After a long, dreadfully close-scoring game, New England was able to pull away with a SCORE win. This match up shouldn’t have been as close as it was. The Patriots failed to convert on third downs, let penalties tie them up, and couldn’t score in the red zone. However, multiple players went above and beyond in ensuring a victory this Thanksgiving weekend.
The Patriots are very thankful for Sony Michel’s presence in this New York game. Without his offensive domination on the field, New England would’ve struggled greatly to defeat the Jets. Michel finished the game with 21 carries for 133 yards, 2 receptions for 12 yards, and 1 touchdown. However, his most important statistic is one that can’t be measured: will power. Michel showed an endless amount of strength through second effort and being able to overcome another potentially serious injury. The running back was able to move past all of his plays that were taken away due to penalties by his teammates, and keep the offense afloat. His will power really shone during his first drive following his injury. He marched New England downfield with a 33 yard run, multiple first downs, and—finally—a touchdown. This running back is one that no one will take for granted.
No matter how many big hits Julian Edelman endures, he will always get back up. The wide receiver suffered two particularly brutal hits during the game, and didn’t look like he would get up. However, he pushed through and stayed in the game after both plays. Edelman followed in Michel’s footsteps, continuously making big plays to keep the drive alive. The wide receiver finished with 4 receptions for 84 yards and 1 touchdown. Edelman’s touchdown came at the very end of the third quarter, and created the score that New England needed to really pull ahead. Edelman is another player that no one on the field underestimates.
Kyle Van Noy
Kyle Van Noy made an impact during this game in a way that most of the defensive unit couldn’t mimic. Van Noy came out swinging from the beginning of the game, creating a tackle for loss of 2 yards during the Jet’s second drive. He brought more pressure on New York’s quarterback, Josh McCown, forcing him to throw the ball away on multiple occasions. During the third quarter, Van Noy struck again with a blocked pass to force 2 and 10. A few plays later, the linebacker found McCown in the backfield and plowed him down. Van Noy ended the game with 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 1 quarterback hit. The defensive unit needs to step up like Van Noy did in this game.
From start to finish, Jonathan Jones couldn’t catch a break. On the Jet’s first pass of the game, Jones gave up a 17 yard completion. During their second drive of the game, Jones played weak defense and gave up the first touchdown of the game. The Jets scored before the Patriots. The cornerback was always at least a step behind when it came to coverage, and New York caught on. He allowed multiple first down conversions (that would’ve been fourth downs otherwise) and couldn’t snap out of it. Later in the game, Jones allowed a run that put New York in field goal range to tie the game prior to halftime. While the offense pulled ahead of these mistakes, Jones has to work on anticipating the plays that he gave up.
Penalties were such a large part of this game that they consume the second and third Three down spots. New England gave the Jets 105 yards over the course of 11 penalties. Over a full football field’s worth of penalty yardage. New York should’ve easily been able to take advantage of these penalties and score another touchdown.
Next week puts the Patriots against a less merciful team: the Vikings. The biggest takeaway from this game should be to learn from their penalties. New England has to play smart in order to win and if they don’t clean up their play, Minnesota may very well beat them.
-Caitlyn Allen is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Sports Media and covers the New England Patriots. Follow her on Twitter @caitlyyyn_allen