Makes sense that New England’s “Boogeymen” continue to play well in October.
On Monday night, the Patriots scared the life out of young Jets’ quarterback Sam Darnold, so much so the young signal-caller could be heard on the “Monday Night Football” broadcast saying he was “seeing ghosts” after another failed first-half drive.
The truth of the matter is that Darnold never stood a chance – New England picked him off four times on the way and harassed him into submitting one of the worst performances by an opposing passer against the Patriots in recent history. In all, New England had its second shutout the season in a 33-0 shellacking of the Jets that turned MetLife Stadium into Spooky World for New York and its fans.
With the win, the Patriots move to 7-0 on the season. Dating back to last season (including the playoffs), New England has now won 12 straight.
The Patriots’ defense was its usual peerless self, but the offense also deserves plenty of praise. Tom Brady ended up 31-for-45 for 249 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. Sony Michel had 19 carries for 42 yards and three touchdowns, and James White had seven catches for 59 yards.
This one was over early: Michel rushed for a pair of touchdowns, while Mike Nugent delivered a 34-yard field goal and Phillip Dorsett caught a 26-yard touchdown pass to make it 24-0 at the half.
On the other side of the ball, Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Terrence Brooks and Stephon Gilmore had interceptions, and were part of a group that absolutely smothered the New York offense all evening.
The Patriots added a second-half safety after a botched snap forced Darnold to bat the ball out of the back of the end zone, and Michel rushed for his third touchdown of the night to make it 33-0 with 12:32 left in regulation to end the scoring.
11:23 p.m.: That should do it. 33-0, Patriots.
11:22 p.m.: Brady is yanked for Stidham. He ends 31-for-45 for 249 yards with one touchdown and one intertception.
11:10 p.m.: Another airball on third down for Darnold. He’s 11-for-30 for 86 yards and four picks. Throw the damn towel.
10:55 p.m.: I’m not sure how much value there is in keeping Darnold in this game. He’s getting crushed, he’s struggling to move the ball, and the home crowd is booing him. Make the move, Gase.
10:46 p.m.: Sure, you can argue that the Jets are the Jets. But let’s remember that the Patriots are doing this tonight without Rex Burkhead and Josh Gordon. An impressive outing for the New England offense, which just finished off another scoring drive -- Sony Michel punched it in for his third rushing touchdown of the night, making it 33-0 with 12:32 left in regulation. (Anyone for running time the rest of the way?)
10:25 p.m.: Now, Terrance Brooks gets in on the fun, as he picks off Darnold to keep the Jets out of the end zone. Just a dominant petrformance tonight for the New England defense. It’s 26-0 with 6:08 left in the third quarter. You can argue the first two games of the season were just as impressive, but when you consider the fact the Jets are coming off an impressive W against the Cowboys, this might be New England’s best defensive effort of the season.
10:16 p.m.: The Patriots can’t make anything of the Gilmore pick, but with the flipped field position, New England gets a safety, and the Pats now hold a 26-0 lead roughly midway through the third quarter. At this point, any drive where the New England offense doesn’t score, it’s a positive for the Jets.
10:05 p.m.: Man, Gilmore is having such a great year. That pick wasn’t exactly a thing of beauty, but the fourth takeaway of the game for the Patriots is really making this one a laugher. Again, the only real question in my mind is whether or not they can break 50, and whether or not New England can post its second shutout of the year.
10:00 p.m.: If I’m the Jets, Le’Veon Bell should get 20-plus touches here in the second half. The only thing that’s been remotely successful for New York. That’s where you have to start.
9:43 p.m.: That’s the half -- 24-0, Patriots. For the record, New England has broken 50 on the Jets twice (56-2 on 9/9/79 and 55-21 on 9/29/78).
9:35 p.m.: With 1:53 left in the second quarter, the Patriots hold a 24-0 lead. Tom Brady is 17-for-21 for 158 yards and a touchdown, while Sony Michel has a pair of rushing touchdowns. In addition, Julian Edelman has six catches on seven targets for 37 yards, while Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon have interceptions. Hard to find much fault with what the Patriots have done to this point in the game -- I mean, if you’re really looking for something, the running game has been inconsistent (38 rushing yards on 17 carries). But honestly, at this point, that feels like nitpicking. With the first half set to wrap up here in a few, New England is in complete command -- provided everyone stays healthy, it would be an upset of monumental proportions if the Pats lost this one.
Sam Darnold, mic'd up on MNF, on the sidelines after the last drive: "I'm seeing ghosts."— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) October 22, 2019
9:18 p.m.: Little sloppiness from the New England defense on this drive, as Danny Shelton picked up a penalty and J.C. Jackson was flagged twice. It’s allowed the Jets to manuever downfield for what could be a pretty good scoring opportunity ... and just like that, the Pats come away with another turnover. Duron Harmon high points the ball nicely, and New England has it back with (another) scoring chance.
