Three weeks into the 2023 season, the Patriots finally have their first victory.
A pair of field goals by rookie kicker Chad Ryland and a safety late in the fourth quarter helped New England to a 15-10 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J.
It was New England’s 15th straight win over the Jets.
The Patriots needed a pair of defensive stands to seal the victory. They finished it off by stopping a fourth-down pass play well short of the first-down marker with 1:19 left, then they denied a Hail Mary attempt on the game’s final play.
The Patriots’ defense added two points late in the fourth quarter when linebacker Matthew Judon brought Jets quarterback Zach Wilson down in the end zone for a safety to snuff a drive shortly after the Jets pulled within three points.
On the Hail Mary, Jets receiver Randall Cobb got a hand on Wilson’s pass to the front of the end zone. The ball was deflected at the goal line, but Cobb was unable to catch it as time expired.
“15 points, generally you’re going to need more than that, but it was enough today,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said.
Patriots quarterback Mac Jones completed 15 of 28 pass attempts for 201 yards and a touchdown. Ezekiel Elliott carried 16 times for 80 yards, and Kendrick Bourne caught four passes for 46 yards.
New England is 1-2, and faces the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4.
“We’re definitely close,” Jones said. “We just have to execute better.”
The Patriots outgained the Jets by a wide margin – 358 yards to 171. The Patriots averaged 5.2 yards per play and held the Jets to 2.8.
After being booed after nearly every possession, Wilson finally engineered a Jets touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter to keep things close, although it took a pass interference penalty in the end zone to keep the drive alive. Nick Bawden punched in his first career touchdown run from a yard out to make it 13-10 with 5:24 left.
The Patriots opened the second half with an 11-play drive that led to a 51-yard field goal by Ryland to make it 13-3.
Jones hit tight end Pharaoh Brown for a 58-yard touchdown strike early in the second quarter to make it 10-0.
Ryland gave the Patriots a 3-0 lead on their first possession when he kicked a 48-yard field goal to cap a seven-play drive.
Bill Belichick pleased with Patriots’ effort — 5:21 p.m.
By his standards, Patriots coach Bill Belichick had a lot to say after Sunday’s win. He was pleased with how the Patriots defended against the Jets and prevailed in another close contest.
“I thought we played pretty good run defense against them,” he said. “We were able to run the ball better than we have [for the] first couple of weeks. In the end, some key plays in the fourth quarter that, fortunately, we were able to make a couple more than they were. But it’s kind of been like this three weeks in a row for us, so good to come out on the good end of it.”
The Patriots didn’t turn the ball over despite the poor conditions, a notable improvement from the key errors that defined their 0-2 start.
“The most important thing is points, the second-most important thing is turnovers,” Belichick said. “Certainly a correlation there. So if we take better care of the ball, then that gives a lot better chance to win.”
New England had 157 rushing yards, and Belichick applauded how his players executed against a daunting Jets defensive front.
“A lot of it’s just staying on the blocks, finishing blocks,” he said. “Good running is good execution — grind it out. It’s hard to rip off a bunch of 20-yard runs against these guys. They just don’t give those up.”
David Andrews: ‘It was just one of those messy games.’ — 4:50 p.m.
Patriots lineman David Andrews was at the center of a Patriots run game that finally got going in Week 3, cracking the 100-yard mark for the first time this season with 157 yards on the ground against the Jets.
“It was just one of those messy games, right? Raining, wind,” Andrews said. “We did some things well, handled a lot of their line movement well, that was a point of emphasis this week. Always some things to clean up, and we’ll do that tomorrow morning.”
Ezekiel Elliott had the majority of that production with 80 yards on 16 carries while Rhamondre Stevenson had 19 for 59 yards, and Andrews was pleased with his backs — the veteran, Elliott, in particular.
“[Elliott]’s done a great job for us,” Andrews said. “Obviously we’ve got two really good backs and we’ve got to hold up our end of the bargain up front for them, and get those guys into the secondary, get them there untouched and let them go to work.”
The run game did start to falter on New England’s last couple of drives, when they had a chance to ice the game with a first down or two but suddenly struggled to move the ball on the ground.
“I think that’s huge,” Andrews said of being able to close out games with the run. “Third and 3 to end the game, the first one, we really had a good opportunity to try and end the game there ... we had two [drives with under 4 minutes to play], would’ve liked to end the game right there, just got to do a better job of finishing, capping it off like that would be really big and we’ll keep working at it.”
