Patriots dismantle Jets 33-0; now 4-0 on the road (7-0 overall)

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 21: Sony Michel #26 of the New England Patriots scores a touchdown in the first quarter of their game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on October 21, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 21: Sony Michel #26 of the New England Patriots scores a touchdown in the first quarter of their game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on October 21, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots put on a football clinic in pasting their arch-rivals, the New York Jets, on Monday Night Football by a final score of 33-0.

The New England Patriots have been featured on primetime television three times already this season. Their Week 1 tilt against the Pittsburgh Steelers was on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. In Week 6, they played the New York Giants on the NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football. And tonight in Week 7, they clashed with the New York Jets on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

The combined scoring margin of all three games? 101-17.

Needless to say, the Patriots are embracing their opportunities under the bright lights in 2019 to deliver some real statement wins. The rest of the NFL should absolutely be put on notice… if they weren’t already on notice after New England’s improbable run to its sixth championship last season following just an 11-5 regular season record.

Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and this year’s Patriots crew certainly don’t have the look of an 11-5 squad. That’s a scary thought, considering what they were able to accomplish in 2018 despite that record – a middling one by their own lofty standards. Thanks to an impressive performance in all three phases of the game against their AFC East division rivals, the Patriots are now 7-0 on the season.

It’s the best mark in the NFL this year. Only the 6-0 San Francisco 49ers – quarterbacked by ex-Patriot Jimmy Garoppolo – also remain unbeaten this season through seven weeks (the 49ers have had their bye already).

The Patriots have also already eclipsed their road record from last season (3-5) with the win over the Jets on Monday night. They now sit at 4-0 this year, with away games left to play against the Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles, Houston Texans, and Cincinnati Bengals.

It’s just the third time in franchise history that New England has begun a season at 7-0. The first time came in 2007, when the Patriots finished with a perfect 16-0 regular season only to lose to the New York Giants in Super Bowl 42. The second time came in 2015, when the Patriots went as far as 10-0 before finishing their regular season at 12-4 and losing to the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship Game.

Brady and the New England offense had their longest drive of the season to begin the game Monday night, a methodical 16-play series that went for 78 yards and took 8:47 off the clock in the first quarter. Sony Michel punctuated it with a three-yard touchdown dive, his first of three scores on the evening.

Brady later hit Phillip Dorsett on a gorgeous 26-yard touchdown pass that hit Dorsett right in the bread-basket as he fell in the endzone. One Mike Nugent field goal and four extra-point attempts helped stake the Patriots to a 31-point bonanza, and the Jets even helped out with a safety on a high snap gone awry that New York quarterback Sam Darnold batted out of the back of the end zone for a penalty.

It was a miserable night for Darnold, who finished 11/32 for 86 yards, zero touchdowns, and four interceptions. He also lost a fumble and contributed to the safety. Darnold’s quarterback rating on the night was a measly 3.7.

The New England offense still isn’t firing on all cylinders, but it’s doing more than enough to consistently rank among the league’s more premier units nonetheless. Especially with key contributors like Josh Gordon, Rex Burkhead, N’Keal Harry, and Isaiah Wynn expected to make their returns over the next month, this unit could (and should) improve down the stretch… a frightening proposition for opposing defenses.

Speaking of defense, the Patriots D was once again sensational. While the unit didn’t score any touchdowns Monday night at MetLife Stadium, they did pitch a road shutout and they also held the Jets to just 167 yards of total offense. New England also recovered two fumbles (Kyle Van Noy, Matthew Slater) and had four interceptions (Stephon Gilmore, Terrence Brooks, Duron Harmon, Devin McCourty) for good measure, as well.

The highlight of the night had to be watching Belichick smirk as he attempted to have his Patriots take two separate five-yard penalties for a delay of game and then a false start in order to help his punter, Jake Bailey, move backward for better landing placement of his kick. Jets coach Adam Gase wisely declined both penalties, and Belichick eventually had Bailey punt from the line of scrimmage anyway.

Still, it was plain as day to fans watching the game (as well as to the ESPN camera operators and commentators) that Belichick was trying to troll the Jets and have some fun at the expense of the one organization he despises the most.

New England now will return home to host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in Week 8. The Browns were widely-expected to challenge the Patriots for AFC supremacy this season after an offseason filled with hype surrounding their star-studded offense (Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr.). The early results haven’t lived up to expectations, however, with Cleveland stumbling out to a 2-4 record before their bye this past week.

With a win over the Browns, the Patriots can push their undefeated season record to 8-0, with four wins at home and four wins on the road. They’ll need to make sure they don’t look past Cleveland this week, as New England has a date with the 5-2 Baltimore Ravens in Week 9 on Sunday Night Football that could hep determine playoff seeding in the AFC this season.

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For now though, the Patriots can celebrate their eighth straight victory over the Jets. New England is 4-0 against their AFC East division mates, with only home games against the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins remaining this season in Weeks 16 and 17, respectively.