New England’s defense continues to climb historic heights with a 33-0 shutout victory over the New York Jets Monday night. The Patriots forced four interceptions on Jets quarterback Sam Darnold to bring their season total to a record-setting 17 interceptions through the first seven games of the season.
The Patriots kept the game out of reach with a dominant first quarter, scoring with a Sony Michel rushing touchdown that capped almost nine minutes of possession.
The Patriots defense collected their first interception of the night on New York’s first offensive drive, an interception by safety Devin McCourty on the second play of the drive. New England’s pass rush forced an errant decision by the young quarterback, and New England quickly answered with a field goal while deep in New York territory.
The defense forced another short drive for the Jets, and the Patriots offense capitalized with another effective drive, highlighted by three 20-yard completions by Tom Brady. Phillip Dorsett caught Brady’s lone touchdown of the game, a 26-yard deep fade route to the corner of the endzone over Jets cornerback Tremaine Johnson. Brady placed the pass right into Dorsett’s chest, while Johnson was unable to react in time.
New England’s second takeaway came on a forced sack-fumble by Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy on New York’s second play of the game. Van Noy’s excellence in this game was felt in both pass rush and coverage, along with a persistent rush from linebacker Jamie Collins.
An ensuing five-minute drive from the Patriots blew the game out of reach with another Sony Michel rushing touchdown to bring the score to 24-0 Patriots. However, that did not stop New England from adding insult to injury.
Between a lack of faith in replacement kicker Mike Nugent and a vote of confidence in the Patriots defense, Bill Belichick opted to punt the ball at New York’s 33-yard line, forgoing a 50-yard field goal. The decision was a success, as Sam Darnold fumbled the first snap in his own end zone and batted the ball down, causing a safety.
The Jets intercepted Tom Brady on New England’s next drive and drove the ball deep into Patriots territory, before Sam Darnold was intercepted for the fourth and final time by Patriots safety Terrence Brooks in the end zone, squandering New York’s lone opportunity to score points in the game.
“Gotta give the players a lot of credit, they played relentlessly,” said Bill Belichick after the game.
Tom Brady spoke to the press earlier this week regarding his appearance with actor Paul Rudd at a massage parlor, a possible reference to Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s scandal from earlier this year. Brady expressed that the appearance with Rudd was not out of disrespect to Kraft.
The Patriots improve to 7-0 on the season; they return home to play the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 30th at 4 p.m.
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