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FFL: Week 8 | NFL: Week 8

Patriots blitz Darnold, Jets 33-0 to remain undefeated

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By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Pro Football Writer

Players: Tom Brady, Mike Nugent, Benjamin Watson, Julian Edelman, James White, Phillip Dorsett, Sony Michel, Sam Darnold, Jakobi Meyers

New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty (32) celebrates with teammates Kyle Van Noy (53) and Stephon Gilmore (24) after intercepting a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


New England Patriots' Terrence Brooks (25) intercepts a pass to New York Jets' Demaryius Thomas (18) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


New England Patriots' J.C. Jackson (27) and New York Jets' Sam Darnold (14) fights for control of the ball in the end zone after it was snapped over the head of Darnold during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Patriots scored a safety on the play. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) points to Benjamin Watson (84) after a play during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


New England Patriots' Tom Brady (12) celebrates with Phillip Dorsett (13) after they connected for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, center left, watches his team play during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


New England Patriots middle linebacker Kyle Van Noy (53) recovers the ball fumbled by New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, left, after Darnold was sacked during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


New England Patriots' Phillip Dorsett, left, catches a pass for a touchdown in front of New York Jets' Trumaine Johnson during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)


New England Patriots running back Sony Michel (26) gets away from New York Jets' C.J. Mosley (57) and Leonard Williams (92) for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Tom Brady set the tone and the New England Patriots' blitz-happy defense took over from there.

Bill Belichick's bunch is still undefeated after another absolutely dominant performance.

Brady threw a TD pass to Phillip Dorsett, Sony Michel ran for three scores and New England forced Sam Darnold into five turnovers while cruising to a 33-0 victory over the New York Jets on Monday night.

''We were able to make some plays early in the game,'' Belichick said, ''and play pretty solid for 60 minutes.''

The Patriots improved to 7-0 for the third time in franchise history, and first since 2015. They also swept the two-game season series against their AFC East rivals for the fourth straight year, outscoring the Jets (1-5) 63-14 in the two meetings this year.

And, the top-ranked Patriots defense was a big reason in this one.

''They're just playing great football,'' Brady said. ''They cover the rush. They stop the run. Make critical plays. It's awesome to watch.''

Darnold was the AFC offensive player of the week after leading New York to a 24-22 win over Dallas last Sunday in his return from missing three games with mononucleosis.

He was miserable against New England, finishing 11 of 32 for 86 yards and a 3.6 quarterback rating. ESPN had Darnold wear a microphone during the game, and he was caught on the sideline saying, ''I'm seeing ghosts'' at one point.

''It was a rough night out there,'' Darnold said. ''And obviously, I've got to be better and learn from the mistakes, but we will get better.''

Belichick blitzed Darnold often, giving the second-year quarterback little time and forcing him into bad - and often ugly - throws. Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Stephon Gilmore and Terrence Brooks all had interceptions. Darnold also lost a fumble on a sack, and later knocked an errant snap out of the back of the end zone for a safety.

''I don't know, man,'' a smiling McCourty said when asked if there were ''ghosts'' on the field. ''We were just locked in tonight as a defensive unit. When you get a lot of time to prepare for a game, you start going over everything over and over again. I think it showed for us tonight as a defensive unit.''

Brady was 31 of 45 for 249 yards with a TD and an interception before leaving with 2:55 left to chants of ''Brady! Brady!'' from the Patriots fans who stayed until the end at MetLife Stadium.

They watched New England take total control from the beginning.

Michel's 3-yard touchdown run capped an efficient drive by Brady to open the game. The Patriots went 16 plays and 78 yards while eating up 8:47, and converted four third downs along the way. The last came on third-and-2 when Brady pitched it to Michel, who easily zipped into the end zone.

''Our guys were ready to go today,'' Belichick said. ''We got off to a good start. That was a great opening drive. It took up most of the first quarter.''

New England made it 10-0 a few minutes later after McCourty intercepted Darnold's first pass of the game, coming on the Jets' second play from scrimmage. New England turned the turnover into a 34-yard field goal by Mike Nugent.

After the Jets went three-and-out, Brady went back to work. On fourth-and-6 from the 35, Belichick opted to leave the offense on the field instead of having Nugent try for a 53-yard field goal.

And, it paid off.

Brady connected with Ben Watson for 7 yards to extend the drive. After a 2-yard run by Michel, Brady threw a perfectly placed ball to Dorsett, who caught the pass over Trumaine Johnson in the end zone for a 26-yard touchdown.

''We had good balance,'' Brady said.

New England took advantage of another turnover by Darnold on the Jets' next drive when John Simon popped the ball out of the quarterback's hand for a strip-sack and Kyle Van Noy recovered. The Patriots linebacker ran 39 yards for what was initially called a touchdown, but officials then ruled he was down.

Four plays later, it appeared James White had a 4-yard touchdown run, but it was wiped out by an illegal block in the back penalty on Julian Edelman. Brady's pass to Jakobi Meyers fell incomplete on third-and-goal from the 3, but Brian Poole was called for defensive holding. Michel ran it in from the 1 three plays later to make it 24-0 with 9:18 left in the first half.

