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The Patriots’ secondary repeatedly took advantage of Sam Darnold’s mistakes, as they collected four interceptions on the night. Jason McCourty picked off a Darnold overthrow on the Jets' first drive. Duron Harmon made a nice leaping interception, Stephon Gilmore pounced on an underthrown pass down the seam and Terrence Brooks jumped high to intercept a pass in the end zone.
New England's pass-rush impacted plays outside of the stat sheet. Jamie Collins put pressure on Darnold on his first interception, Devin McCourty applied pressure on Gilmore’s interception and rookie Chase Winovich was in Darnold’s face on the pass intercepted by Brooks. John Simon had a strip-sack of Darnold, as he came unblocked off the edge and punched the ball out of his hand.
Despite the lopsided score and Sony Michel‘s three rushing touchdowns, the Patriots had a tough time establishing the run all night against the Jets' stout defensive line. The pass-rush was decent throughout the night, as well, where they used a number of different stunts to free up pass-rushers.
Unfortunately, the same can't be said about the secondary. Coverages were leaky and far too many yards after the catch were allowed to a number of different receivers, as we have grown accustomed to from the Patriots' offense this year. One of the highlights of the night came on a deep ball to Philip Dorsett, who beat Trumaine Johnson for a 26-yard touchdown.
Darnold’s night started out rough. He was intercepted on his first pass attempt of the evening after making an off-target throw under pressure. On his second interception of the night, there was no receiver near the pass and Harmon made a nice leaping catch. Darnold threw a terrible pass falling away that was intended for Robby Anderson down the seam, but Gilmore picked it off. Darnold threw a red-zone interception in the third quarter. He floated a pass to Demaryius Thomas that was picked off by Brooks.
The Jets’ offense just couldn’t get anything going against the Patriots’ stout defense. The Patriots' coverage and pass-rush made life difficult for the Jets’ offense. And Le’Veon Bell couldn't make enough big plays on the ground to bail out Darnold.
Both Quinnen Williams and Leonard Williams were exceptional all night long defending the run, often tossing New England offensive linemen around like ragdolls. The former looked just like he did back in his Alabama days, operating as an unblockable wrecking ball of destruction on the interior of the defensive line.
Fellow rookie Blake Cashman didn't share the success of his draft mate, as he was picked on in coverage throughout the night and struggled to defend his gaps in the run game. He was also fooled by jet sweeps more than once.