The New England Patriots defeated the New York Jets on Sunday by a final score of 30-14, pushing their unblemished record to 3-0 so far on the season.
No Antonio Brown, no problem.
The New England Patriots didn’t miss a beat in defeating the New York Jets Sunday afternoon by a final margin of 30-14. The victory came just two days after news broke of Brown’s release from the team, fresh on the heels of another controversy in a year that has been filled with them for the superstar wide receiver.
Already accused of three incidents of sexual assault (including rape) by his former trainer and college friend Britney Taylor, Brown was implicated in a separate sexual misconduct claim by an unnamed artist from his past in an expose published last week. Brown allegedly then sent threatening text messages to the artist, including photos of her children; these actions were reportedly the last straw for the Patriots, who notified Brown of his release on Friday.
New England had already scored 30+ points earlier in the season without Brown, posting 33 in a Week 1 victory over the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers. Though the Patriots weren’t quite as dominant in this win over the Jets, it was still encouraging to see the offense operate smoothly without Brown in the fold.
The Pats were also down two of their most important weapons for stretches of play against the Jets, with Julian Edelman exiting the game for good with a chest injury in the second quarter (X-rays were later reported to be negative on his ribs) and Josh Gordon also missing some snaps with what looked like a finger injury of some kind.
It didn’t matter against the Jets, who fell to 0-3 on the season. Third-string quarterback Luke Falk completed just over half of his passes against the stingy Patriots pass defense and was held under 100 yards and without a score. New England’s defense still hasn’t allowed a touchdown since facing the high-powered Kanas City Chiefs offense in last season’s AFC Championship Game.
The game could have been another shutout for the Patriots if the team hadn’t made a pair of crucial mistakes on special teams and then on offense.
Rookie returner Gunner Olszewski muffed a punt late in the third quarter that was recovered in New England’s own end zone by the Jets, resulting in the first touchdown of the game for Gang Green. Rookie Patriots quarterback Jarrett Stidham then threw a pick-six to Jets safety Jamal Adams, prompting Tom Brady to return to action and close out the game.
Through three weeks of the season, Bill Belichick’s defense is arguably the top unit in the entire league. The Patriots are No. 1 in both total yards allowed per game and total points allowed per game.
The standout performer of the day had to be Jamie Collins Sr., who previously played for the Patriots from 2013-2016 before a two-year stint in Cleveland with the Browns.
Collins’ return to Foxborough has gone even better than anyone could have predicted, and he finished Sunday’s game with an impressive final stat-line: a team-leading seven tackles (3.5 for loss), two sacks, two QB hits, and one pass defensed. He was everywhere on the field, and his inspired play was reminiscent of the havoc he wrecked upon first entering the NFL with the Pats six years ago.
Among the negatives from Sunday’s game was Stephen Gostkowski’s continued worrisome start in the kicking game. Though the Patriots placekicker went 1/1 on field goal attempts, connecting from 37 yards out, he missed his first point-after attempt. Gostkowski is now 6/7 on field goals and 10/13 on extra points so far on the season.