5 Keys to the Victory of Patriots First Win in the Season
The Patriots won their first game of the 2023 season on Sunday, defeating the New York Jets 15-10 to improve to 1-2 with a much-needed victory. Pharoah Brown, the veteran tight end, was one of the game’s heroes, scoring an explosive 58-yard touchdown, while Mac Jones and the rest of the offense did enough to put the Jets away with timely throws and rushes.
The Pats defense deserves a lot of credit for keeping Zach Wilson and the Jets offense in check for most of the game, providing just enough field position and timely stops for their offense to pull away. The Jets offense finally scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but the New England defense was able to rebound and make the final stops to secure the victory.
The defense finished with 171 yards allowed, only 2-of-14 third-down conversions, and only 10 total points allowed in 60 minutes of action.
Here Are the Key Takeaways From the Patriots’ First Win!
1. Pats Get First Lead of ’23
After spending two games without a lead, the Patriots eventually took the lead against the Jets, boosted mostly by an 18-yard third-down convert to Mike Gesicki, a play that matched New England’s longest against the Dolphins. The drive came to a halt as the Pats were unable to convert a 3rd-and-4 with Mac Jones targeting a deep shot to DeVante Parker, but Chad Ryland connected from 48 yards out to put the game up 3-0 in the first quarter.
The Patriots’ early base defense was stacked with sturdy players like Keion White and Anfernee Jennings on the edges, and second-year defensive tackle Sam Roberts saw his first action of the season. On third downs, those players were switched in for the pass rush group lead by Matthew Judon and Josh Uche, as New England had early success forcing the Jets into four consecutive punts to start the game with only one first down picked up.
While the defense had a strong start, the offense did enough to score on their first possession but had to overcome some miscues, including a third-down drop by Rhamondre Stevenson that forced their first punt, a holding call on Cole Strange, and a screen pass on third-and-long that was almost intercepted and returned for a touchdown.
Ryland missed his second attempt from 48 yards as the offense failed to score for the second time in a row.
2. Big Play Pharoah
The Patriots have been seeking for big plays anywhere they can find them, but few expected veteran third tight end Pharoah Brown to come up with the team’s first explosive scoring play of the season.
Leading 3-0 and holding the Jets to -1 yards of total offense in the second quarter, Mac and the offense took over at their own 22-yard line. Faced with a 3rd-and-5, it appeared that they would punt for the second time, but Mac found Pop Douglas on an out route for 15 yards for a new set of downs. It was an encouraging play for the youngster, who was immediately back in the mix after his use dropped last week due to a fumble. If you want you can also read – Berlin Marathon 2023: Kipchoge Wins Berlin Marathon Again, Assefa Breaks World Record
A blown Jets coverage allowed Pharoah Brown to slip behind the coverage on the next play. Mac hit Brown in stride, and the huge tight end outraced everyone to the end zone for a 58-yard touchdown. The tremendous play, made as the weather deteriorated, increased the margin to 10-0.
Brown, who was signed shortly after training camp ended, has offered a physical presence to the tight end group and has seen an increase in snaps during his first three games. His touchdown helped New England extend their lead while also demonstrating some unexpected quick-strike skill.
3. Ryland Wide Two Times
The Jets managed to put together a 10-play, 33-yard scoring drive, scoring with a 52-yard field goal to trim the deficit to 10-3, but giving New England with enough time to respond before the half.
The Patriots, like the Jets before them, moved the ball a little, with a nine-yard connection to Hunter Henry on 3rd-and-8 delivering another needed convert on a wonderfully thrown ball by Mac. Unfortunately, they’d only come near enough to try a 57-yard field goal attempt that was far wide left.
It was Chad Ryland’s second missed field goal in the first half, with Joe Cardona’s high snaps likely playing a role in both. The weather wasn’t perfect for kicking, but the operation didn’t lend itself to Ryland’s long-range attempts.
The score remained 10-3 at halftime, but Ryland got the game back on track with a 51-yard field goal on New England’s first possession of the third quarter, extending the advantage to 13-3.
4. Jets Make It Interesting Late
After New England’s defense dominated play for the first three quarters, the Jets finally came alive in the fourth quarter, beginning with New York’s second third-down conversion of the game. That conversion aided an 84-yard touchdown drive that was aided by a pass interference call in the end zone by Myles Bryant, which gave the Jets a first-and-goal from the one-yard line. With 5:24 remaining, the score cut New England’s advantage to 13-10, allowing the Patriots offense to seal the victory.
On the subsequent drive, Kendrick Bourne gained 18 yards on one catch to earn valuable field position, but the offense was unable to close the game out, leaving the defense on the field having to hold a three-point lead.
Matthew Judon would finish the job, with a third-down safety sack that scored two points for New England and sealed seal the Jets’ fate. However, the Patriots defense would still require two more stops against the Jets, as their offense failed to close out the game despite repeated opportunities.
5. Patriots are now 1-2
The 2023 Patriots are now 1-2 and have avoided some difficult problems that would have arisen if they had finished 0-3. The Patriots defense was utterly dominant once again against an outmatched quarterback and offense. The Jets had just one first down and one total yard of offense in their first five possessions as New England dominated them right away, a trend that lasted throughout the game.
Offensively, it wasn’t a game-changing performance, but it was solid.
Early on, the Pats produced some timely plays, and Mac Jones converted three early third downs with good awareness and timing. Pharoah Brown’s touchdown gave the Pats offense some breathing room as they settled in. The running game was more productive, breaking 100 yards for the first time this season, and the pass protection was strong, with no sacks allowed. These were two major points of attention heading into the game, and both areas where the squad showed development, albeit only scoring 13 points.
Nonetheless, some sloppiness (four third-quarter penalties) and a slowing in run-game effectiveness in the second half kept the door open for a Jets comeback for a little longer than it should have. New England’s inability to close out the game on offense despite multiple chances was also troubling.
Injuries to defensive linemen Davon Godchaux and Daniel Ekuale loom large in the future, as Godchaux is a key front-line player at nose tackle and Ekuale provides crucial rotational depth. Two injuries to the same position group are always serious.
It wasn’t an offensive explosion, but no style points were required this week, as the Patriots needed to come away from New Jersey with a win, and that’s exactly what they got. There will be no break next week, as they travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys in their third game against a conference rival in four weeks.