FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — A mere 11 days after he was signed, the Antonio Brown experiment is over in Foxboro. The Patriots released him on Friday afternoon and must now alter their plan of attack for Sunday’s game against an AFC East rival, the New York Jets.
Luckily, the Jets are in rough shape. They’re 0-2 and starting their third string quarterback, Luke Falk, after Sam Darnold went down with mononucleosis and backup Trevor Siemian was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury he suffered in Monday night’s loss to the Browns.
The Patriots are 22-point favorites at home, one of the largest spreads in the team’s history. It would be a major disappointment if New England didn’t cover the spread. They’re more talented in all three phases of the game and have more depth than the lowly Jets.
The Patriots jumped on the board first. A nine play, 88 yard drive ended when Sony Michel ran it in for a five yard score. Gostkowski missed the extra point, but the Patriots lead 6-0. Brady completed seven of eight passes on the drive for 83 yards.
After another defensive stop, the Patriots offense was back on the field, and took no time heading back into the end zone, this time only taking three plays to do so. This time Brady connected with Phillip Dorsett for a 25 yard touchdown, making it 13-0.
That touchdown gave Tom Brady 523 for his career, passing Drew Brees and moving him into 2nd place on the all time list. He now trails only Peyton Manning who has 539.
The Patriots stopped the Jets again on the next drive and Brady connected with Julian Edelman for a short three yard TD to give them a 20-0 lead at the half.
After a Devin McCourty interception, Gostkowski hit a 37 yard field goal to extend the lead.
Then, later in the third, Rex Burkhead took a pitch from Brady and ran for a two yard touchdown, making it 30-0.
Just before the the end of third, Gunner Olszewski muffed a punt near the Jets 12 yard line, and it got batted around into the end zone where Arthur Maulet was able to recover it for the touchdown for the Jets, putting them on the board, but still down 30-7.
Then in the 4th quarter the Jets get their second score of the day with a pick-six by Jamal Adams. It’s now 30-14.
The clock ticks down and the Patriots win.
After the game, flip to the Patriots Wrap at 11:15 p.m. on WPRI 12 for all your postgame analysis, team reaction from inside the locker room and a recap from the day around the NFL.
Below are some notes and quotes from this past week leading up to the game:
1. If the Patriots win, the team will surpass the Indianapolis Colts for the most regular season wins by a franchise in a decade in NFL history. The Colts racked up 114 wins from 2000-09 and a win on Sunday would give the Patriots their 115th from 2010-19.
2. Tom Brady is 27-6 as a starter in his career when facing the New York Jets.
3. The Patriots have a chance to start 3-0 for the first time since they did it in back-to-back years in 2015 and 2016.
Bill Belichick on facing Jets head coach Adam Gase: “This is a big challenge for us. Obviously, Coach Gase has done a great job of game planning against us in the three years he was in Miami and caused us a lot of problems. I have a ton of respect for him, the job that he does and the problems that he presents.”
Josh Gordon on feeling at home and hitting his stride with the Patriots in his second season in New England: “Last year was kind of on the fly. I got traded (two weeks) into the season. I had to pick it up as I was going along, and with the injury at the same time, it was a lot to take on.
“This year, I have more familiarity with it,” he continued. “I got extra time in the offseason to study what I already knew and then when I got in here, I was able to kind of pick up where I left off — and even better, I would say. So it’s pretty smooth right now.”
Belichick on Duron Harmon: “I think Duron probably knows our defensive system as well as anybody, maybe other than Devin [McCourty]. He and Pat [Chung] and Devin have played together and they have a great communication system, and sometimes just after the snap or in the middle of a play they know how to react based on what their teammate’s doing and things that they’ve encountered in previous games or years.
“Duron does an excellent job, too, of getting that communication to the corners and coordinating the safety and corner responsibilities and leverage and run support and things like that,” Belichick continued. “He’s a very good decision-maker and he really has the green light along with Devin to do what he needs to do to make things right on the field based on the offensive personnel, formation and sometimes situation. So we have a ton of confidence in him, and he always does the right thing. He had two or three plays [Sunday] that could have gone either way, could have followed one rule, but he made the right decision on all of them, and he’s a really smart football player.”