Patriots escape New York with first win of 2023 season over Jets
On the strength of a 58-yard touchdown from Mac Jones to tight end Pharaoh Brown and a dominating defensive performance, the New England Patriots grabbed their first win of the 2023 campaign by a 15-10 final over the New York Jets. The Pats are now 1-2 on the season.
Jones and the offense got off to a decent start, after the defense forced a three-and-out on Jets quarterback Zach Wilson to begin the game. Jones stood in the pocket and completed an 18-yard pass to tight end Mike Gesicki to convert an early third-and-6, but the quarterback couldn’t quite connect with DeVante Parker on third-and-3 down the field and near the end zone. Rookie kicker Chad Ryland converted from 48 yards to get the Pats on the board at 3-0.
New England’s next promising offensive drive stalled out after a holding call on left guard Cole Strange. Ryland missed the 48-yard attempt this time, after a high snap from Joe Cardona appeared to throw off the execution. The pressure continued from the Patriots defense, as a 12-yard sack by Christian Barmore and Anfernee Jennings resulted in a minus-12-yard drive and another Jets punt.
And that’s when the Patriots made a big strike. Jones got enough defenders to freeze on his play-action fake to free up Brown, whom Jones found wide-open for the touch pass and 58-yard catch-and-run, making it 10-0.
New York finally found a way to move the ball a bit during a late-second-quarter possession. The Jets called eight consecutive run plays at one point, eventually grinding into field goal range for Greg Zuerlein, who drilled the 52-yard field goal to make it 10-3 Patriots. That would be the score at halftime, after a solid last-minute drive by Jones to get into field goal range ultimately came up short.
The Patriots came out fairly strong on their first drive of the third quarter, manufacturing 42 yards in nine plays, as Ryland made his second field goal try of the day from 51 yards. But after getting another defensive stop, the Pats had their first possession of the game that could be described as ugly. Three penalties – an illegal block by JuJu Smith-Schuster, and consecutive false starts by Trent Brown and Mike Onwenu – set them back, leading to an easy stop for the Jets.
Ultimately, the teams traded punts after the early field goal, as the third quarter ended with the Patriots still up 13-3. It took until halfway through the fourth quarter for the Jets offense to finally show some life, as they put together a 13-play, 84-yard touchdown drive, cutting the Patriots’ lead to 13-10 with just 5:24 remaining in the game.
New York couldn’t quite close the gap, as they blew a big opportunity after the stop. Zach Wilson took a safety, on a clutch play by Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon to spin inside and bring him down. Overall, the Patriots defense held the Jets to 171 total yards of offense. Zach Wilson posted a 61.2 passer rating on the afternoon.
The Judon sack & safety made it 15-10, and that would go down as the final score. Jets receiver Randall Cobb had a chance for a miracle play on the final Hail Mary play of the game, but couldn’t make the catch.
Up Next: The Patriots have a stiff test in Week 4, as they head on the road to face the Dallas Cowboys and their high-powered roster on both sides of the ball. But after escaping New York with a win, they’ll have a chance to get to .500 on the season.
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