Instant Analysis: This was far from picture-perfect — 4:36 p.m.
It won’t go down as one of the most aesthetically pleasing wins of the Bill Belichick era — but for a Patriots team facing an 0-3 start in the rugged AFC East, they’ll take it.
What worked and what didn’t?
Defense seals the victory — 4:14 p.m.
The Patriots defense did its job again, stopping the Jets on four straight plays — three Zach Wilson incompletions and a checkdown into the flat for 2 yards on fourth and 10 — to turn the ball back over to the offense.
After running the ball three times to burn the Jets’ remaining timeouts, the Patriots punted on fourth and 2 from the New York 39 to pin the Jets at their own 17, with no way to stop the clock and just 16 seconds.
Zach Wilson launched the ball into the end zone from his own 46-yard line, and things got a little too close to comfort when Randall Cobb got a hand on the deflected ball, but the Hail Mary fell incomplete as the Patriots have their first win of the year.
A safety! — 3:53 p.m.
Patriots 15, Jets 10 | 2:27 fourth quarter
That might just do it.
After Zach Wilson’s scramble for a first down was negated by a hold to put the Jets on their own 3-yard line on third and 15, Matt Judon beat Mekhi Becton inside with a spin move and wrapped up Wilson in the end zone for a safety, giving the Patriots a 5-point lead and the ball back with just over 2 minutes to play.
That took away the possibility of a field goal tying things up for the Jets.
The Patriots needed one first down to put the game away and they couldn’t get it, and a good punt return puts the Jets on their own 45 with 1 minute, 45 seconds to work and two timeouts with the game on the line.
The Jets are going to have a chance — 3:49 p.m.
The Patriots have given the Jets a chance, with another punt after a New England drive fizzled out at midfield. New York will have the ball back inside at own 10 with a chance to tie or win it.
Jets cut into the lead — 3:41 p.m.
Patriots 13, Jets 10 | 5:24 fourth quarter
This one’s not over yet.
Quarterback Zach Wilson finally got the Jets moving, going 7 of 8 for 79 yards to start the drive, before three straight incompletions in the red zone seemed to be enough for New England. Instead, Myles Bryant was flagged on a dubious pass interference call in the back of the end zone on third and goal, and fullback Nick Bawden punched in his first career touchdown run from a yard out to make it a 3-point game. – Touri
• Is it too dramatic to say the season hangs on this drive? Yeah, probably. But this game is closer than it should be. And the Jets’ offensive ineptitude up to that last drive overshadowed how ineffective the Patriots offense has been. It hasn’t run a play in the red zone today. – Finn
Patriots playing it safe — 3:30 p.m.
The Patriots are playing it safe as the game winds down, choosing to punt on fourth and 1 from the Jets’ 45 after Ezekiel Elliot took five consecutive carries for 32 yards.
Jets have only one penalty, a false start on their second possession.
The struggle continues — 3:24 p.m.
The Patriots are struggling to move the ball again, stalling out in their own territory again after just one first down. The ground game never got going, as Rhamondre Stevenson had three carries for one total yard on that possession. Mac Jones completed just one of his three throws.
Patriots not going anywhere — 3:07 p.m.
That Patriots drive went nowhere in a hurry. JuJu Smith-Schuster was flagged for an illegal blindside block on the opening play to make it first and 20, Ezekiel Elliott got back to the line on first down and picked up 7 yards on second to bring up third and 13, Trent Brown and Mike Onwenu each flinched to make it third and 23, and the Patriots played it safe with another Elliott run and a punt. – Touri
The Patriots had just one penalty in the first half, but committed three on that possession. – Finn
Ryland connects for Patriots FG — 2:49 p.m.
Patriots 13, Jets 3 | 10:26 third quarter
It’s been a busy day for place-kicker Chad Ryland, who hooked one in from 51 yards to improve to 2 for 4 on the day — all from at least 48 yards in less-than-ideal conditions — to restore New England’s two-score lead.
The Patriots established the run a little more on that drive, keeping it on the ground on six of their 10 plays, until Mac Jones threw one off his back foot and split two receivers on third and 6 on the Jets’ 33 to stall out the drive. – Touri
• Patriots are up to 100 yards rushing, on 22 carries. Workmanlike. – Finn
Two Patriots out for rest of game — 2:47 p.m.
