Monday Night Football reaction: The Patriots squeaked past the lowly Jets, but glaring issues remain

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton reaches for the endzone during win over the New York Jets on Monday Night Football
Photo of Andrew Ortenberg

Andrew Ortenberg

NFL· 11 months ago

Show Bio

I'm an editor here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up.

A win is a win, and the New England Patriots will surely take their victory over the New York Jets on Monday. But the win was far from impressive, and all the nationally televised game did was expose the glaring issues this Pats team has. There are major question marks on both sides of the ball, and while snapping a four-game losing streak is nice they’re still in a deep hole at 3-5.

They have faced a fairly difficult schedule thus far, and they aren’t completely out of the playoff hunt, but things are pretty bleak. I’ve defended this Patriots team more than most, but I’m not sure I can do it much longer. A come from behind nail-biter over the 0-9 Jets isn’t really doing it for me. Let’s dive in:

The defense is an absolute sieve

There’s been a lot of talk about Cam Newton’s struggles in recent weeks, deservedly so. But all the flak he is catching in the media has distracted from the fact that the defense has been even worse. For some reason it’s getting a fraction of the attention, but this secondary has quietly been one of the worst in the league. They entered Monday Night Football allowing an absurd 8.6 yards per pass attempt, the worst mark in the NFL.

Then Monday night happened, when they made a washed Joe Flacco look like Joe Montana in his prime. Flacco averaged 10.5 yards per attempt en route to 262 yards and three touchdowns. The same Flacco who failed to put up a single point in his most recent start against the Dolphins. The same Flacco who couldn’t move the ball at all on the Cardinals the week before that.

Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims were frequently running wide open, and I just don’t see how their coverage problems are going to solve themselves. The Pats were hit harder than any other team in the league by COVID-19 opt outs, particularly on defense. Those opt outs have proved to be devastating, and that’s not going to change until 2021. Their next four games are against Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson, Kyler Murray, and Justin Herbert, four quarterbacks capable of putting up huge numbers, so things could get ugly moving forward.

Cam Newton still doesn’t look right

I hate to be too hard on Newton, especially after a victory. But even though he made some big throws late to win the Patriots the game, I’m not sold that he has turned a corner. He still missed several easy throws, and if I’m being honest he doesn’t look completely healthy.

Obviously a lot has been written about how he just doesn’t have the weapons, and that’s very true. Luckily the Pats had a functioning ground game on Monday night, but when Damien Harris isn’t on then the team doesn’t really have much of a chance in any given game.

Newton hasn’t showed that he can put the team on his back and carry them with his arm, and he hasn’t been lighting it up with his legs recently either. Bill Belichick has no great options, and I’m just not sure there’s an easy fix here. I wish I could offer a solution, but unfortunately it looks like the passing game is going to continue to be maddeningly inconsistent.

The bottom line

The Patriots can go to bed tonight feeling good, knowing they snapped a long losing streak. There’s certainly some hope in the air for the first time in a while, and maybe they’ll be able to build some momentum off this last-second win. But I’m not convinced that’s the case, and the secondary can’t cover anybody right about now. Newton hasn’t shown an ability to win games solely through his arm, and until that changes this team is going to continue to struggle mightily.

Pickswise is the home of free NFL picks. Check out the latest NFL props and NFL parlays as well as expert underdog predictions and computer picks.

See All
DraftKings

$200

Bet $1 on the NFL, NBA or NHL & Get $100!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account

Place a $1+ bet on any NFL, MLB, or NHL game

If either team registers a point (NFL), hit (MLB), or goal (NHL) you will receive a BONUS $100!

Must be 21+ located in AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WY or WV to play. Offer valid only for new customers. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Get $200 If Your Team Scores A Touchdown!

Register for a new BetMGM account & deposit $20+

Bet $10 on your team to win Money Line

Win $200 in free bets if your team scores a touchdown

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$200

Bet $20, Get $200 If Your Team Scores A Touchdown!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit $20+

Bet $20 on your team to win Money Line (NFL or NCAAF)

Win $200 in free bets if your team scores a touchdown

Caesars Sportsbook

$5,000

Get a $5,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new Caesars Sportsbook account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $5,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose - up to $5,000!

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Unibet

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

TVG

$300

Get a $300 Risk-Free Bet with TVG Racebook!

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $300

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

BetAmerica Racing

$200

$200 Sign Up Bonus!

Fast, reliable and fast payouts - you'll have your money in 72 hours, if not sooner!

Proud history of providing safe, secure, and fun betting to American patrons

BetAmerica is owned by the iconic Churchill Downs Incorporated, home of 150 years of wagering history and the world-famous Kentucky Derby

Players who sign up using ‘BET200’ code will get a $200 sign up bonus. Offer valid for 7 days after registering on BetAmerica Racing product only. 21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign Up Bonus with TwinSpires Racebook!

Register for a new Twinspires account using offer code BET200

Make a deposit and start wagering on horse racing

Earn $100 in bonus cash for every $400 wagered!

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.