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Sunday, 15 October 2017 12:02

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS: New England Patriots Defeat New York Jets 24-17

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INITIAL IMPRESSIONS: New England Patriots Defeat New York Jets 24-17 Image via AP, Seth Wenig

In a surprising battle for first place in the AFC East, the New England Patriots and New York Jets battled it out in the Meadowlands. 

After starting the game out by getting out to an early 14-0 hole, it was starting to look like another game was getting away from the New England Patriots. Following that surprising early deficit, the Patriots went on to score 24 unanswered points. That gave them a lead that they would not look back from.


1. No Rush Here - Through the first six games of the season, the pass rush from the New England Patriots has been almost non-existent. If neither Trey Flowers or Deatrich Wise get home, then the opposing quarterback will have all day to throw. Neither Flowers or Wise are speed rushers either. The lack of a speed rusher or consistent rush in general has been a big part of the problems that New England has faced early on this season.


2. Where's the Depth? - Both Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe were inactive for the game on Sunday. That left Malcolm Butler and special teamers Jonathan Jones and Johnson Bademosi as the only other active cornerbacks for the Patriots. It may not have been a crippling loss in this game, but should the Patriots face a team with a better receiving corp it could spell a long day for the Patriots secondary.


3. Another Milestone - Stop me if you've heard this one before, Tom Brady is adding yet another record to his career. With the victory today, Brady now has 212 career victories with 178 coming in the regular season. Those 178 victories place him ahead of both Peyton Manning and Brett Favre on the all-time regular season wins list.


4. Turnstile - Surprisingly, the New England offensive line held up pretty well in this game. What made that even more impressive is that the Jets have amassed a lot of talent on the defensive line. Despite the fairly strong game, Nate Solder was abused for the majority of the game. Kony Ealy, cut by the Patriots in training camp, had Solder on skates all afternoon. This has become a trend for Solder. After having poor outing in Super Bowl LI, Solder has followed that up with a poor beginning to 2017. Since he is the man tasked with protecting Brady's blind side, the hits could start to add up.


5. Bend But Don't Break - While the defense may not be where Bill Belichick or Matt Patricia want it to be, they are doing just enough. It was another game of allowing over 400 yards for the unit. However, when plays needed to be made, they were made. As it looked like the game was starting to get away from the Patriots, the defense stepped up and made stops when they had to make them. With the defense currently being a work in progress, timely stops will go a long way in determing the outcome for New England.


6. More Snaps - After being MIA from the offense in the first few weeks, Dion Lewis has been seeing more snaps of late. In this game, he was the leading rusher for the Patriots. Lewis ran for 52 yards on 11 carries while scoring a touchdown. His snap count was aided by an early Mike Gillislee fumble. Despite that, Lewis's ability to take carries and catch passes out of the backfield should earn him more snaps going forward.


Extra Point 


At this point in the season it is fair to wonder why David Harris still has a roster spot. Harris was inactive yet again on Sunday. This came as a partial surprise going against his former team. With Harris unable to make an impact on gameday you have to wonder how much longer he will be around. Perhaps the need for another pass rusher could push Harris off of the 53 man roster. 

Billy Wyatt

Billy Wyatt is a New England Patriots beat reporter for CLNS Radio. Now covering the Patriots for multiple seasons, Billy is a veteran journalist at CLNSRadio.com A graduate of the University of Hartford with a communications degree, Billy’s prior experience was as a sports writer for the Hartford Informer.You can reach Billy via e-mail at bwyatt_91@yahoo.com. And you can follow him on Twitter @Billy_NFL.