You’d be hard-pressed to find a lot of people who felt real good about the Patriots chances heading into last night’s game with the New York Jets. The Patriots were scuffling, the Jets were soaring, and the AFC East lead was on the line.
Playing a cast of unknowns on defense, the Patriots rocked the Jets 37-16 at MetLife Stadium, to sweep the season series with the Jets and jump ahead of them in the standings.
Patriots seize top spot in AFC East – Ian Rapoport has the Patriots with a statement game after two weeks of struggles. Shalise Manza Young says that after “a week in which Bill Belichick was questioned like never before by fans, he was able to leave the Meadowlands with a satisfying win.” Fans. Yeah. Paul Kenyon notes that the entire team was filled with guys who had special nights. Art Martone says that “the defense played well by any standard and VERY well by its own.” Jeff Howe says that the Patriots revealed a lot of character last night. Nick Underhill has the defense led by Andre Carter and Rob Ninkovich leading the way.
Throwback effort for Pats defense – Mike Reiss says that unexpected performances from fill-in players evoked championship memories last night. Ron Borges has the Patriots unknown defense putting itself on the map and overcoming the general manager’s many missteps of the past several seasons.
Ten Things We Learned Sunday Night: Patriots win a throwback game – Christopher Price has the takeaways from last night’s statement win. Dan Duggan and Mary Paoletti have the best and worst from last night.
Happening right on schedule – Greg A Bedard says that this victory should put worries about the team “in the back of the minds of most fans, until the Patriots’ inevitable loss in the postseason.”Karen Guregian says that the Patriots responded in the right way last night.
Patriots show their grit, guts, sweat – Jackie MacMullan, who predicted that this game would result in “the darkest hours of both Belichick and Brady’s career in New England” says that for this week anyway, the Patriots were “a mix of grit and gristle and sweat” but that next week is anyone’s guess. Bob Ryan says that this win had to be sweet for Belichick and company. Jim Donaldson says that it wasn’t talent that won this game. It was tenacity. It was guts. It was character. Bill Burt has the Patriots again answering their critics and skeptics.
Chung sits; McCourty hurts shoulder - The Globe notebook from Shalise Manza Young and Monique Walker has the Patriots playing without Chung for all of last night and without McCourty for most of the night. The Herald notebook from Ian R. Rapoport looks at a record night for Andre Carter.