The New England Patriots finally took a step forward in Week 9 by securing a win over the lowly New York Jets. Cam Newton continued to show encouraging progress in his performance that guided New England forward on Monday night. However, the bigger story was Newton’s tremendous praise for potentially his new No.1 target.
Patriots bounce back with a much-needed win
The New England Patriots grabbed a much-needed win on Monday night after inching past the winless New York Jets.
The Jets held control throughout much of the game, with Joe Flacco putting forth a strong outing with three touchdown passes and a 128.7 passer rating. New York dictated the game’s flow behind their passing attack, with Breshad Perriman torching their secondary with five catches for 101 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns.
However, Cam Newton helped engineer a double-digit comeback in the fourth quarter that ended with a game-winning drive with 47 seconds left, resulting in a 51-yard field goal to seal the win. New England had their struggles defensive throughout the contest, but it saw Newton take another stride in the right direction.
The three-time Pro Bowler had an efficient passing performance, completing 27-of-35 passes for 274 yards and a 99.0 passer rating while he had a pair of rushing touchdowns.
Following the win, Newton was also a bit chipper about potentially finding his next No. 1 passing game weapon.
Cam Newton praises promising wideout Jakobi Meyers
The injury bug has struck the Patriots throughout the year that has ravaged their roster.
The Week 9 win over the Jets also featured a breakout performance from second-year wideout Jakobi Meyers, who set career highs across the board with 12 catches on 14 targets for 169 receiving yards. Following the game, Cam Newton could do nothing but voice praise toward his teammate, according to Doug Kyed of NESN.
“Man, I’m extremely proud of Jakobi (Meyers). He’s the person I’ve known the longest through this whole ordeal.”
Meyers stepped up in the opportunity to shine as he put together the best performance of his brief NFL career. The now 24-year-old’s 169 receiving yards are the most for any player on their birthday since Bob Hayes had 187 yards for the Dallas Cowboys in 1970.
His career-best outing was also the eighth-most receiving yards for a Patriots player in the Bill Belichick era. Meanwhile, his eight first-down receptions were the most by a wideout in team history since Brandon LaFell in 2014. He also became the first Patriot not named Julian Edelman or Rob Gronkowski to post 100 receiving yards in more than two years.
Beyond all that, the Patriots may have found their next passing game weapon that can help push them forward.
Patriots’ uphill ahead for playoff contention
The Patriots may have grabbed a much-needed win over the Jets, but it was against a winless team.
New England has played far from a team that looks like a playoff contender. They struggled to get past New York, which required a stellar fourth quarter to grab the win.
The Patriots’ playoff hopes are still feasible, but the team has an uphill battle ahead over the second half of the season. The NFC East has become a much more daunting division outside the Jets. The Miami Dolphins have continued to take steps forward behind their defense and the encouraging play of rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Meanwhile, quarterback Josh Allen continues to add to his MVP-caliber campaign that has the Buffalo Bills among the top records in the AFC. The Patriots have the pathway to the playoffs ahead, but it will come with plenty of challenges.