Monday Night Football: 5 takeaways from the New England Patriots' Week 9 win over the New York Jets
Since 2000, the New England Patriots have as many Super Bowl titles (six) as the New York Jets have had head coaches. Despite very different pasts, the two AFC East franchises find themselves in eerily similar situations in the present.
But on "Monday Night Football," the Patriots once again came out on top.
Despite scoring more points in the first half than they have in the previous three games (combined), the Joe Flacco-led Jets lost again, 30-27, falling to 0-9 on the season. The Patriots improved to 3-5.
5. Jets' Mekhi Becton leaves with injury
While Le'Mical Perine rushed to the left, Jets' rookie tackle Mekhi Becton was standing in the backfield. With just two shoves, he had done his job and pushed his assigned Patriots defender far away from the Jets' running back.
But on the next play, Becton was on the sideline and his replacement at left tackle, Chuma Edoga, was immediately flagged for a hold.
Becton is a physical and talented presence on the Jets' offensive line, but when he is on the sideline (he missed two games with a shoulder injury) his absence is even more noticeable. After being taken to the Jets locker room, Becton was diagnosed with a chest injury and eventually ruled out from returning.
4. Jets' wide receiver corps finally healthy
For the first time in 2020, the Jets starting pass-catchers were all healthy — Denzel Mims, Jamison Crowder, and Breshad Perriman. While the quarterback passing to them, Joe Flacco, was not who the Jets brass had penclled in to begin the season (Sam Darnold missed Monday’s game with a shoulder injury) the wide receiver crew flashed potential — something Jets fans have to cling to this season.
Mims, a 2020 second round pick, finished with four catches for 62 yards. Crowder had 26 yards on two catches and a brilliant toe-tapping TD to end the first half; and Perriman collected five passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
3. Flacco passes Montana on all-time list
Joe Flacco hucking 50 yards downfield to an untouched Breshad Perriman? No, this is not the 2016 Baltimore Ravens.
On the first drive of the game, Flacco looked nothing like a 35-year-old coming off major neck surgery. He hit Denzel Mims in stride for a 26-yard gain, and was a Perriman secured catch away from a first-drive touchdown.
All night Flacco took hits and stayed in the game, and while he forced some throws and was far from perfect, he kept the Jets competitive. With 10 minutes left in the second quarter, Flacco found Perriman 50 yards deep to top 90 passing yards on the game and move into 20th on the all-time passing yards list.
2. Cam Newton-Jakobi Meyers connection showcased
Jakobi Meyers started outside, to Cam Newton’s right. On the snap he darted into the middle of the field with a Jets defensive back on his shoulder. Just as Meyers, who turned 24 years old Monday, faded back outside, Newtown released a pass and hit his wide receiver in stride.
Cam Newton, with a career 59.8 completion percentage, started Monday’s game with 11 straight completions, six of which were to undrafted free agent Meyers. Newton and Meyers connected for 6 receptions and 58 yards last week, and on Monday they topped it, connecting for 169 yards on 12 receptions.
Newton, who has struggled since returning from the COVID-19 list, has clearly built a trust in Meyers halfway through 2020, and with Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry both injured, the connection will continue to feature in coming weeks.
1. Nick Folk wins it
Jets fans cheered for their kicker Nick Folk for seven years. Folk kicked 57 field goals and 204 extra points in his 104 games in New York.
On Monday night, many Jets fans were cheering for him once again -- even though he plays for the Patriots.
With sights already set on the 2021 NFL draft, and the top pick that could bring Trevor Lawrence, Nick Folk's game-winning kick for the Patriots held the Jets winless, but kept them on track.