It wasn’t pretty and it was played in bad weather on a slippery field, but a win is a win, and I will take it.
Here are few quick observations:
1) Christian Gonzalez shut down Garrett Wilson. Wilson was shown to be very frustrated and lobbying to get the ball thrown his way. He did have 5 catches for 58 yards and a long of 29, but that was mostly against a zone. When Gonzalez was one-on-one, he shut him down. I am looking forward to seeing what his rating is this week. He was 3rd in the league after two weeks from PFF.
2) Anfernee Jennings made an impact early. He had a big tackle for loss. Jennings was also in on a sack that was credited to Barmore. Matt Judon was credited with two sacks including the one for a safety.
3) Who is Pharoah Brown and did anyone have him scoring the 1st TD of the game? Brilliant play call by O’Brien and it was off play-action. Brown, signed to the Practice Squad after the final cuts were made, had played for Bill O’Brien while they were in Houston in 2020. That was the last time the 6’6”, 258 lbs. TE had scored a TD. The Patriots also used him at Fullback. They like his physicality.
4) The Patriots established a running game which in turn allowed them to do play-action. They had 159 yards rushing on 40 carries, nearly 4 yards per carry. That was the best I have seen Ezekiel Elliott in a while. His 16 carries and 80 yards topped all ball carriers.
5) The Patriots Defense stood tall limiting the Jets to under 200 yards of total offense. They held Zach Wilson to 157 yards passing, and the Jets only had 38 yards rushing on 22 carries. Wilson was under constant pressure. A bad call by the officials was the only reason the Jets were able to get a TD.
6) The Officials were inconsistent all day. Alijah Vera-Tucker left early into his pass set on every pass play and was called just once. Trent Brown does it once and he gets called. Demario Douglas going long for a pass was clearly interfered with before the ball arrived, and there was no call, yet Myles Bryant gets called for a ticky-tac PI where Randall Cobb took a soccer dive and got the call.
7) I did have one complaint about O’Brien’s play calling. He did not allow Mac Jones to throw on 1st down. Completion percentage goes way up when you pass on 1st down.
8) Jones played a very mediocre game. He was 15 of 29 for 201 yards and a TD, with no Interceptions. That is barely over 50% completion percentage. Jones looked off and he and his WR’s were not on the same page.
9) The Offensive line played their best game of the year. They prevented the highly rated Defensive Line of the Jets from getting any sacks. Their run blocking was very good, especially on those delayed handoffs. Antonio Mafi came in for Cole Strange and he was an improvement over Strange. I don’t know if he was hurt again, or the original injury flared up again, or if he was just benched for being ineffective. Vederian Lowe started at RT over Calvin Anderson and played well again after a strong showing last week against Bradley Chubb. Last week was his 1st start in the NFL and this was his 3rd game he played on the line. Lowe is practically a rookie. He was a 2022 6th round (#184) draft pick of Minnesota.
10) The Patriots had another game with a rash of penalties, including back-to-back false starts. They were called 6 times for 43 yards. Meanwhile the Jets were only called for 3 for 15 yards.
11) What happened with the usually reliable longsnapper Joe Cardona? He had two high snaps that led to two missed Field Goal by Chad Ryland. Holder Bryce Baringer made a good grab of the 1st high snap and got the ball down in time for Ryland to kick, but he pushed it off to the right. This may also have been a case of the rookie not knowing the swirling winds of Met Life stadium.
Grier Poached Off Cincinnati’s Practice Squad
Will Grier was signed off the Bengals Practice Squad and will serve as the third/emergency QB. I was completely unaware of Grier’s prowess in college. He finished his career with 8, 556 yards passing and a career 65.7 completion percentage. He threw and amazing number of TD passes (81) in his three years at Florida and West Virginia.
He did have a one-year suspension by the NCAA for taking a banned substance. He claimed it was bought over the counter and that he never checked with trainers to determine if it was a banned substance. Grier stands 6’3” 217 lbs. and ran a 4.84 40 at the combine. His 3-cone drill was 7.09 which indicated quick feet. He was drafted by Carolina in 2019 as a 3rd rd. selection (#100). In his 4-year Pro career, he has started twice, and both were losses by Carolina.
Grier was informed by Dallas that he was going to be waived at the final cutdown when Dallas traded for Trey Lance. However, Dallas allowed him to play the entire final pre-season game. All he did was throw for 305 yards, 2 passing TDs and 2 rushing TDs. Cincinnati signed him to their Practice Squad and the Patriots poached him off their PS. He must remain on the Patriots 53-man active roster for at least three weeks. He was the Third/ Emergency QB today vs. the Jets.
Posted Under: Patriots News