By: Derek Havens
After beating the Raiders in Oakland last week, the New England Patriots returned home to face the division rival New York Jets on Sunday. While the team did get the victory against a quality opponent, there is still room for improvement.
Here is my report card for week 5 –
Offense Grade: B+
The Patriots offensive performance was solid, but inconsistent. Tom Brady was under duress at various portions of the game. The offensive line’s lack of protection led to some inaccurate throws and missed opportunities by the offense.
Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis carried the team to victory in Sunday’s game against New York. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
In a post-game interview, Patriots receiver Deion Branch said ”We’re leaving a lot of points on the field” and I agree. Hard to imagine when the team has scored over 30 points per game for so long, but the offense was sloppy at several times throughout the game. Hopefully, they can clean it up for next week.
Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis was the player of the game in my opinion. Green-Ellis ran for a career-high 136 yards and two touchdowns. Could he be making his case to stay the showcase running back in New England’s committee?
Defense Grade: B
After last week’s content versus the Oakland Raiders, I said the Patriots have to learn how to get off the field on third down. Well, they certainly did a great job of that against the Jets, as New York was only 3 – 11 on third down.
I was very impressed with how the defense contained New York’s running game throughout the afternoon. The Jets have been struggling on offense, but with all he criticism the Pats defense has been under this year, it would be wrong to not recognize them when they play well.
Devin McCourty had an excellent game, by far his best of the season. While he did not stand out, I would make the case that is actually a good thing after the start he has had this year. I was also impressed with James Ihedigbo. Although he, along with Kyle Arrington, gave up a touchdown to Santonio Holmes, I thought he stood out and maybe made a case to be the starter from this point forward.
Special Teams Grade: C+
Pats kicker Stephen Gostkowski hit all three field goals attempted, including a 44-yard kick in the second quarter. Zoltan Mesko had a 51.3 average on four punts, and I am pleased with his development to this point.
New England’s return coverage has been great throughout the season, but the 88-yard kick return by Joe McKnight killed some of the Patriots’ momentum. Luckily, McCourty showed off some of his underrated speed to catch him from behind.
Overall Game Grade: B
Overall, I thought the Patriots played well, but like I previously mentioned, this team still has work to do moving forward. Nevertheless, a win is always great to have, especially against a division rival.
I will have further analysis on this game and the Cowboys game throughout the week. So stay tuned.
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