The Patriots lastly crafted a blueprint to victory — profitable within the trenches


“It was simply a type of messy video games.”

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) hands off to New England Patriots running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) with better line blocking for the run during the third quarter. The New York Jets host the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ Sunday, September 24, 2023.
The Patriots completed with 157 dashing yards in Sunday’s win over the Jets. Barry Chin / The Boston Globe

There weren’t many surprises to be present in New England’s win over the Jets.

Few had been startled that Sunday’s sport devolved right into a rock battle on offense, given each the climate circumstances and the state of New England and New York’s offensive items.

A Jets offense commanded by Zach Wilson was grounded for many of the day, with a largely non-existent passing sport permitting New England to stay to a stout base protection.

  • New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) speaks with the referee during the second half an NFL football game against the New York Jets on Sunday Sept. 24, 2023, in New York.

    Jets CB Sauce Gardner says Mac Jones hit him in his ‘non-public components’ throughout 4th-quarter scrap

  • Jets are sticking with Zach Wilson regardless of the quarterback’s struggles

And on a day the place the Patriots managed the road of scrimmage, New England walked off the gridiron with a victory.

“It was simply a type of messy video games,” David Andrews mentioned after New England’s 15-10 victory. “Rain and wind. We did some issues nicely. I assumed we dealt with among the line motion nicely, that was an enormous emphasis this week. We tried to push on that and thought we did a very good job of that.”

The Patriots had been suffering from numerous misfirings on offense en path to their first 0-2 begin for the reason that 2001 season. Defeats in opposition to the Eagles and Dolphins adopted a well-recognized script, with turnovers, poor blocking and an impotent run sport hampering Mac Jones and Invoice O’Brien’s potential to string collectively consistency on offense.

Sunday was removed from an offensive masterclass, not when New England nonetheless solely scored 15 factors and was a Hail-Mary play away from a crushing loss to a woeful Jets offense.

But it surely was a step in the best route for a Patriots staff whose offensive basis is constructed round a punishing run sport and regular cross safety.

Though Jones (15-of-29, 201 yards) and the Patriots didn’t air issues out in opposition to a stingy Jets protection, New England’s O-line did what it might to stop the likes of Quinnen Williams and Co. from dismantling the Patriots’ offensive plans.

The Jets didn’t document a single sack in opposition to Jones on Sunday, with solely two tackles for a loss.

“A number of it’s simply staying on the blocks, ending blocks, good operating. … I believe that type of helped us sluggish the cross rush down slightly bit, preserve the quarterback from getting hit,” Invoice Belichick mentioned postgame. “There have been some performs the place we gave up strain. However total I assumed it was a good day in cross safety.”

New England’s personnel up entrance has largely been a carousel of various gamers by means of the primary two weeks.

Sunday showcased the optimistic returns discovered with a little bit of continuity with that unit, as a revamped five-man squad of Trent Brown (LT), Cole Unusual (LG), David Andrews (C) , Mike Onwenu (RG) and Vederian Lowe (RT) managed to carry their very own for many of the afternoon.

“We’re beginning to have slightly continuity right here on the offensive line, so I believe that undoubtedly helped the operating sport,” Belichick mentioned. “Coach O’Brien did job mixing the play-actions in there. … The extra we will preserve these guys working collectively and enhance our time and execution, the higher off we’re gonna be.”

With New England’s O-line profitable battles within the trenches, the Patriots’ operating sport lastly gained steam in a must-win contest. 

Coming into Week 3, the Patriots ranked twenty seventh in dashing yards per sport (82.0), twenty second in dashing yards per carry (3.5), and twenty seventh in whole dashing yards (164). Towards the Jets, New England gained 157 yards on 40 makes an attempt. 

The domino impact of an efficient run sport paid dividends. Not solely did the positive factors made by Ezekiel Elliott (80 yards on 16 carries) and Rhamondre Stevenson (59 yards on 19 carries) assist New England convert in short-yardage conditions, it additionally helped open up play-action — which led to the staff’s high play of the afternoon on a 58-yard landing from tight finish Pharaoh Brown. 

“There’s lots we will clear up,” Andrews mentioned of supporting the run sport. “Lots we will do higher. I assumed we made some strides in that. Understanding motion, understanding how now we have to play, issues like that. Hopefully shifting to extra of a constant group on the market and issues like that.”

Certainly, it was removed from an ideal efficiency from the Patriots, even past the 15-point scoring output. Just a few expensive penalties alongside the O-line did sap some momentum from a couple of promising drives within the second half for the Patriots, whereas Unusual needed to exit the sport because of a knee damage.

Nonetheless, Belichick and Co. will take these rising pains over what might have been a catastrophic 0-3 begin.

“We’ve simply received to transform and get extra factors than we received,” Belichick mentioned of New England’s scoring output. “15’s not going to – typically you’re going to want greater than that. But it surely was ok immediately.”