The New England Patriots are finally in the win column in 2023, but it didn't come in the prettiest fashion.

The Patriots might have been only two yards away from losing had Randall Cobb been able to snag the deflection on Zach Wilson's Hail Mary pass. Instead, the ball fell incomplete, and the Patriots walked away with a 15-10 win over the rival New York Jets. This tight win extended New England's winning streak over New York to a whopping 15 games.

As the Patriots survived the Jets to move to 1-2, here are five concerns surrounding them as they prepare for a big tilt against the Dallas Cowboys next week.

5. Offense still unable to pull through in the clutch

The Patriots' offense really didn't play too poorly in the first half considering the circumstances. Sure, they put up just 10 points, but they were going up against one of the league's top defenses in the rain and moved the ball into Jets territory on five of their six first-half possessions. They even continued that in their first possession of the second half, getting a field goal on their opening drive.

But after that, it was just an absolute thud of a performance from the offense.

New England went 1-of-7 on third-down conversions following its final offensive score of the game. Part of that was due to poor plays on first and second downs setting the unit in an impossible situation on third down. Part of that was weird play calling, such as calling for deeper fade routes on third-and-short.

Either way, the Patriots need to find a way to pull through in high-leverage moments. It has been an issue for them since Tom Brady left as Mac Jones only has one fourth-quarter comeback in his career. Of course, they played with a lead for almost the entire game, but playing with the lead doesn't mean much if you can't add to it.

4. JuJu Smith-Schuster

New England's biggest offseason signing was disappointing again on Sunday, posting his worst performance in his young Patriots tenure. Smith-Schuster only had one catch on three targets for five yards.


Smith-Schuster was probably affected by the rain on running some of his routes. But so was everyone else, and his inability to create separation was on display on Sunday.

The two biggest instances came on those third-down fades mentioned earlier. Smith-Schuster isn't the ideal target for those plays, but his number was called, and he failed to deliver. Jones tried to hit him on the outside with those passes, though they really didn't have a chance to be completed as Smith-Schuster really isn't known for his contested catching abilities.

3. Downfield passing still struggling

Jones seems to be off with some of his downfield throws, for one reason or another.

He took a big shot early to DeVante Parker on third down on the team's first possession, but the ball sailed just a couple yards out from Parker. The quarterback could've thrown a better ball and the receiver certainly could've put a better effort in making a grab. The communication seemed off, to say the least.

Jones tried to take another shot down the field to Kendrick Bourne later in the game. However, the struggles between the two continued on such plays like a third-and-long in the first half, when Jones threw another ball out of bounds when targeting Bourne.

There are probably several issues between the personnel, play calling and communication. Maybe Demario Douglas could get some possible shine due to this.

Either way, this was always a concern with the Patriots' offense with the lack of a true star in the air game. It has been evident so far this season.

2. The kicking game wasn't great

Chad Ryland's first major run of his NFL career wasn't great. He made just 2-of-4 field goals on Sunday in the win.

Now, he's certainly not blameless. The rain definitely adds a tough element to the kicking game and possibly affects it more than any other area on the field. A pair of snaps were also high and one of his misses came from 57 yards.

But Ryland has some pretty tough shoes to fill. Nick Folk was just about automatic on his kicks from within 50 yards over the last two seasons, shortening the field for the Patriots' offense to get scoring opportunities. Ryland sailed a 48-yard, straightway field goal attempt to the right on Sunday.

Kicks like those make it a bit tougher for the Patriots to fall back and think they have three points in hand whenever they get the ball within their opponents' 35-yard line or so. And this offense needs as many easy points as it can get.

1. It was all around ugly, and against the Jets

If the Week 1 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles was a moral victory, then Sunday was a moral defeat.

The Patriots could never truly separate themselves from a Jets team that put up one of the most miserable offensive displays in the league since the last time they faced them. Here's a better way to put it: They're barely better than a team with Zach Wilson at quarterback.

That should be concerning, no matter how you slice it. But, hey, at least you can switch that loss to the Miami Dolphins last week to a moral win after the shellacking they put on the Denver Broncos in Week 3.