The Patriots are not about to let Jets backup QB Joe Flacco reach a new career milestone on Monday night.
There hasn’t been much for fans in New England to be optimistic about concerning the Patriots this season, but it would be downright foolish to write off a team coached by Bill Belichick after just seven games.
After all, the second-half schedule is extremely favorable outside of one (possibly two) matchups, so we refuse to abandon ship already and prepare for the offseason. Luckily for the Patriots, they are presented with an excellent chance to get back on the winning side of things this week, as a road tilt against the winless New York Jets awaits on Monday night.
As if that matchup wasn’t already mouthwatering enough, the Jets announced that backup quarterback Joe Flacco will likely start in place of starter Sam Darnold, who was listed as doubtful after re-aggravating his shoulder injury last Sunday.
Why do we say that news works in the favor of the Patriots? Because Flacco is just 108 passing yards away from passing legend Joe Montana for 20th on the all-time passing yardage list. You just know that Belichick is aware of this and wants nothing more than for his defense to prevent the 35-year-old from reaching that milestone.
In normal circumstances, limiting a quarterback to less than 110 yards passing in one game — especially in today’s NFL — is virtually impossible. However, the Jets offense has been held below 14 points in five of seven games this season, including four straight, so we wouldn’t be surprised if the Patriots’ defense puts together a top-drawer performance in this primetime matchup.
New England has yet to play the Jets this season, but they limited them to a combined 14 points in their two meetings in 2019. That included a shutout in Week 7 when Darnold was famously caught on the sideline saying that he was “seeing ghosts.”
In those games, Jets signal callers — Darnold missed Week 3 with mononucleosis — threw for 98 and 86 yards, respectively. You mean to tell us that the Patriots’ defense, though slightly undermanned, isn’t capable of limiting Flacco, who’s working with bottom-barrel weapons at skill positions, to under 108 yards?
As if we needed any more evidence to convince you, New York currently ranks dead last in the NFL with 155.8 passing yards per game, which is 24 yards less than the next-worst team. We’re honestly surprised their average is that high.
For any Patriots bummed about not having anything to look forward to heading into this matchup, congratulations, because your wish has been granted. Assuming Cam Newton and Co. get the job done on offense, all eyes should be on how the defense plans to make Flacco’s life miserable.