Patriots defensive linemen Davon Godchaux and Daniel Ekuale have been downgraded to out. Godchaux has an ankle injury and Ekuale injured his elbow.
Halftime analysis — 2:34 p.m.
Two quarters are in the books here in New Jersey, and the Patriots hold a 10-3 lead. Here are a few notes:
• Stats report: Mac Jones: 9-for-18, 142 yards, 1 TD; Zeke Elliott: 6 carries, 32 yards; Pharaoh Brown: 1 catch, 1 target, 58 yards, 1 TD; Zach Wilson: 5-for-10, 29 yards
• The Patriots took their first lead of the season on a 48-yard field goal from Chad Ryland with 10:41 left in the first. While the offense didn’t set the world on fire the rest of the first half, the cushion — which was later helped by a touchdown pass from Jones to Pharaoh Brown in the second quarter — gave New England some room to breathe for the first time all season.
• The Jets’ offense is the opposite Miami’s. With Wilson at the helm, there’s little hope of generating any sort of offensive production at all — New York had one play of 10 yards or more, and that was when Wilson threw for 12 yards against Shaun Wade, New England’s fourth corner.
• The Jets had three first downs in the first two quarters. It’s important to note that New England isn’t exactly overwhelming this afternoon, which means there’s room for some sort of special teams or defensive miracle in the second half from New York that could end with some points for the Jets. But the New York offense has done nothing offensively to suggest it is capable of a spearheading a possible comeback.
• The lone bright spot for the Jets’ offense came at the end of the half when Greg Zuerlein banged home a 52-yard field goal with 1:21 left in the second quarter. That came at the end of a 10-play, 33-yard drive, and made it 10-3.
• The starting New England offensive line was (from left to right): Trent Brown, Cole Strange, David Andrews, Mike Onwenu, and Vederian Lowe. It wasn’t perfect, but the group held up relatively well in pass protection, considering the stout New York front seven. From a protection standpoint, it was interesting to see tight end Pharaoh Brown get some snaps as a fullback. He helped clear the way for a 12-yard pickup by Ezekiel Elliott. Brown also provided the offensive highlight of the first half when he had a catch-and-run that went for 58 yards, his first touchdown in two-plus years, to make it 10-0 with 11:38 left in the first half.
• Anfernee Jennings, who was a healthy scratch for the first two games, drew the start at outside linebacker and dominated in the early going, coming away with the first two tackles on the afternoon, including an impressive tackle for loss on second down that set up a third-and-impossible for Wilson and the Jets. A good start for the youngster out of Alabama, who shared a sack with Davon Godchaux later in the first.
• One of the things we heard from coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots all week was how the Jets send wave after wave of pressure with multiple defensive fronts and different personnel. New England is really working to do the same thing in the first half; there’s been a greater role for players who haven’t played a lot to this point in the season like Jennings, Daniel Ekuale, and Sam Roberts. You take it with a grain of salt because the New York offense is incredibly ineffective today, but regardless, it’s all added up to a very good start for the New England defense to this point in the afternoon.
• It wasn’t exclusive, but in the early going, Christian Gonzalez and Myles Bryant started as the boundary corners, with Shaun Wade working into the mix on passing downs. Wade allowed a third-down pass play to Allen Lazard that ended up going for a first down, the longest play of the first half for New York. From a secondary standpoint, it also appears that veteran Adrian Phillips remains the odd man out.
• Demario Douglas saw his first action since last week’s fateful fumble against the Dolphins, getting involved in the first offensive series and seeing sporadic action after that. The shifty youngster ended the first half with one catch (on two targets) for 15 yards, a reception that allowed the Patriots to convert a third-down opportunity.
• From a special teams standpoint, the 48-yarder from Ryland got the Patriots on the board with 10:41 left in the first quarter. He missed a 48-yarder later in the half, and a 57-yard field goal attempt at the end of the first half was also off the mark. Jabrill Peppers had a 19-yard punt return midway through the first quarter, his first chance as a return man this season. And Brenden Schooler had a great open field tackle on a second-quarter punt return attempt.
• Ekuale (elbow) and Godchaux (ankle) are questionable to return for the second half.
• The Patriots will get the ball to start the third quarter.
Jets kick field goal — 2:20 p.m.