Darnold's third turnover came on the Jets' next possession when his throw to the end zone was intercepted by Harmon. Gilmore picked off Darnold on New York's opening drive of the second half.

It only went downhill from there on the Jets' next possession when Ryan Kalil's snap sailed over Darnold's head and he knocked it out of the back of the end zone for a safety.

Michel added a 1-yard TD run with 12:32 left to cap the scoring.

''Obviously, that was brutal,'' Jets coach Adam Gase said. ''We couldn't do anything right. All three phases, we were bad. It was just a bad performance.''

CENTER OF ATTENTION

Kalil injured his right elbow late in the second quarter and was replaced by Jonotthan Harrison. Kalil returned to open the second half with a sleeve over his elbow, but again left after his wayward snap.

STATS

It was New England's second shutout this season after winning 43-0 at Miami in Week 2. ... The Patriots dominated the opening quarter, outgaining the Jets 141 yards to 14 while holding the ball for 12:34 compared to just 2:26 for New York. ... Brady's 29 regular-season wins vs. the Jets are his second-most against any opponent, with only his 31 against Buffalo more.

MAWAE HONORED

Former Jets center Kevin Mawae received his key from the Pro Football Hall of Fame during a halftime ceremony. Mawae, who played for New York from 1998-2005, was inducted in August.

UP NEXT

Patriots: host Cleveland next Sunday.

Jets: at Jacksonville next Sunday.

Player Notes
New York Jets Oct 22 12:40am ET

The New York Jets Defense was dominated by the Patriots in a 33-0 loss to the Patriots Monday night. The Jets allowed a 16-play touchdown drive to open the game and things went downhill from there as Tom Brady and the Patriots did anything they wanted in the game. Brady had clean pockets to throw out of all night as the Jets didn't record a sack and running back Sony Michel scored three touchdowns. The lone bright spot for the Jets defense was an interception by Trumaine Johnson on a tipped ball, but overall it was a night to forget for New York. The Jets will try and bounce back next week at Jacksonville but are nothing more than a low end streaming defense in the deepest of leagues.

From RotoBaller

Le'Veon Bell Oct 22 12:30am ET

New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell rushed 15 times for 70 yards while hauling in one of four targets for an additional six yards vs the Patriots Monday. Bell's 16 touches aren't ideal for fantasy, especially after getting only 15 touches last week, but he still dominated the backfield touches with the lower workload this week likely because New England dominated time of position and put the Jets in a passing game script early. No other Jet had more than two carries so fantasy owners can still insert Bell in their lineups expecting 15-20 touches weekly. The Jets offense has looked brutal at times this season but Bell is a borderline RB1 on volume alone, and with the schedule for New York softening a bit, Bell is a great buy-low running back.

From RotoBaller

Jamison Crowder Oct 22 12:10am ET

New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder made four catches for 26 yards on five targets in a brutal home loss to the Patriots Monday night. Crowder's four catches lead the team on a night QB Sam Darnold only completed 11 passes, but he could do nothing with those catches against the elite New England secondary. Crowder's five targets are his fewest in three games with Darnold as Demaryius Thomas was targeted nine times in this game. Crowder will look to bounce back next week against a Jaguars secondary that will be a better matchup for him than this week vs the Patriots number one ranked defense.

From RotoBaller

Robby Anderson Oct 22 12:00am ET

New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson caught one pass for 10 yards on eight targets in an ugly loss to the Patriots Monday night. Anderson was blanketed by All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore all night and could get nothing going downfield as QB Sam Darnold was under pressure almost every snap. Anderson has had one game this year that was good for fantasy, and that included a 92-yard touchdown. The boom-or-bust nature of Anderson can be frustrating for fantasy, but the Jets schedule gets softer in the coming weeks so Anderson still has plenty of opportunity to make the big plays that he needs to have big fantasy weeks. He should be owned in 12-team leagues and started when he has a good matchup.

From RotoBaller

Matt Breida Oct 21 11:50pm ET

San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin both passed concussion protocol on Monday and should be fine heading into Week 8 against the Carolina Panthers. Both players missed time on Sunday but reentered the game. The health clearance sets up Breida as an RB3 against a weak Panthers rush defense, but hes taken a backseat to Tevin Coleman in recent weeks. Goodwin did not record a catch in Week 7 and has just 15 yards over the past two contests. Hell be a zero-floor WR5 against one of the leagues top pass defenses.

From RotoBaller

Sam Darnold Oct 21 11:40pm ET

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold had a night to forget vs New England in Week 7 completing only 11 of 32 passes for 86 yards. Darnold, who was out with mono during the Jets' first meeting with the NFL's number one defense, threw a career-high four interceptions and also lost a fumble in a 33-0 beatdown. Darnold looked uncomfortable all night playing behind an offensive line that was down two starters and it showed. He consistently threw off his back foot, facing pressure on almost every drop back as the Jets had no answer for the vaunted Patriots Defense. While this night was rough, Darnold's schedule gets better in the next few weeks and could be a viable starter in two-quarterback leagues or desperation bye-week replacement.

