By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Here are the ups and downs from the Patriots' 33-0 walkover against the Jets on Monday Night Football. On a night like that, it's going to result in far more ups than downs...
-- S Devin McCourty. The 33-year-old continues to play some of the best football of his career. He set the tone for the night on defense with an interception on Sam Darnold's first pass attempt of the game. He also blitzed Darnold and forced an underthrown ball that led to a Stephon Gilmore interception. With Patrick Chung out for the second time in three games, the Pats' safeties all stepped up - Duron Harmon and Terrence Brooks also had picks.
-- WR Jakobi Meyers. Five catches, 47 yards, no incompletions. Meyers is passing the eye test in his two games since being thrust into a bigger role amid injuries at receiver. He only needs to be the third or fourth option right now, and he's getting the job done every time Brady looks his way. Great development for the undrafted rookie and the passing game.
-- LB John Simon. The veteran outside linebacker has been sneakily making plays all season, and this time he forced a turnover all by himself. Rushing in all alone, he jarred the ball loose from Sam Darnold for a strip-sack that Kyle Van Noy recovered. Major honorable mention to all of the Pats' linebackers, which is arguably the backbone of the defense this season. They are certainly wreaking havoc like we've rarely seen from a Patriots front-seven.
-- TE Ben Watson. The 38-year-old didn't have a perfect night, as evidenced by a ball right off his face on the opening drive. But he made perhaps a bigger impact than we've seen out of any other tight end so far this season with three catches for 18 yards - one of which came on fourth down. He also blocked better on the line than Ryan Izzo, giving Brady enough time to drop a 26-yard dime to Phillip Dorsett for a touchdown. Watson is clearly better than anyone else the Pats have had at TE so far this season, even at his age and lack of playing time.
-- FB Elandon Roberts, James Ferentz. These two, typically a linebacker and center, get an honorable mention for checking in at fullback on a Patriots goal line possession, which ultimately resulted in a Sony Michel TD. The Pats are using an all-hands-on-deck approach to spark their running game right now. An actual fullback and blocking tight end at the trade deadline might help.
-- CB J.C. Jackson. It was incredibly difficult to find downs in a game like this, but Jackson has had better nights. It seemed like a good idea to have him bully Demaryius Thomas, but it resulted in three flags on the aggressive Jackson. If Darnold played better, he could have made Jackson pay for his handsy play.
-- C Ted Karras. Karras gets the unfortunate nod here, but the entire Patriots offensive line didn't have the most consistent game. It took substitutions from defensive players to help push the run game at the goal line and Brady faced plenty of pressure in the second half, particularly up the middle. The line continues to be a work in progress, and may still need an infusion of talent at tight end and/or left tackle to help the offense get to where it needs to be.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].