EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The New England Patriots earned a hard-fought and much-needed win against the New York Jets on Monday Night Football. The Patriots overcame a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to take home their third win of the season by a final of 30-27.
Cam Newton bounced back from his recent struggles leading the Patriots down the field to score three times in the fourth quarter. Newton has struggled with turnovers this year, but he managed to keep the ball safe for all 60 minutes. He finished the night with 274 passing yards and completing 27-of-35 throws. The dual-threat quarterback was less mobile than usual but still finished with 16 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Newton changed his tune in the postgame press conference from previous games which has become far too familiar for Patriots fans this season. For the first time in a long time, he seemed happy with his performance.
“The last couple of games, it builds character… We just did our jobs,” Newton simply stated.
The Patriots were noticeably thin at the wide receiver position for Monday’s matchup. The Patriots started three undrafted free agents at the position. Jakobi Meyers was the best among that group. The second-year wideout celebrated his 24th birthday in style with 12 receptions for 169 yards. Meyers capped off his record night with a critical 20-yard reception with three seconds left to play which set up the game-winning 51-yard field goal from Nick Folk.
The last time the Patriots overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter was back in Super Bowl LII against the Atlanta Falcons. Newton was asked about how he felt about the comeback after struggling so much since week two at Seattle.
“It’s nothing more than executing a call,” said Newton. “For Josh [McDaniels] to keep the ball in my hands during that time gives me confidence moving forward.”
It wasn’t all good for New England, however. The veteran quarterback and longtime thorn in the side of the Patriots torched the defense for the first three quarters of the night. Flacco finished with 262 yards and three scores through the air. Flacco’s touchdown passes included a 50-yard bomb to Breshad Perriman and a prayer to Jamison Crowder in the back corner of the end zone just before halftime.
The New England defense continued to struggle with tackling and penetration at the line of scrimmage. Cornerback JC Jackson, who is generally regarded as one of the best coverage players in the NFL, had an especially rough night. Flacco’s third touchdown pass came when Jackson slipped and fell, leaving Perriman wide open for his second score of the day.
Luckily the Patriots and Jackson rebounded. Needing a stop while down seven Jackson intercepted a deep ball from Flacco to set up the game-tying touchdown. Then with the game tied, New England got its first sack of the night to help force a punt.
The Patriots will hope to keep the Baltimore Ravens’ offense in check when they welcome them to Foxborough next week. The two will face off on Sunday Night football where Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth will have the call on NBC.