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Patriots

BSJ Game Report: Patriots 28, Jets 14 – New England erupts for 3 TDs to end season

(Adam Richins for BSJ)

FOXBOROUGH — Everything you need to know from the Patriots’ win over the Jets in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:

HEADLINES

Offense erupts in unusual ways: The Patriots took the opening kickoff and went 94 yards for Cam Newton's first TD pass since Week 13. Then they punted on their next five possessions ... then scored TDs on their next three, including a Newton reception from Jakobi Meyers, Devin Asiasi's first career TD, and a Sony Michel 31-yard receiving touchdown. Patriots came back from a 14-7 deficit.

Big plays from the defense: Seemed like a vintage defensive game against the hapless Jets as the Patriots got sacks (two from Chase Winovich, one from Adam Butler) and interceptions from JC Jackson and Jonathan Jones.

Youngsters get a look ... except for Stidham: A lot of the Patriots' younger players got extended looks for better (Asiasi) or worse (Myles Bryant, Dalton Keene). But the Patriots never budged Jarrett Stidham off the bench. Probably tells you about where they see him in their future.

Cam Newton finishes strong ... on way out?: When he got protection, Newton had his best game in months as he finished with a 127.4 passer rating and three passing touchdowns. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported in the morning that it seems like both sides will be parting. However, Bill Belichick seemed to dispute it after the game and Schefter said it wasn't a report.

Seems like Belichick went out of his way to make sure this relationship ended on good terms.

Patriots opponents set for 2021: Here's the schedule, with just the 17th game vs. NFC East to be determined.

HOME

Buffalo Bills
Jacksonville Jaguars
Miami Dolphins
New Orleans Saints
New York Jets
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tennessee Titans
Cleveland Browns

AWAY

Atlanta Falcons
Buffalo Bills
Carolina Panthers
Houston Texans
Indianapolis Colts
Miami Dolphins
New York Jets
LA Chargers
Dallas Cowboys (17th game)

TURNING POINT

Meyers hit Newton for a 19-yard TD to tie the score at 14 late in the third quarter, and then on the next possession, JC Jackson picked off an errant Sam Darnold pass to set New England up at the Jets' 45-yard line and the Patriots scored four plays later to lead 21-14. That kind of short field from the defense was part of the equation needed for this team this season. Didn't happen enough.

SECOND GUESS

Too little, too late for this.

THREE UP

DE Chase Winovich: Was active again with two sacks and was tied for second on the team with six tackles, and added another QB hit and a pass deflection.

WR/QB Jakobi Meyers: Was the engine of the passing game with a team-high six receptions and 68 yards, and had a 19-yard TD pass. He has two TD passes on the season, but no TD catches. That's the 2020 Patriots.

QB Cam Newton: Might as well give him a parting gift. Look, he was good on 21 of 30 passing for 242 yards and three TDs (127.4 rating). Plus, he added 79 yards on the ground (49 on one carry to key the opening drive) and had his first career TD reception.

THREE DOWN

DB Myles Bryant: The undrafted rookie has risen quickly this season to play a variety of roles in the secondary, but he struggled in this one with a very rough drive, and was at fault on a big 53-yard reception before halftime as well.

http://twitter.com/GregABedard/status/1345812825940389890

OT Korey Cunningham: One of the players the Patriots traded for last season, got some playing time and got off to a really rough start with two sacks allowed.

DB Joejuan Williams: Had some struggles in coverage when he finally did get playing time.

INJURIES

S Adrian Phillips (thigh): Did not return.
WR Damiere Byrd (head): Did not return
OT Justin Herron (ankle): Did not return.
QB Cam Newton (back): Stayed in game.
DE Chase Winovich (hand): Stayed in game.

TOP PLAYS

TWO TAKES BEDARD WILL PROBABLY REGRET LATER

Don't read too much into this game, in a variety of ways: I'm sure there are certain people who will see what Jakobi Meyers, Sony Michel and Devin Asiasi did today and get all excited about their prospects for next season. I wouldn't do that. This game was meaningless, there weren't a ton of good NFL players on the field for the Jets, and there's a long way to go. Belichick basically went out of his way, in his own way, when asked about Asiasi to say that he has a lot of things to accomplish before he can remotely be counted on. On the other side, I also wouldn't judge Sam Darnold off this game or very many with the Jets. Adam Gase is a good offensive mind, but not as a head coach — he's too distracted. And that whole Jets operation is not good. Darnold isn't perfect, but he's very talented and if put in the right situation, he could be a very good player. I'm not saying he will, I'm just saying don't go off this game.

Hopefully we never have a season like this again: Covid. No fans. The Patriots playing losing football. Bad offense. I don't know what the future holds for the Patriots, but I'm hoping this represents the bottom for this team because I don't think it was a whole lot of fun for anybody. And I have a lot of respect for what the players, coaches and their families went through this season. They didn't really talk about it that much, especially the coaches, but this football season was tougher than most with the hours and not being connected with their players or family. Hopefully this is all over by the time the next season rolls around.