Patriots Ups & Downs: How many guys even did anything in this win over the Jets?
The New England Patriots improved to 6-4 on the season with a last-minute win over the New York Jets on Sunday at Gillette Stadium. Here’s who we graded “UP” or “DOWN” based on their performance in the game.
UP: CB Marcus Jones
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – NOVEMBER 20: Marcus Jones #25 of the New England Patriots scores a touchdown against the New York Jets during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The 84-yard punt-return TD was the first in the league this season. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Obviously. The rookie is dynamic in the return game and has been steadily improving, and it felt like a matter of time before he took one to the end zone. He picked the absolute best possible time to pull it off.
DOWN: Offensive Tackles
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – NOVEMBER 20: John Franklin-Myers #91 and Quincy Williams #56 of the New York Jets sack Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
The position generally feels like a mess. Isaiah Wynn (left) and Yodny Cajuste (right) started, but Trent Brown came in for Wynn at one point. All three of them had trouble containing the Jets’ pass rushers off the edge. The bye week did not seem to help this situation much.
UP: LB Matthew Judon
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – NOVEMBER 20: Matthew Judon #9 of the New England Patriots tackles Michael Carter #32 of the New York Jets during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
We’ve started grading Judon on a curve, because he’s basically been dominant every single week. This game is a great sign for him, though, because he fizzled out after the bye last year. He’s off to a much stronger start to the second half of the season this time. The key is to keep it going…
DOWN: K Nick Folk
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – NOVEMBER 20: Nick Folk #6 of the New England Patriots misses a field goal against the New York Jets during the third quarter at Gillette Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
The heavy winds were no doubt a factor in the kicking game today, but with two misses, Folk came up short of his usual standard. Especially in this game, they needed all the points they could get. Not quite enough from Folk in this one.
UP: DE Deatrich Wise Jr.
Nov 20, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) runs with the ball under pressure from New England Patriots defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr. (91) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
Wise’s career-best season continues. He logged a sack and a batted pass in this one, as a fine pass-rushing complement to Matthew Judon. The Pats’ pass rush has become the star of the show in New England, due in no small part to Wise’s performance.
DOWN: S Devin McCourty
Nov 20, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Jack Jones (13) celebrates with safety Devin McCourty (32) after breaking up a pass during the first half of a game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
A relative nitpick. McCourty dropped an absolute gimme of an interception in the third quarter, costing the Patriots what was valuable field position at the time. He joked about the dropped pick after the game. No harm, no foul. But a “down” play for the moment.
Next Patriots Ups & Downs comes sooner than usual. The Pats are playing the Minnesota Vikings on Thanksgiving night, so we’ll have postgame reaction for you then.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster 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? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.