”

On getting some players back from injury, including David Andrews and Damien Harris: “It’s good to have as many healthy players as we can at this time of the year.”

On the expected windy conditions this afternoon: “I think kicking conditions out there today will be challenging. I think we’ll have a crosswind out there. … I’m sure that’ll impact the kicking game. May affect the passing game too. We’ll see.”

On Christian Barmore going to injured reserve: “He’s been dealing with the knee here for a couple of weeks. … We have three games here in 11 days, and we thought it was probably best to shut him down now.”

On the bad weather in Buffalo: “That sounds like Antarctica or somewhere like that.”

Meet the new punter — 12:30 p.m.

Five-year NFL veteran Michael Palardy will fill in for regular Patriots punter Jake Bailey on punts and kickoffs, and as the holder on field goals and extra points in Sunday’s game. Nick Folk also can kick off.

“He’s a pretty athletic kid,” Belichick said of Palardy.

Palardy played for the Carolina Panthers from 2016 to 2018 and for the Miami Dolphins in 2021.

Michael Palardy will wear No. 17.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Patriots are favored, and other betting notes — 12:20 p.m.

A few betting notes to consider today.

• Per Odds Shark, the Patriots are a 3.5-point favorite this afternoon, with most places having New England at anywhere between -3 and -.5.5. (That’s up from a three-point line that opened the week at most spots.) The number is 38.

• New England is 5-1 against the spread in their last 6 games.

• The total has gone under in 9 of New England’s last 13 games against NY Jets.

• The total has gone over in 8 of New England’s last 10 games at home.

• New England is 11-0 straight-up in its last 11 games when playing at home against NY Jets.

• The Jets are 5-1 against the spread in their last 6 games.

• The total has gone under in 4 of the Jets’ last 5 games.

• The Jets are 1-5 against the spread in their last 6 games against New England.

• The Jets are 0-10 straight-up in their last 10 games against New England.

A few long-term Patriots’-related odds from Bet Online:

• The Patriots are now 1 of 3 teams (along with the Giants and Jets) at 66-1 to win the Super Bowl. The Bills are still tops at 4-1, while Texans are 2000-1. In addition. New England is 33-1 to win the AFC, while Bills (2-1) and Texans (1000-1) are again at opposing ends of the spectrum. And the Patriots (16-1) have longest odds to win the division — the Bills (1-2), Dolphins (9-4), and Jets (11-1) are all ahead of them.

• Matthew Judon is 9-1 to win Defensive Player of the Year. It’s the first time this year he’s been in single digits, and trails only Micah Parsons (10-21) and Nick Bosa (13-2). Another multi-sack afternoon should mean another uptick in his odds.

• Bill Belichick is 50-1 to win Coach of the Year. Philadelphia’s Nick Sirianni (6-5) remains the favorite, while Minnesota’s Kevin O’Connell is second at 7-2.

• Cornerback Jack Jones (20-1) is fourth in Defensive Rookie of the Year odds. He trails Sauce Gardner (2-3), Tariq Woolen (2-1), and Aidan Hutchinson (10-1).

The Foxborough forecast — 12:06 p.m.

Clear and chilly conditions are expected for today’s game between the Patriots and the Jets. Temperatures are expected to be in the high 30s throughout the afternoon, which would make it the coldest game of the season for New England.

By way of comparison, it was 75 degrees at kickoff two weeks ago in Foxborough against the Colts. Yikes.

If it is in the 30s at kickoff, it’ll be the coldest Patriots’ game since the wild-card loss to the Bills in January, when it was a balmy 7 degrees at kickoff. It’ll also mark the first game in Foxborough in the 30s at kickoff since Nov. 28, 2021, when it was 37 degrees at kickoff for Patriots-Titans.

Overall, through the first nine games of the 2022 season, the Patriots are 1-1 when the temps are 80 or above at kickoff, 1-0 when it’s between 70 and 79, 1-2 when it’s been in the 60s, and 2-1 when it’s been in the 50s.

Patriots-Jets by the numbers — 11:54 a.m.