From RotoBaller

Demaryius Thomas Oct 21 11:40pm ET

New York Jets wide receiver Demaryius Thomas caught three passes for 42 yards in a loss to the Patriots Monday night. Thomas' nine targets lead the team, but he could do little with that opportunity as QB Sam Darnold was under pressure all night and only completed 11 passes total. Thomas has been getting more involved in recent weeks, but is still the third option behind Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder. He's nothing more than a desperation flex in deep leagues.

From RotoBaller

Josh Gordon Oct 21 6:53pm ET

The New England Patriots have declared TE Matt LaCosse, DL Michael Bennett, WR Josh Gordon, SS Patrick Chung, OT Korey Cunningham, RB Rex Burkhead and TE Ryan Izzo inactive for Week 7.

From TheHuddle

Christopher Herndon IV Oct 21 6:53pm ET

The New York Jets have declared LB Albert McClellan, OT Kelvin Beachum, DL Henry Anderson, TE Chris Herndon, RB Trenton Cannon, LB Neville Hewitt and OG Kelechi Osemele inactive for Week 7.

From TheHuddle

Tyrell Williams Oct 21 6:43pm ET

Oakland Raiders WR Tyrell Williams (foot) is considered questionable for the Week 8 game at this point, according to head coach Jon Gruden. Williams was able to do some running Monday, Oct. 21.

Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players should monitor Williams' practice participation during the week to have a better idea of his status for Week 8. He is the team's top option in the passing game when healthy and can be a No. 3 fantasy receiver.

From TheHuddle

Melvin Ingram Oct 21 6:23pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers LB Melvin Ingram (hamstring) hopefully will be able to play in the Week 8 game, according to head coach Anthony Lynn.

From TheHuddle

C.J. Anderson Oct 21 6:13pm ET

Free-agent RB C.J. Anderson (Lions) recently worked out for the Oakland Raiders.

From TheHuddle

Steven Nelson Oct 21 6:13pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers CB Steven Nelson (groin) participated in practice Monday, Oct. 21.

From TheHuddle

Josh Norman Oct 21 6:03pm ET

Washington Redskins S Deshazor Everett (ankle), LB Josh Harvey-Clemons (hamstring), OG Wes Martin (chest), FS Montae Nicholson (ankle), CB Josh Norman (hand, thigh) and WR Steven Sims (toe) did not participate in practice Monday, Oct. 21. LB Ryan Kerrigan (elbow) and OT Donald Penn (non-injury) were limited during practice. The Redskins did not hold a practice Monday, so these are estimations.

From TheHuddle

Akeem Spence Oct 21 6:03pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles DT Akeem Spence was released Monday, Oct. 21.

From TheHuddle

Case Keenum Oct 21 5:53pm ET

Washington Redskins QB Case Keenum (foot, shoulder) fully participated in practice Monday, Oct. 21. The Redskins did not hold a practice Monday, so this is an estimation.

Fantasy Spin: Keenum struggled in inclement weather last week and will be facing another tough opponent again this week. He should be avoided in all fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Vernon Davis Oct 21 5:53pm ET

Washington Redskins TE Vernon Davis (concussion) was limited during practice Monday, Oct. 21. The Redskins did not hold a practice Monday, so this is an estimation.

Fantasy Spin: Davis still needs to receive medical clearance to play, so he should be considered questionable this week. Fantasy players should look for other options to use and can keep Davis on the bench.

From TheHuddle

Adrian Peterson Oct 21 5:43pm ET

Washington Redskins RB Adrian Peterson (ankle) did not participate in practice Monday, Oct. 21. The Redskins did not hold a practice Monday, so this is an estimation.

Fantasy Spin: Peterson recently underwent an MRI on his ankle, so his status for the Week 8 game is uncertain. Fantasy players should keep an eye on the situation over the next few days since Peterson could be a possible flex option if he plays.

From TheHuddle

Chris Thompson Oct 21 5:43pm ET

Washington Redskins RB Chris Thompson (toe) did not participate in practice Monday, Oct. 21. The Redskins did not hold a practice Monday, so this is an estimation.

Fantasy Spin: Thompson did not practice last week and missed Week 7, so he may be facing an uphill battle to play in Week 8 . Wendell Smallwood likely will fill in for Thompson again this week but probably can be avoided in most leagues.

From TheHuddle

Kyle Rudolph Oct 21 5:33pm ET

Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (thumb) fully participated in practice Monday, Oct. 21. The Vikings did not hold a practice Monday, so this is an estimation.

Fantasy Spin: Rudolph is coming off his best game of the season where he posted 58 yards and one touchdown. He may see a new more targets this week if Adam Thielen is not able to play and can be a low-end No. 1 fantasy tight end.

From TheHuddle