Patriots 10, Jets 3 | 1:25 second quarter
The Jets are finally on the board after a 52-yard field goal from Greg Zuerlein. New York ran the ball eight times for 29 yards on that drive, only allowing Zach Wilson to throw it once for a 4-yard gain on third and 6 that led to the field goal. The game plan for the Jets from here on out seems pretty clear. – Touri
• You don’t see too many scoring drives that require over 6 minutes to cover 33 yards. – Finn
Jets remain grounded — 2:13 p.m.
• Five running plays, no passes on this possession for the Jets. It’s like they don’t trust their quarterback. – Finn
• Should be fairly easy to defend that play-calling. – Yang
• It’s now 8-0 on this drive. – Finn
• I will say the Patriots have to be careful here. The Jets are at New England’s 40-yard line, so a holding or unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Patriots would put them in field-goal range. – Yang
Called it — 2:04 p.m.
Re: the play-action touchdown pass. Our colleague Ben Volin did a good job of predicting that long shot. The Patriots kept running the ball on their three tight-end sets and then got the Jets to bite. – Yang
Patriots keep running the ball out of 3TE personnel. Feels like they're setting up a deep playaction shot play for later in the game— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) September 24, 2023
Second-quarter notes and analysis — 1:57 p.m.
• This doesn’t really relate to anything in the game, but defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich was easily the most obnoxious Jets personality on “Hard Knocks.” – Finn
• Play-action passes should be a point of emphasis for the Patriots under offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, but they haven’t used it very frequently through two weeks. Headed into Sunday, Mac Jones’s play-action rate (13.3 percent) ranked 29th in the league.
But when the Patriots do use it, they have success. That Brown touchdown is another example. I wonder if the Patriots try to incorporate more play-action today, especially now that they have a lead. – Yang
• That was the first touchdown for Pharaoh Brown since Jan. 3, 2021. – Price
• Just looked that up too. A 7-yarder from Deshaun Watson when they were both with the Texans. It’s been awhile. – Finn
• Right on cue, with the MetLife Stadium crowd jazzed after the missed field goal, the Patriots sack Zach Wilson for a loss of 12 yards. Boos ensued.
The boos only got louder after the Jets go three-and-out. Zach Wilson threw back-to-back passes into the dirt after getting pressured.– Yang
• I’d like to hear Aaron Rodgers’s assessment of Wilson’s play right now. – Finn
Patriots find the end zone — 1:51 p.m.
Patriots 10, Jets 0 | 11:38 second quarter
Not a bad way to get your first catch as a Patriot. Pharaoh Brown, signed to the 53-man roster at the end of training camp, was wide-open down the seam on a play-action play, and Mac Jones found him for a 58-yard touchdown to make it a two-score game.
It was by far the worst field position the Patriots have had — starting on their own 22 — and New England needed just five plays to find the end zone.
• Wow. Meet Pharaoh Brown, the 29-year-old tight end that just registered a 58-yard touchdown for New England’s longest offensive play of the season.
That score should just about do it. If the Patriots do not turn the ball over — an issue for them through two weeks — I cannot see a path to victory for the Jets. – Yang
• I assume everyone had Pharoah Brown with the first touchdown of the game. Pretty obvious. – Finn
Ryland misses field-goal attempt — 1:42 p.m.
The Patriots reached the red zone, but the offense couldn’t overcome Cole Strange’s holding penalty that backed them up 10 yards. And then Chad Ryland missed the 48-yard field goal attempt. The Patriots are letting the Jets hang around. – Yang
End of first quarter: Patriots 3, Jets 0 — 1:39 p.m.
Both teams had the ball three times in the first quarter, with New England’s third possession carrying over into the second quarter. The Patriots will start the second quarter at the Jets’ 30-yard-line.
First-quarter thoughts and observations — 1:37 p.m.