A few numbers to look for this week when it comes to Patriots-Jets:

• With one interception vs. the Jets, Devin McCourty will become the interception leader among active players with 34. He’s tied with Harrison Smith (33).

• With one sack, Matthew Judon will tie his personal best for sacks in a season with 12.5. Judon is on pace to finish with 22 sacks, which would set a franchise record and tie for second for NFL sacks in a season. Michael Strahan (2001) and J.J. Watt (2021) are tied with 22.5 each.

• Judon and Josh Uche had three sacks each in New England’s last win — if either one reaches the three-sack plateau against the Jets today, they’d tie a franchise mark; the only player in Patriots history with three sacks in back-to-back games is Andre Tippett (Nov. 1987).

• If Tyquan Thornton has a rushing touchdown against the Jets, he’d become the first Patriots’ receiver with two rushing touchdowns in a season.

• With five field goals vs. the Jets, Nick Folk would become the fifth kicker in franchise history with 100 field goals. (He’s kicked five in a game twice this season.)

Inactives: No real surprises for Patriots — 11:35 a.m.

Patriots: RB J.J. Taylor; RB Kevin Harris; CB Shaun Wade; safety Joshuah Bledsoe; DL Sam Roberts.

Jets: QB Joe Flacco; S Tony Adams; RB Zonovan Knight; CB Bryce Hall; WR Corey Davis; TE Kenny Yeboah; DL Sheldon Rankins

Analysis: No real surprises for a Patriots team coming off the bye week, but it’s worth noting that the entire list of inactives for the Patriots are all healthy scratches: Safety Joshuah Bledsoe, running backs J.J. Taylor and Kevin Harris, cornerback Shaun Wade, and defensive tackle Sam Roberts were all not on the injury list this week.

Two things to keep in mind: One, as is the case with most youngsters who have to sit at this time of the season, the fact they are healthy scratches is likely more about the overall team health and stability at the position rather than a player’s own level of work.

Secondly, this doesn’t necessarily mean New England is completely healthy; by way of example, the Patriots placed Christian Barmore and Jake Bailey on injured reserve this week. But it is a good sign to have important players like David Andrews and Damien Harris back after a couple of games away because of injury.

Meet today’s referee — 11:15 a.m.

Carl Cheffers will serve as today’s referee. A longtime official, this will be his first New England game since Dec. 6, 2020, a 45-0 win over the Chargers.

He’s worked several notable Pats’ games, including Super Bowl LI. According to NFLPenaltiesCom, Cheffers’ crew throws the fifth-most flags on average per game at 15.11.

Carl Cheffers has been an NFL official since 2000.Matt Durisko/Associated Press

Cast your vote on the outcome — 11:07 a.m.

TV details — 11:04 a.m.

Kevin Harlan and Trent Green will be on the call today on the CBS broadcast. New England is 3-2 since the start of the 2020 season when the Harlan/Green duo is on the mic, one of the better records of any broadcast team that has worked five or more Patriots’ games in that time.

Pregame reading — 11:00 a.m.

Time to get educated with your pregame reading list:

Chad Finn: The Patriots have won 13 straight meetings with the Jets, and it’s imperative they make it 14

Julian Benbow: The later the bye week, the better the Patriots like it

Nicole Yang: Tyquan Thornton’s promise not equal to his production for Patriots

Ben Volin: Success of Germany game could lead to more NFL games across Europe and beyond

Jim McBride: Raleigh Webb appreciates special moments in his NFL career

Jim McBride: The return of center David Andrews brings smiles to the faces of the Patriots

Ben Volin: Breaking down the AFC East race, with all four teams holding playoff spots right now

Christopher L. Gasper: In this view, Matthew Judon is the best free agent signing of the Bill Belichick Patriot era

Nicole Yang: Sunday’s Patriots-Jets rematch could have playoff ramifications

Jim McBride: Examining the crucial factors in the Patriots’ second-half push for a playoff spot

Christopher Price can be reached at Follow him @cpriceglobe.