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MORSE: 14 Observations – Week 7: Patriots vs New York Jets

Mark Morse
Mark Morse on Twitter
1 month ago at 9:29 am ET
Posted Under: 2021 Patriots Season

MORSE: 14 Observations – Week 7: Patriots vs New York JetsBrian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The immortal lyrics from KC and the Sunshine band “Oh, that’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh, I like it, uh-huh uh-huh” best describe my feeling after the drubbing of the woeful Jets.  The Patriots needed to take their frustrations out on somebody and it was the Jets.  For one game they put it all together in all three phases of the game to break the 50 point barrier.

  1. Fast start – OK they used a trick play (or three) against the Jets. The play was perfectly executed.  It started with Kendrick Bourne circling in the backfield from the left slot, swung out to the right.  Michael Onwenu made a perfect cut block on Tim Ward allowing the pass to Bourne who stopped and passed to Agoholor.  It must be noted that Agholor started out by blocking the CB and sold the run.  He disengaged and broke clean for the end zone.  Bill Belichick even acknowledged the fine job Owenu made on the cut block.
  2. Speaking of Onwenu, did you hear the name of John Franklin-Myers at all during the game? The up-and-coming star of the Jets D-line’s only appearance on TV was when he was dinged up.  Onwenu dominated him all day.  I have said it multiple times, Onwenu has difficulty playing on the left side.  Keep him at Right Tackle.  I don’t expect Trent Brown to return at all this season.
  3. Overall the O-line played great. Jones was sacked once on a linebacker blitz where Bolden missed the block.  Shaq Mason re-injured his abdominal issue and Isaiah Wynn’s play at Left Tackle was questionable at times.  Patriots runners ran for 148 yards on 32 carries for a 4.6 average and 4 TDs.
  4. It appeared the Patriots and the play-calling by Josh McDaniels was targeting Jonnu Smith. I thought some of the plays were clever.  You can use Smith in many different ways as he ran the ball once and caught 2 passes.  However, he was targeted 5 times and caught just 2 passes.  I thought the targeting of Smith early was a detriment to the overall team effort.
  5. The Jets really missed CJ Mosely in the middle of the defense. If you read my preview I highlighted that Mosley most likely would not play.  The Patriots ran at will and probably should have run more.
  6. The Jets are not good! Their O-line is not good, their secondary is young and inexperienced.  How the heck did they beat the Tennessee Titans?  There was actually some improvement when Mike White came in for the injured Zach Wilson.  On consecutive plays Wilson got his knee rolled up on, and will be out 2-4 weeks with a PCL injury.  The Jets continued their streak of games since the opening day of not scoring in the opening stanza.  They had a chance but kicker Matt Ammendola missed the Field Goal.  So temper this shellacking with a grain of salt.  You can be guaranteed the Chargers will not make the mistakes the Jets did.
  7. The Patriots’ fast start disrupted the Jets’ plans (usually every team has 15 scripted plays for the start of the game). The Jets were coming off a bye and had lots of time to prepare for the Patriots.  They just ran into the buzzsaw known and the New England Patriots.
  8. Mac Jones was not the story of the game but he was efficient and effective, throwing for his 1st 300-yard game. His numbers were 24 for 36 (66.6%) for 307 yards, 2 TDs, and no INTs.  He also beat a Jets defense that has been known for not giving up TD passes in the Red Zone.  I was impressed with Jones running ability today.  I don’t want him to do it all the time, but given the opportunity, he can extend drives with his feet.  The Patriots completed passes to 11 different receivers in the game.
  9. Talking about fast starts, the Patriots scored on their first 6 drives and weren’t stopped until there was just 2:03 left in the 3rd  They scored 31 points in the 1st half on over 300 yards of total offense.  They had 505 yards of total offense for the game.  They never took their foot off the gas pedal.  When Brian Hoyer came in, he ended up throwing 3 for 4 for 79 yards and a 98 quarterback rating.
  10. Lost in this victory was the excellent running by Damien Harris. He was explosive and made nice decisions on his cuts.  He ran for 106 yards on 14 carries for a 7.6 yards per carry.  He scored 2 TDs.  Harris also chipped in with two catches.  The backs accounted for 11 receptions total, an excellent day indeed.  JJ Taylor got the nod over Rhamondre Stevenson and score 2 rushing TDs himself, the first of his career.
  11. Brandon Bolden had a surprisingly good game catching the ball. His 6 catches, which I believe is a career-high for an individual game, accounted for 79 yards.  On the pass for his TD, it was originally supposed to be a screen pass, but Bolden outran his blockers and tip-toed the sideline for the 28-yard score.
  12. The secondary is still a concern for me.  Too many missed tackles.  They gave up 253 yards in the air to a rookie (Wilson) and a young QB (White) taken in the 18′ draft that had yet to play a down in the NFL.  Jalen Mills was particularly offensive.  His Pass Interference set up one TD.  He was also responsible for Corey Davis’ TD grab.  With Jonathan Jones going on IR before the game and the news that he had shoulder surgery today and will be lost for the season, the Pats may be in need of an infusion in the secondary.
  13. The front seven held NY to 62 yards rushing on 17 carries for a 3.64 average.  The scoreboard (Patriots scoring early and often) and the game being out of hand early, denied the Jets the opportunity to run.  I was disappointed the Patriots only had two sacks.  One was from Myles Bryant who was called up from the practice squad to fill Jonathan Jones’s position as the slot corner.  Bryant also played some Safety when Devin McCourty went down with an injury.
  14. The Patriots won the turnover battle 3 – 0. The Patriots played mistake-free football for the 1st time this season.  No physical or mental mistakes and you saw the result.  They really needed this game to boost their confidence.  Bill Belichick in his post-game press conference said this team does not lack confidence.
  15. During the 5th Quarter wrap-up show, the poll question was if you thought this team was a playoff team. ESPN ran a story today that asked about the over-reactions from Week 7 and one was whether or not the Patriots were a playoff team.  I would defer answering that question until after the LA Chargers game this week.  If the Patriots were to beat LAC, coming off their Bye Week, with the game played at their home stadium in Los Angeles and even the Patriots record at 4-4, then I would call them a legitimate threat for a playoff spot.  Currently, they are solidly in 2nd place in the division and a game behind Cleveland for the last playoff spot.  They are in the running but have only beaten the woeful Jets twice and the Texans.  Yes, they have been in every game they have played.  I hope we are not playing “What if” after the season!   Injuries are piling up which may have an impact, but to be .500 at the somewhat midpoint of a 17 game season I would happily take!  They need to come to work today, have a good week of practice and have that chip on their shoulder, and play with the intensity they had Sunday.  Treat this trip to LA as a business trip, and get it done.

Posted Under: 2021 Patriots Season


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