9:06 p.,m.: Seeing Elandon Roberts line up at fullback, all I could think of is that somewhere, Richard Seymour allowed himself a small smile. Kyle Van Noy was denied the touchdown, but the Pats still got seven there when Sony Michel polished off the drive with another score to make it 24-0. As we said before, really, not much to complain about here if you’re a New England fan -- 35 offensive plays for the Patriots, eight for the Jets. It’s been a long night for New York, and it’s only going to get longer. Sheesh.
8:49 p.m.: Hard to envision the first quarter going any better for the Patriots. Another sharp drive for the New England offense, with a big gainer from Brandon Bolden, the first successful fourth-down pickup (courtesy of a ball for Ben Watson), and a 26-yard touchdown pass to Phillip Dorsett. The Pats had a soul-sucking drive to start the game, and they just followed that up with a (relaytively) quick strike to make it 17-0 with nine seconds left in the first quarter.
8:40 p.m.: Patriots offensive starters: Brady, Michel, Dorsett, Edelman, Watson, Tomlinson, Newhouse, Thuney, Karras, Mason, Cannon.
Defensive starters: Guy, Shelton, Wise, Van Noy, Collins, Hightower, Roberts, J. McCourty, Gilmore, D. McCourty, Harmon.
8:36 p.m.: The 34-yard field goal from Nugent is good, and it’s 10-0 with 3:49 left in the first quarter. A lot to like here when it comes to the Patriots’ start. A sharp drive to open the game, another great example of complementary defense on the Devin McCourty interception (his fifth of the year), and a successful field-goal attempt. Dodged a bullet there with the near turnover, but the Pats will take a 10-0 lead with 3:49 to go in the first.
8:29 p.m.: Very impressive start there for the New England offense -- 16 plays (the longest drive of the season) and more than half of the first quarter on the way to a 7-0 lead. The Patriots converted three third-down opportunities, grinding the clock and making plays when they needed to make them. A really good opening drive for the offense -- now, we’ll see what the defense can do.
8:20 p.m.: Pats keep it on the ground the first two plays, and they pick up a quick first down. Good start for New England.
7:40 p.m.: Chung is usually one of the more animated guys on the sideline, and that’s when he’s playing. Going to be fun to keep an eye on him tonight.
7:28 p.m.: A really smart person once told me that the longer between games, the greater the chances are of you talking yourself into an upset. And with no New England action in over a week, I know there are a lot of folks who are thinking the Jets are capable of doing some damage tonight, and (maybe even) winning. I know these games at MetLife can usually be a lot tougher than most New England fans like (with a few exceptions, obviously), but don’t see it happening tonight in North Jersey. I think the Patriots win, 24-13. They’ll struggle to score points at times -- I’m saying there will be one defensive touchdown -- but New England will move to 7-0. (If you’re feeling bold, chime in with your prediction in the comments.)
6:50 p.m: The Patriots inactives for tonight are as follows: Gordon, Burkhead, LaCosse, Izzo, Bennett, Patrick Chung and Korey Cunningham. Chung is a mild surprise -- he was questionable coming into tonight’s game with heel and chest issues, but known as one of the tougher guys on the team, the thought was he’d be able to play through. More time for the rest of the New England secondary, likely the deepest position group on the team. Without Burkhead, Harris is good to go to ostensibly provide depth at running back -- it would be good to see what he can do tonight against the Jets.
6:45 p.m: We already know five of the inacttives for tonight’s game: Josh Gordon, Rex Burkhead, Matt LaCosse, Ryan Izzo and Michael Bennett. It’ll be interesting to see if Damien Harris gets some run with Burkhead on the bench. The rookie out of Alabama is looking more and more like a candidate for the Shane Vereen/Trey Flowers rookie redshirt year plan, but we’ll see if he gets off the bench tonight.
6:35 p.m.: Welcome back to football! The Patriots are set to meet the Jets in New England’s only “Monday Night Football” appearance of the season. The Patriots are aiming to move to 7-0 on the year, while New York is coming off an impressive home win against the Cowboys. It doesn’t look like weather is going to be an issue this evening in North Jersey, with a forecast that looks to be ideal for late-October football.
New England opened the week as a double-digit underdog, and despite some talk around here this week that this Jets’ team has the capability to keep things close, the oddsmakers see it differently. We’ll have the latest inactive news shortly before 7 p.m. In the meantime, here’s your pregame reading list: