By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Pro Football Writer
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.
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.
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.
Patriots: host Cleveland next Sunday.
Jets: at Jacksonville next Sunday.
The New England Patriots Defense stifled the Jets from the opening drive as the team cruised to a 33-0 win on Monday Night Football. The Jets offense rarely stood a chance as the Patriots held Jets quarterback Sam Darnold to a 34% completion percentage, 86 passing yards and a quarterback rating of 3.6. New England also intercepted Darnold four times and the unit now has two shutouts on the season. The Patriots defense has quickly emerged as, by far, the best defense in the NFL and will be the top fantasy option at the position heading into Week 8's action.
New England Patriots wide receiver Phillip Dorsett caught three passes for 46 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown, in the Patriots Week 7 blowout of the Jets 33-0. Dorsett came into the game questionable but was able to deliver in a game that was over from the beginning. Dorsett made a nice catch in the first quarter for the touchdown to put the Patriots up 17-0 at the time. Dorsett now has four touchdowns on the season but has struggled with nagging injuries. If he can get healthy, Dorsett could have promising stash value in deeper fantasy formats as an offensive weapon that quarterback Tom Brady trusts.
New England Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson made his Patriots debut in Week 7, catching three passes for 18 yards in the Patriots 33-0 win over the Jets. It has been a roller coaster ride for Watson's time with New England but he is finally in uniform and contributing. The veteran still has the moxie and speed to produce in the NFL but it will take time to work his way into the flow of the versatile Patriots offense. Watson may not have fantasy value now but could become an intriguing waiver wire option if he can make strides in the coming weeks.
New England Patriots running back Damien Harris carried the ball four times for 12 yards in the Patriots 33-0 blowout win over the Jets in Week 7. It was the rookie's first real game action of the season and received his carries after the victory was already sealed for the Patriots. Harris performed well, at times, during the preseason but a wrist injury stunted his progress. Cracking the lineup as a rookie in the Patriots offense is a tall order but Harris was able to get a few game reps in. Only a series of injuries to multiple players would open up more playing time for Harris in the near future.
New England Patriots running back James White caught seven passes for 59 yards in the team's 33-0 demolishing of the Jets in Week 7. White tallied zero yards on five rushes in the game but was his usual active self in the passing attack. The veteran is now averaging 7.5 receptions over his last four games, propping up his value in PPR leagues only moving forward. The bad news is that White is far behind his touchdown production from last season, heading into Week 8 with only one touchdown after posting 12 scores in 2018.
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman caught seven passes for 47 yards in the Patriots 33-0 rout of the Jets in Week 7. Edelman saw a team-high 12 targets in the game and racked up 20 rushing yards on three carries. The Patriots built a huge lead and the need for explosive plays in the passing game was deemed inconsequential. The veteran receiver now has at least seven catches in each of his last three games and will head into Week 8 with 45 receptions, 496 yards and two touchdowns on the season.
New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers caught five passes for 47 yards in the Patriots 33-0 win over the Jets on Monday Night Football. With Josh Gordon held out with an injury, Meyers stepped in admirably by catching all five of his targets. The rookie now has 101 receiving yards over his last two games and has delivered when his number has been called upon in the offense. Meyers still has to compete for targets with established receivers Phillip Dorsett and Julian Edelman but has proven he can step in and produce off the bench.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady completed 31 of 45 passes for 249 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the Patriots 33-0 romp over the Jets in Week 7. It was a workmanlike performance for the future Hall of Famer as the Patriots offense cashed in on several touchdowns via Sony Michel. The Patriots are now 7-0 but Brady has only four passing touchdowns over his last four games to show for it. Two rushing touchdowns in Week 6 help prop up his fantasy numbers but the Patriots don't need an explosive passing attack to win games. Despite the team's success, Brady is a mediocre fantasy play in 12-team formats heading into Week 8.
New England Patriots running back Sony Michel carried the ball 19 times for 42 yards with three touchdowns in the Patriots 33-0 win over the Jets. Michel again struggled with consistency in the running game but found himself back in the mix in the Patriots red zone offense. Michel is averaging only 3.3 yards per carry this season but now has six rushing touchdowns. The second-year back was losing out in the red zone the past few games but cashed in big-time in Week 7. Michel's arrow is pointing up moving forward.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Los Angeles Chargers LB Melvin Ingram (hamstring) hopefully will be able to play in the Week 8 game, according to head coach Anthony Lynn.