I always get worried about the New England Patriots when they play the type of game they did this past week against the New York Jets. They won and that’s great. And they won in OT on a field goal. That’s good news. But there’s some bad news too and it does not bode well for the rest of the season.
The Track of the Game
The first quarter saw the Pats outscore the Jets 14-7 and going into the locker room for the half it was 16-10. Not bad. By the end of the third, the Patriots had expanded their lead and the score stood at 21-10. It seemed as if all was in control.
However, in the fourth quarter New England was held to 3 points while the New York Jets put 13 on the board. Mark Sanchez threw for his only TD of the game. The Jets also managed 2 field goals. The game was tied and went into OT.
This has been a typical track for New England this year. Go ahead and be ahead until the fourth quarter when they collapse. It’s a major problem and if not corrected it will be the demise of this team.
Secondary is of Primary Concern
Much of the problem is in the New England secondary. They were a huge negative last season and they are still a concern this year. The thing is the frontline is doing well. They outplayed the Jets front, as they notched 4 sacks, 4 TFL and 4 QB hits. They also had a safety. Not bad.
But Sanchez had a total of 328 yards in the air. It’s true that the Pats managed one pick but New England allowed too many red zone opportunities and in the fourth the Jets drove 92 yards in 14 plays for the TD that would put them in position to catch up. In their three fourth quarter possessions the Jets scored three times. New England also had three fourth quarter tries and they scored just once. In 2 minutes New York nailed both field goals forcing the game into OT.
A Win Is a Win
The good news is that Stephen Gostkowski won it in overtime for the Pats with a 48-yard field goal. It is good to see that he’s back. Plus, the Patriots are now alone in first place in the East at 4-3 with the Jets in third at 3-4 and Miami in second at 3-3. This week they play the St. Louis Rams in London. That will mark the midway point of the season. We’ll see where the team is after that contest and if New England “swings like a pendulum do.” (Remember Roger Miller?) Hopefully, the pendulum stays in the win column.