With little more than a week remaining until Halloween, the New England Patriots defense delivered a message of paranormal reckoning to the rest of the NFL. That message is simple. Their self-professed ‘Boogeymen’ moniker is not an exaggeration. In fact, this fearsome collection of defenders had its opponent believing that he was indeed ‘seeing ghosts.’
New England’s defense continued their thorough dominance over their opponents. Through frequent blitzing, they forced quarterback Sam Darnold into five turnovers. As a result, the Patriots easily defeated the New York Jets 33-0 on Monday night at MetLife Stadium. It was New England’s second shutout this season after winning 43-0 at Miami in Week Two.
The NFL’s top-ranked Patriots defense blitzed Darnold early and often. In only his second game back from a bout with mononucleosis, the second-year quarterback had little time to counteract a swarming corps of linebackers and pass rushers. This forced him into bad, and sometimes cringeworthy throws. Stalwarts in the New England secondary such as Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Stephon Gilmore and Terrence Brooks all had interceptions. Darnold also lost a fumble on a sack, and later knocked an errant snap out of the back of the end zone for a safety.
On offense, the Patriots were less than perfect, but nonetheless effective. Tom Brady led a 16-play, surgical touchdown drive to open the game. Running back Sony Michel would conclude the drive by rushing for his first of three touchdowns on the day. Brady’s lone touchdown pass game on a perfectly placed 26-yard dime to Phillip Dorsett. He finished the night going 31 of 45 for 249 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The Pats quarterback would leave the game with 2:55 left to chants of “Brady! Brady!” from the Patriots fans in attendance.
With the victory, the Patriots improved to 7-0 for the first time since 2015, and only the third time in franchise history. They also swept the two-game season series against the Jets for the fourth straight year. In their two meetings this year, the Pats outscored New York 63-14.
Next up, the Patriots will welcome Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns to Foxboro, Massachusetts. The two teams will face off at 4:25pm on Sunday, October 27 at Gillette Stadium.
–Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and Columnist for Full Press Coverage. He covers the New England Patriots and provides NFL editorial content. He is also the host of the Locked On Patriots podcast. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC