Another week, and another victory Monday here in New England for the Patriots. It wasn't like the first three games where they were blowouts. This one took all 60 minutes to come away 4-0 on the season. Who was the opponent? None other than the Patriots third AFC East rival in the past three weeks: the Buffalo Bills. The Bills came in at 3-0 with one of the top defenses in the league so far in the 2019 season. When the game ended, the Patriots came away with a tight 16-10 victory over the Bills. But, what were some ups and some downs along the way? Well, that's where I come in to help you out! Here are three ups and three downs from the Patriots-Bills game on Sunday afternoon.
Up: J.C. Jackson
J.C. Jackson was all over the field yesterday for the Patriots. He had two interceptions off of Bills starting quarterback Josh Allen. He also had the play of the game on special teams with a blocked punt that resulted in one of the Patriots two touchdowns on the day.
We know the Patriots have safeties and defensive backs such as Stephon Gilmore and Devin McCourty that are good in their own right. But with Jackson having a game like he did yesterday, he makes the defense even better than they are already showing us.
Down: Stephen Gostkowski (Again)
Another Sunday and another Stephen Gostkowski missed extra point. At what point do the Patriots bring in a new kicker? Or at least bring in a kicker to give Gostkowski some competition? Week after week the long tenured kicker seems to be missing an extra point. When big games come around, the Patriots need to rely on their kicker to make a big kick when needed. Right now, it is shaky at best for how Patriots fans feel about their long time kicker. Plain and simple, Gostkowski needs to step it up.
Up: Kyle Van Noy
Kyle Van Noy continues to have a great start to his 2019 season. He continued his hot start by having two sacks in the game yesterday. He also had six total tackles, assisting on two more of them. Van Noy has played well, along with welcoming a child into his world during the season. Van Noy is a leader you want on your defense, and he continues to play with so much passion and pride. The defense is scary good now, and Van Noy is a big piece to that puzzle.
Down: Phillip Dorsett
Dorsett did not have his typical big game yesterday. He had only two receptions for 10 yards on the day. You have to give credit to the Bills defense. They knew Dorsett was having a phenomenal start to the 2019 season and they shut him down. The offense couldn't do much of anything yesterday. But, shutting down Dorsett was a good game plan for the Bills defense. I'm sure this was just an off game for Dorsett this week. Next week in Washington, watch for Dorsett to have another monster game that we are accustomed to seeing!
Up: Jamie Collins
It is so nice having Jamie Collins back in the fold on the Patriots defense. Collins disrupted a Bills field goal opportunity at the end of the first half. He also had three tackles, a sack, and an interception to add to his big day as well. Collins is so athletic and can get to the quarterback with relative ease at times. He adds a spark to this defense that usually struggles in the month of September. I think we all can agree that Jamie Collins is most effective in a good defensive scheme, such as the Patriots.
Down: Tom Brady
I'm going to say it! Tom Brady didn't look great yesterday. The Pats legendary quarterback was 18/39 on the day for only 150 yards. He threw a costly interception that could have put the Patriots up 20-0 in the second quarter and made the game essentially out of reach. Instead, Brady threw an interception to Micah Hyde in the endzone. The game ended up being very competitive with Brady not performing at his best. Credit to the Bills defense for mixing up their looks and keeping Brady off-balance for a majority of the game. This was a rare down game that Brady has and he will probably bounce back next week against a woeful Washington Redskins team.
A win is a win. It was ugly, but it was still a win. The Patriots are one of only three teams that still have an undefeated record (Kansas City 4-0, San Francisco 3-0). Great teams win all types of games, and the Patriots won a tough battle on the road against a divisional opponent. We're on to Washington now for the mission of coming out of there 5-0. Until then, enjoy your week Pats nation and let's make it through until Sunday.