“15 points, generally you’re gonna need more than that, but it was enough today.” pic.twitter.com/RD2CgdVlLA
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) September 24, 2023
The Patriots played ultra-conservative football most of the game, leaning on a two-headed rushing attack of Rhamondre Stevenson (19 carries, 59 yards) and Ezekiel Elliott (16 carries, 80 yards) to control time of possession. The Patriots leading receiver was Pharoh Brown, a journeyman tight end who caught a 58-yard pass for New England's only touchdown on the day.
Aside from the touchdown, Mac Jones was just 14-for-28 for 143 yards with no interceptions or other scores.
The Patriots were able to lean on their defense to keep the lead against Zach Wilson and the New York Jets. The Patriots recorded a safety late in the fourth quarter that pushed the lead to five, but the Jets still had multiple chances to win the game late.
While ultimately getting the win is what Belichick will care most about, it was in unconvincing fashion offensively. The Patriots played mistake-free football but struggled to score or gain significant yardage on first and second down. New England went 8-for-19 on third downs throughout the game.
As Belichick alluded to, the Patriots will likely need much more than 15 points moving forward to win games. In Week 4, they'll head to Dallas to take on a Cowboys team that has one of the best defensive units in all of football.
The Patriots moved to 1-2 with the ugly win over New York, extending their winning streak over the Jets to 15 straight wins.