By HCR Staff | Oct. 22, 2019
Here are our key coaching observations from the New England Patriots victory over the New York Jets on Monday Night Football.
The Patriots defense is dominant, but they absolutely have to make some moves personnel-wise on offense. As long as the Patriots are pitching shutouts, we guess it won’t matter who they field on offense, but the likelihood that they continue to pitch shutouts through the rest of their schedule is zero percent. Therefore, it is imperative they make some moves to acquire help on offense (and we have just been informed that they have made a trade for Atlanta Falcons WR Mohamed Sanu). Last night, the Patriots offense fielded at different times, numerous players who recently have been unemployed–that is, players that no other team in the NFL wanted. Outside of WR Julian Edelman, no other player in the current receiving group can get any separation, and that is why you see quarterback Tom Brady throwing back shoulder passes to backup running backs like Brandon Bolden. We believe even Bill Belichick would tell you that this is not going to cut it for the long run. To compound the problems on offense, the Patriots vaunted running back group also is nicked up, and current left tackle Marshall Newhouse–who also was unemployed at the beginning of the season–is struggling.
Obviously, Jets quarterback Sam Darnold had a terrible night, but we have no doubt he will improve. In order to overcome a historically bad performance like last night, one has to have top-level intestinal fortitude and good grounding, and we believed Darnold has that in spades. He is a level-headed guy who showed great resiliency in college at USC, so we expect him to bounce back and become the quarterback the franchise needs him to be.
Jets head coach Adam Gase made a strategic error in deferring after winning the coin toss. We would have assumed that given the extra time to prepare for the Jets, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was going to have his offense prepared for the first series of the game in particular. Given that, there was a high likelihood that the Patriots were going to score first, if given the opportunity. Therefore, given those premises, it probably made better sense for the Jets to take the ball first and try to get any kind of points on the board, as playing from behind against a defense like the Patriots would be incredibly difficult.
Player performances that we liked. Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams played with great energy, and generally took advantage of his opportunities. Jets running back Le’Veon Bell also played well–he simply is stuck with a lot of young players around him. Obviously, many Patriots players played well, particularly on defense. DT Danny Shelton played well in his role, and backup safety Terrence Brooks performed well–head coach Bill Belichick seemed particularly pleased with his performance.