Is good enough against the New York Jets ... good enough?
After weeks of frustration, field goals and turnovers, the New England Patriots played their best offensive football since Week 2 at Seattle, driving past the winless Jets, 30-27.
The Patriots played with savvy – Jakobi Meyers exploited every giant crevice in Gregg Williams' soft, lifeless zone defense to the tune of 12 catches for 169 yards.
“For him to be morphing into the player he is today, it’s just about the hard work he’s put in,” said Cam Newton, himself like Meyers a native of the Atlanta area.
They played tough – both Damien Harris and Rex Burkhead barreled fearlessly into the Jets defensive front, churning out a combined 127 yards on 26 rushes. The 4.9 yards a carry was much more about reckless abandon than it was scheme.
And they played with heart – Newton, a wreck against Denver and San Francisco and the wrong kind of goat fumbling away the game at Buffalo last week, had plenty of opportunities to pack it in on Monday night.
Former Patriots linebacker Harvey Langi seemed to have a homing signal on Newton’s No. 1. The QB took repeated shots and withstood the onslaught. Mentally, he hung tough and made plays.
“The last couple games kind of build character … being resilient, being able to battle back as an offense,” said Newton. “As an offense, our job is to put up points. For us to put up 30 points, it’s just what’s expected of you to do.”
You can be darn sure when Bill Belichick hands out his game balls for the locker, Cam will find one in his locker.
This football team has remained courageous.
A week ago was the battered defensive backs, outsized and outmanned in Buffalo, stepping up to tackle oncoming rushers after taking a pounding. On Monday night, it was Newton, facing the heat and refusing to relent.
“I’m getting tired of sucking. It’s simple,” Newton vented after the win. “This offense thrives when we just keep the pressure on the defense.”