The New England Patriots came into Week 9 looking to end their four-game losing streak as they faced their division rivals in the New York Jets on Monday Night Football. The Jets came into the game starting Joe Flacco as they looked for their first win of the season.
The Jets led for most of the match but a strong second-half performance from Cam Newton and the defense saw the Patriots squeak out a 30-27 as Nick Folk kicked the 51-yard game-winning field goal as time expired. The Patriots picked up their first road victory of the season. Here is my breakdown of the game.
Newton has struggled during this losing streak, particularly in their home losses against the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers. However, against the Jets, he put on a strong showing in primetime, throwing for 274 yards on 27 of 35 attempts. He also rushed for two touchdowns. He looked very confident and was as accurate as we have seen him all season long. He engineered the game-winning field goal drive as he hit Jakobi Meyers on a 20-yard pass with three seconds left. He and Meyers had a fantastic connection all game long as Meyers finished with 12 receptions for 169 yards. Damiere Byrd also had a solid game with five receptions for 65 yards. Newton has connected with these two receivers this season and the connection paid off as Newton had one of his best games of the season.
Rex Burkhead finished with 67 total yards in the game with 28 yards and a touchdown on the Patriots’ touchdown drive. Damien Harris continues to be a find for the Patriots as he had another decent performance with 71 yards on 14 carries. He is now the team’s leading rusher with 350 yards so far in 2020.
Patriots fans know all too well about the success Flacco has had against the Patriots in his career, beating them three times and twice in the postseason. In Monday’s game, Flacco led the Jets to a 20-10 halftime lead as he threw two touchdown passes of 50 and 20 yards. In the second half, Flacco threw his third touchdown pass but following that possession, the Jets ran a total of four plays for the rest of the game, including an interception by J.C. Jackson to set up the game-tying touchdown drive.
Speaking of Jackson, he had a very eventful evening in the Patriots’ secondary. Jackson broke up a touchdown on the Jets’ first drive of the game, forcing a Sergio Castillo field goal. However, Jackson struggled as he picked up a pass interference penalty in the second quarter, then proceeded to get burned twice by Breshad Perriman for touchdown passes. He redeemed himself with the Patriots only takeaway, one which led to the game-tying touchdown.
The defense shut down the Jets offense when it mattered most. On the final Jets drive, Deatrich Wise Jr. sacked Flacco, leading to a three-and-out, and the Patriots capitalized to kick the game-winning field. Their only interception and sack came in the fourth quarter, which were the result of two of the Jet’s four fourth-quarter plays.
Nick Folk has continued to resurrect his career with his best performance yet as a Patriot. He kicked three field goals, including the game-winning 51-yard field goal to give the Patriots the win. Gunner Olszewski picked up 100 yards on four kickoff returns, including a 31-yard return to set up a field goal to begin the fourth quarter.
The Patriots return home for another primetime game as they host the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football.