Patriots vs. Jets score, takeaways: New England extends streak over New York to 15, wins first game of 2023
It wasn't easy, but the Patriots got in the win column
The New England Patriots are in the win column for the first time in 2023 after outlasting the New York Jets 15-10 at MetLife Stadium. With the win, the Patriots extend their winning streak against the Jets to 15.
This matchup between AFC East rivals tightened up toward the end. New England had built up a double-digit lead by halftime, but the Jets managed to make it a game all the way until the final seconds. A 13-play, 87-yard touchdown drive brought New York within three points and within striking range of either tying or taking the lead. However, the ensuing Jets possession resulted in a safety sparked by Matthew Judon, which pushed the New England lead to five.
While that did seem like the dagger at the time, New York was within range up until the final seconds and Zach Wilson had an opportunity for a game-winning Hail Mary. After the ball was batted around in the air, veteran receiver Randall Cobb nearly got a hand on the ball, but was unable to corral what would have been the miracle game-winning score.
Mac Jones finished 15 of 29 for 201 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Pharaoh Brown had arguably the play of the day with a 58-yard touchdown score. Meanwhile, Wilson was 18 of 36 passing for 157 yards.
For a more detailed breakdown of how this game unfolded, check out our main takeaways below.
Why the Patriots won
New England's defense once again came up clutch. For most of the game, Bill Belichick's squad was able to apply pressure on Wilson and force him to either throw the ball away or go down with a sack. On the day, the Patriots tallied three sacks and seven quarterback hits in the win. Arguably the biggest moment of the game came when Judon was able to take Wilson down in the end zone for a safety in the fourth quarter to extend the lead to five points (more on that below). However, the secondary also did a strong job at containing New York's skill-position players, specifically Garrett Wilson, who finished with 48 yards receiving on nine targets.
Offensively, it was a bit of a mixed bag for New England, which made some questionable play-calling decisions on third down, but was able to get a strong game out of Ezekiel Elliott (80 yards rushing) and Brown popped out of nowhere with a 58-yard touchdown in the first half.
Why the Jets lost
While the score may indicate that it was a close game (and it turned out to be in the closing minutes), this was an absolutely miserable day for the Jets offense for the most part. In the first half, it managed just 37 yards of total offense as the Patriots built up a double-digit lead. And if you eliminate that 87-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter, the Jets had just 84 yards of total offense for the game. Specifically, the Jets simply couldn't sustain drives as they went 2-for-14 on third down. Wilson continues to look inconsistent under center and was routinely holding the ball too long and staring down his receivers for the bulk of the game, which the Patriots secondary pounced on. No Jets skill-position player had 50 yards in the loss.
Despite all that, the Jets had a chance to win this game with a second left on the clock. After Wilson was able to chuck the ball in the end zone, Cobb nearly snagged the game-winning catch, but couldn't get his footing secure to haul in the prayer.
This game quickly got tight in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter. After the Jets got within a field goal thanks to an 87-yard touchdown drive and the Patriots proceeded to answer with a three-and-out, the tides were uncomfortably turning for Bill Belichick's team. However, Judon was able to come in clutch with a sack of Wilson in the end zone that resulted in a safety, creating a five-point cushion for New England.
Play of the Game
The longest play of the season for the Patriots was also the most surprising. While Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki headline the top of the tight end depth chart, it was the veteran Brown who broke out with a 58-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. There was a breakdown in New York's secondary which allowed Brown to move freely up the seam. Jones found him and the two connected for score that put New England up 10-0. And in a game where the Patriots only won by five points, Brown's touchdown proved to be monumental. For the game, he finished with two receptions for 71 yards and that score.
From here, the Patriots will remain on the road as they'll head to Dallas to take on the Cowboys in Week 4. As for the Jets, they'll stick around East Rutherford and await the Kansas City Chiefs for a prime-time Sunday night game.
Zach Wilson can't make that throw. Can't check down in that spot. The ball needs to go at or around the sticks.
I do not agree with these third down pass decisions by the Patriots. Elliott had been running well. It's short enough of a distance that you can convert that on the ground and keep the clock running.
Matthew Judon comes up clutch with the sack of Wilson in the end zone to result in a safety. That could very well put the nail in the coffin for the Jets.
This is turning out to be a nightmare scenario for the Patriots. If they blow this and fall to the Jets, serious alarm bells will be ringing in Foxborough.
Myles Bryant with just about the most ill-timed penalty that you can think of. Gives New York the ball at the 1-yard line and Nick Bawden scores the TD to bring New York within a field goal.
Don't look now, but the Jets offense is starting to find its rhythm.
The first real sign of life for the Jets. Wilson had time to throw and they finally converted a third down attempt with that 18-yard catch to Conklin. That is the longest play of the day for New York.
Broadway Joe isn't liking what he sees.
A healthy dose of Ezekiel Elliott here by the Patriots as they look to kill clock.
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