• After another three-and-out drive by the Jets, the Patriots will have the ball at their own 43-yard line. If New England can find the end zone here, I honestly think a 10-0 lead will be insurmountable for the Jets. – Yang
Agreed. Jets have 11 yards on 12 plays so far, and they’ve barely avoided disaster a couple of times. – Finn
• One of the things we heard from Bill Belichick and the Patriots all week was how the Jets send wave after wave of pressure with multiple defensive fronts and different personnel. New England is really working to do the same thing in the first quarter; there’s been a greater role for players who haven’t played a lot to this point in the season like Anfernee Jennings are Daniel Ekuale. You take it with a grain of salt because the New York offense is pretty ineffective, but regardless, it’s all added up to a very good start for the New England defense to this point in the afternoon. – Price
• The Patriots’ second drive looked poised for another trip into field goal range, before a brutal drop from Rhamondre Stevenson in the flat on third and 3 — with plenty of time to find the first down marker — stopped New England in its tracks and forced a punt. – Touri
• It looked like Stevenson was aware of the space ahead and started to turn upfield before actually making the catch. The drizzle also could have contributed to the slipperiness. – Yang
• Demario Douglas gets a snap on New England’s opening drive, his first offensive snap since last week’s fumble. – Price
• Third-year cornerback Shaun Wade, who had been on the field for 1.59 percent of the defense’s snaps headed into Week 3, gave up the 12-yard reception from Zach Wilson to Allen Lazard, allowing the Jets to convert their first first down of the game. The Patriots are fortunate Wilson won’t be able to burn the depleted cornerbacks group as much as another passer might. – Yang
• I don’t know if he slipped or something, but just watched the replay of the third-down sack of Wilson, and he appeared to just collapse. Not sure anyone touched him. Getting Tony Eason flashbacks here. – Finn
• Ezekiel Elliott is starting New England’s second drive at running back, after Rhamondre Stevenson took the first. It appears the Patriots are going to have the two essentially alternate drives, as they did with Stevenson and Damien Harris. – Yang
• Another beautiful punt for rookie Bryce Baringer, pinning the Jets at their own 6-yard line. – Yang
Patriots score first — 1:11 p.m.
Patriots 3, Jets 0 | 10:41 1st quarter
The Patriots are on the board first, courtesy of a 48-yard field goal from rookie Chad Ryland. It is the first time this season the Patriots have led.
New England was set up with good field position after the defense forced a three-and-out deep into Jets territory; a big third-down conversion from Mac Jones to Mike Gesicki got the Patriots in field goal range, but the drive sputtered out as Jones overthrew DeVante Parker on a deep shot to the end zone on third and 3 to force New England to settle for a field goal. – Touri
• Mac Jones’s two completions on New England’s opening drive went to Mike Gesicki (18 yards) and Hunter Henry (8 yards). Yes, the Patriots lack top-end receiving talent, but they actually have one of the better tight end groups in the league. An improved offensive line should lead to more targets for Gesicki and Henry. When the line struggled, there just wasn’t enough time for them to get open. – Yang
Three-and-out for the Jets — 1:07 p.m.
Patriots linebacker Anfernee Jennings, making his season debut, swallowed Breece Hall for a loss of six yards. On the next play, Ja’Whaun Bentley almost brought Zach Wilson down for a Zach. New England’s defense certainly is picking up where it left off against the Wilson-led Jets, and the Patriots will get the ball back early in this game. – Nicole Yang
Jets receive opening kickoff — 1:04 p.m.
The Patriots won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half. The Jets have the ball first.
If New England beats the Jets this week, it would be the Patriots’ 15th consecutive win over the Jets. That would tie a franchise record for most consecutive wins against an opponent: New England beat Buffalo 15 straight times between 2003 and 2010.
A tale of two receivers — 12:51 p.m.
On Kayshon Boutte being inactive for the second straight week: There is some positional redundancy when it comes to the rookie receiver and veteran DeVante Parker. Parker is a little bigger — Boutte is 6 feet, while Parker is 6-foot-3 — but they are both receivers who flourish more on the boundary than in the slot.
That means the season opener, where Boutte was up and Parker was inactive because of an injury, could ultimately end up being a bit of an outlier (as long as Parker stays healthy).
Ultimately, Boutte could be bound for that redshirt role that many have played over the years (Shane Vereen, James White, Trey Flowers, etc.) – Chris Price
Warmups, and what they mean — 12:30 p.m.
• Jabrill Peppers, Myles Bryant, and Demario Douglas are working as punt returners in warmups. Ty Montgomery working as a kick returner. (Rhamondre Stevenson as well...it appears he’s gone back and forth between kick return and punt return.)
• Right now, it’s windy, but it looks like there isn’t much in the way of rain. Supposed to get worse as the afternoon rolls on, but right now, it’s not awful.
• Patriots offensive line in warmups: LT Trent Brown/Calvin Anderson, LG Cole Strange,C David Andrews,RG Mike Onwenu, RT Vederian Lowe. – Chris Price
• If Brown is good to go, that’s probably the best-case scenario right now for the line, right? Lowe can’t be worse than Anderson was last week. – Chad Finn
• Probably. I’d still line up a TE – Brown probably – in his hip pocket on gotta-have-it plays for maximum protection. – Price
Globe staff predictions for Patriots-Jets — 12:15 p.m.
Chris Price: Escape from New York. Or North Jersey. Whatever. Regardless of your geographical perspective, the Patriots just barely pull this one out, thanks in large part to the defense and some special teams magic. I’ll say 14-9, New England.
Ben Volin: Patriots, 12-6. Two great defenses, plus two offenses trying to find their way, plus soggy conditions equals another low-scoring game. It’ll be a field goal fest until late, when the Patriots finally punch one into the end zone (but miss the 2-point conversion).
Chad Finn: It’s going to be way too close for comfort, but a late pick-six by Kyle Dugger gives the Patriots the breathing room they need – and their first win. Patriots 20, Jets 10.
Inactives analysis: How will the game be impacted? — 11:47 a.m.
The Patriots announced their inactives a few moments ago.
• Cornerback Jonathan Jones (ankle) and offensive lineman Sidy Sow (concussion) were downgraded to out on Saturday. Without Jonathan Jones (as well as Marcus Jones and Jack Jones), there are two possibilities here: 1, the Patriots continue to lean on Myles Bryant for support when it comes to pass defense. And 2, they could always move versatile defensive back Jalen Mills to corner from his safety spot. (Shaun Wade also remains a possibility.) Either way, it’ll be interesting to see what the Patriots end up doing.
• As for Sow, I’d expect New England to use its complement of starting guards in this one, with Cole Strange at left guard and Mike Onwenu at right guard. It does cut into the Patriots’ depth at guard, however, if either one of the is unable to go wire-to-wire (as was the case with Onwenu last week), which means youngster Jake Andrews could see some time against the Jets.
• This feels like a week where the New England pass rush could really flourish, as the New York offensive line is in a state of disarray. With Duane Brown out, Mekhi Becton moves from right tackle to left tackle, and youngster Alijah Vera-Tucker figures to line up on the right side. Look for Josh Uche and Matthew Judon to have a big day.
• In terms of the notable actives, Trent Brown is back after missing last week’s game with a concussion. It likely sets up an offensive line of (left to right) Brown, Strange, David Andrews, Mike Onwenu, and Calvin Anderson. – Chris Price
• Rookie wide receiver Kayshon Boutte ended up being one of the Patriots’ five inactive players, which is a surprise given Boutte’s participation in warmups. The Patriots designated Will Grier as their emergency third quarterback, so he will be able to play if both starter Mac Jones and backup Bailey Zappe are injured or disqualified. The Patriots didn’t elevate any practice squad players to the 53-man roster. – Nicole Yang
Patriots/Jets inactives announced — 11:37 a.m.
Patriots inactives: OT Tyrone Wheatley, WR Kayshon Boutte; OL Sidy Sow, CB Jonathan Jones, QB Will Grier
Jets inactives: WR Jason Brownlee, S Tony Adams, RB Israel Abanikanda, CB Bryce Hall, LB Zaire Barnes, OL Wes Schweitzer
Pregame observations from MetLife Stadium — 11:15 a.m.
• I expect rookie Demario Douglas to serve as New England’s primary punt returner today, with Marcus Jones (torn labrum) on injured reserve. Douglas’s benching following his fumble in Week 2 was a big story line, so we’ll see if his offensive snaps return to the norm.
• Fellow rookie wide receiver Kayshon Boutte is participating in warmups with a large group of starters, which likely signals the team will keep him active this week after ruling him a healthy scratch in Week 2.
• For all the talk about the weather, rain doesn’t seem to be a factor two hours ahead of kickoff. The forecast anticipates light rain throughout the afternoon, so we’ll see if the conditions end up influencing the play calls. – Nicole Yang
Usher to play Super Bowl halftime show — 11:10 a.m.
Grammy Award-winning musician Usher will headline the Super Bowl halftime show on Feb. 11 in Las Vegas, the NFL, Apple Music, and Roc Nation announced Sunday. Usher, who has won eight Grammys, said he’s looking forward to performing on the NFL’s biggest stage.
“It’s an honor of a lifetime to finally check a Super Bowl performance off my bucket list,” he said. “I can’t wait to bring the world a show unlike anything else they’ve seen from me before.” – Associated Press
Patriots players to watch — 11:05 a.m.
Chris Price: I’d hope coach Bill Belichick would let receiver Demario Douglas off the bench after last week’s gaffe against the Dolphins. He’s a dynamic offensive presence who could be a difference maker against the Jets.
Ben Volin: Left tackle Trent Brown returns to the lineup Sunday after missing last week’s game with a concussion. The Patriots’ offensive line was a mess in last week’s loss to the Dolphins, with Mac Jones taking four sacks and getting hit eight times, and the run game averaging just 3.5 yards per carry. The Patriots need Brown and the Patriots’ offensive line to solidify quickly against a stout Jets defensive line that rotates nine players into the game.
Chad Finn: It’s probably impressive rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez, who will be matched up with – spoiler alert – our Jets Player to Watch most of the time. But I’m going to go with Rhamondre Stevenson, who should be the Patriots’ best offensive player, but who has just 75 rushing yards so far behind the disjointed offensive line. Whether in the running or passing game, it’s time to get him going.
Jets players to watch — 10:50 a.m.
Chris Price: Zach Wilson is the easy answer, I know, but if the youngster can scrape together some semblance of offensive rhythm for the Jets, it could be a difficult day for New England.
Ben Volin: 2020 first-round draft pick Mekhi Becton began the year at right tackle but now switches to the left side with Duane Brown recently placed on injured reserve. Becton hasn’t started a game at left tackle in two years, so expect the Patriots to test him early and often with linebackers Matthew Judon and Josh Uche.
Chad Finn: Garrett Wilson has emerged as one of the most impressive receivers in the league, but his degree of difficulty got exponentially harder with Aaron Rodgers’s injury. Still, he had 6 catches for 112 yards in the first meeting last season with Zach Wilson chucking the ball his way. The Patriots held him to 2 catches for 12 yards in the later matchup. If he roughly averages those two performances today – 4 catches, 60ish yards – it’s a win for the Patriots.
Last time they played — 10:35 a.m.
The last edition of this matchup was also one of the strangest. In Week 11 last season, the teams were tied, 3-3, in one of the lowest-scoring games of the season heading into the final moments. The Jets punted with 26 seconds to go, playing for overtime, and Marcus Jones handled the rest to give the Patriots a 10-3 victory in November’s second meeting of the teams in the 2022 season.
When’s the last time the Jets beat the Pats? — 10:30 a.m.
It’s been nearly eight years since the Jets beat the Patriots, when Ryan Fitzpatrick quarterbacked New York to an overtime victory just after Christmas in 2015.
With Tom Brady and the New England offense sputtering, the Jets jumped out to a 17-3 lead just after halftime. A Jamie Collins scoop-and-score got the Patriots back in it and Brady found James White on a 9-yard touchdown pass play with two minutes to go to force the extra period, but Fitzpatrick marched New York down the field and hit Eric Decker in the end zone for what would be the Jets’ last win over their rivals for quite some time.
Patriots injury report — 10:22 a.m.
Mac is the last Jones standing, with Jack Jones, Jonathan Jones, and Marcus Jones all set to miss Sunday’s trip to New York, leaving the New England cornerback room fairly thin.
The offensive line — in particular the interior — still has question marks, with starting guards Cole Strange (knee) and Mike Onwenu (ankle) limited in practice this week and both listed as questionable and backup guard Sidy Sow out with a concussion.
Defensive tackle Christian Barmore is also questionable with a knee issue.
Jets injury report — 10:10 a.m.
Aside from the season-ending injury to quarterback Aaron Rodgers (Achilles’ tendon), the Jets have their own issues on the offensive line with tackle Duane Brown (shoulder/hip) questionable and guard Wes Schweitzer (concussion) out for Sunday. Safety Tony Adams (hamstring) is also out for New York, and defensive end John Franklin-Myers (hip) is questionable.
Betting lines — 10:05 a.m.
The Patriots are slight favorites on the road, with the spread settling at 2.5 points in favor of New England and the money line hovering around -150 for the Patriots.
Neither offense has inspired much confidence in the oddsmakers; the total at most sportsbooks is around 35.5, the lowest over/under of any game in the NFL in Week 3.
Weather report – 9:55 a.m.
According to AccuWeather, the forecast at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., calls for consistent temperatures (between 59 and 66 degrees all day) as well as wind and rain throughout the afternoon – remnants of a tropical storm off the Atlantic coast. Wind speed will average 19 m.p.h., with maximum gusts of 35 m.p.h.
Pregame reading — 9:45 a.m.
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