EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Well, we and many others got that wrong.
In a game that was predicted to be competitive, the Patriots completely dominated the Jets in a 33-0 win on Monday Night Football.
The game began with the Patriots scoring points on their first four possessions, including three touchdowns, while forcing turnovers on three of the first four Jets possessions.
This set the tone for the entire night as it looked like a high school varsity team taking on a team of sixth graders.
Here are 10 quick thoughts from the game.
1. It wasn’t quite the “Butt Fumble” game, but it was pretty close as the Patriots were in complete control from the start. The defense had Jets quarterback literally seeing ghosts, as he confirmed it on the sideline mic’d up for ESPN. The Jets finished with six turnovers, including four interceptions.
2. There is no question the Patriots have the best secondary in the NFL right now. It has 18 interceptions on the year, and how good is that? The Panthers are second in the league with nine. It is also the most by a team through seven games in a season since the Packers had 20 in 1996. Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Terrence Brooks and Stephon Gilmore all recorded picks.
3. Tom Brady was very good, although he slowed down as the game went on. The 42-year-old finished 31-for-45 passing with 249 yards, a touchdown and an interception. This was much better than Darnold on the other side of the field, as he finished 11-for-32 with 86 yards, four interceptions and a QB rating of 3.6.
4. It could be argued the first half was the Patriots’ best half of the entire season. The offense put up 24 points of its own and consistently moved the ball. Defensively, it was more of the same. The only knock was the four penalties for 49 yards, three of which came on the same drive.
5. The Patriots are working through being without James Develin and Jakob Johnson, as several players saw snaps in the backfield as fullbacks. Both tight ends — Benjamin Watson and Erik Tomlinson — predictably did, but so did linebacker Elandon Roberts and backup center James Ferentz when the Patriots were near the goal-line. Michel’s second touchdown came following Ferentz.
6. Brady seems to be beginning to really trust Jakobi Meyers. The rookie finished with five catches on five targets for 47 yards. Dating back to last week, he's caught the last eight passes thrown his way for a total of 101 yards. This is very important as the season goes along, as Brady will need to get contributions from the No. 4 and 5 wide outs when teams take away the Patriots' best weapons.
7. Gilmore continues to make a case for being the NFL's best cornerback. He completely shut down Robby Anderson and there were some points where Darnold didn't even look his way. He has three interceptions on the year. His season-high is five, set in 2016. When targeting Anderson, Darnold was 1-for-8 with 10 yards and an interception.
8. Although it was a blow out, there were still a few nitpicks: the number of penalties and the inability to get a consistent running game going. The Patriots finished with seven penalties for 92 yards, and then on the ground totaled 76 on 32 carries. These will both need to get cleaned up before the team gets into the meat of its schedule with games against the Ravens, Eagles, Cowboys, Chiefs and Texans.
9. Despite being active, it took until Michel left with a minor injury very late in the fourth quarter to get rookie Damien Harris some snaps in the offensive backfield. It really is pretty baffling at this point considering he was a third-round pick.
10. It should be noted the Patriots put this performance together without some key players, including Rex Burkhead, Josh Gordon and Patrick Chung. It just goes to show how deep the team is and perhaps there is hope for the offense, who was able to produce without its No. 2 wide receiver.