The New England Patriots are 1-2 on the season after a 15-10 win over the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Here are 10 players we graded “UP” or “DOWN” based on their performance in the game…
UP: QB Mac Jones
Mac played a lot better than the stats would suggest. He completed just 51.7 percent of his passes for 201 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions, an 85.6 passer rating. But he played enough winning football to keep the offense moving the ball fairly well on a rainy, sloppy afternoon.
Most importantly, Jones played his first turnover-free game of the season. He’s been decisive with the football all season, and this game was more of the same from him. He continues to make what he can out of a rough situation for the Patriots’ weapons and offensive line.
Blemishes on Jones’ day: a pair of fourth-quarter drives that came up short, when Jones had a chance to ice the game himself. Instead, the Patriots needed some clutch defense down the stretch and barely stopped a Hail Mary. But all in all, a good, winning effort from the third-year QB.
DOWN: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
Only one catch for five yards, and Smith-Schuster also committed a bad illegal blocking penalty that torpedoed an early-third-quarter drive. He later fell down on a key third down play late in the fourth quarter, which nearly spelled trouble for the Patriots as they clung to a three-point lead.
The Patriots offense could start humming if Smith-Schuster can put it together, but he’s not there yet. And there should be urgency for him to do so, because he’s probably going to keep getting the playing time.