EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — We’re still 10 days out from Halloween, but the New England Patriots were haunting New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold in their 33-0 win Monday night.
Darnold was caught on ESPN saying he was seeing ghosts against the Patriots defense. It was more about what Darnold wasn’t seeing as he threw four interceptions and completed just 11-of-32 passes for 86 yards.
Darnold certainly heard “boos” Monday night, but they weren’t coming from ghosts.
Beyond Darnold and his horrendous performance in the only game on television, here’s who helped the Patriots most:
CB STEPHON GILMORE
Gilmore helped limit Jets top wide receiver Robby Anderson to one catch on eight targets for 10 yards. He was one of four Patriots defensive backs with interceptions.
Safeties Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon and Terrence Brooks also picked off Darnold.
OLB JOHN SIMON
Simon registered the Patriots’ lone sack Monday night. He strip-sacked Darnold while linebacker Kyle Van Noy recovered the fumble.
The Patriots were bringing pressure all game on blitzes. They saw results through turnovers more than sacks because Darnold would throw the ball straight to a defender rather than eat a sack.
RB SONY MICHEL
Michel scored a hat trick with three touchdown runs. He carried the ball 19 times for just 42 yards. But he picked up yards when the Patriots needed them in the red zone. Michel did leave the game in the fourth quarter with an apparent injury. He jogged off the field after he was slow to get up, however.
The Patriots used four different fullbacks on offense: tight ends Eric Tomlinson and Ben Watson, center James Ferentz and linebacker Elandon Roberts. Michel scored with Watson, Ferentz and Roberts leading the way.
The Patriots’ offense was far from perfect Monday night, but we liked what we saw from Jakobi Meyers (five catches, 47 yards), Brandon Bolden (four catches, 39 yards) and Ben Watson (three catches, 18 yards). Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett also caught a touchdown as quarterback Tom Brady went 31-of-45 for 249 yards with a touchdown and interception.
Two of Brady’s incompletions were dropped. He was hit by Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams on his interception.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images