The Patriots faced their first real task of the young season with a chippy matchup against the Bills Mafia in Buffalo.
The two 3-0 teams battled hard, but only one team could come out still undefeated. And would you expect anything else than a Patriots win? I mean come on, did you really think this team was gonna lose to Matt Barkley? It was close, but never in doubt, and the Pats came out victorious 16-10.
Overall, it was a really sloppy game. This beaten up offensive line finally faced a formidable foe, and they got the shit kicked out of them. The run game was nonexistent and Tom had no time to throw at all. The penalties on both sides were also ridiculous.
All of this combined resulted in a scrappy and hard fought win, mostly thanks to the defense and special teams. Here are the standout performers.
What a monster game this kid had. Jackson stepped onto the scene halfway through last season and made big play after big play in the regular and post season. He was one of the biggest reasons the Pats came out victorious tonight. J.C. had two tackles, two picks, and blocked Buffalo's punt which got returned for a touchdown. The two interceptions he made were incredible. Leaping, juggling, toe tapping, the whole nine yards on both plays. With Gilmore, Chung, and both McCourtys in the latter half of their careers, J.C. is the future of this secondary.
The special teams captain makes his presence known every game. To the average football fan, his usual work will go unrecognized. But the veteran and perennial pro bowler is arguably the hardest worker and hustler this team has to offer. He was rewarded with his first career touchdown, scooping up the blocked punt by J.C. Jackson mentioned earlier.
Kyle Van Noy
KVN was all over the field today. It seemed like he was applying pressure or forcing hurried plays on every down. He finished with 8 tackles which was a game high, and two sacks as well. He's a huge leader on that defense. To be honest I'm surprised they named Elandon Roberts captain instead of Van Noy.
Collins second tour with the Patriots is off to an insane start. He recorded yet another sack today, putting him at 3.5 on the year. And he iced the game with his third interception on the Bills would be game winning drive. With the first quarter of the NFL regular season down now, Jamie Collins might be a lock for AFC Defensive Player of the Month.
Last but not least. D Mac made a crazy interception one of the opening drives. That was his fourth game in a row with a pick. He's leading the league in interceptions, and also had 5 tackles to tag along to his stat line today.
Lastly, Gostkowski has got to go. I'm sorry. Give him the scissors.
New England will face off against another JV football team next Sunday in a matchup against the Washington Redskins (0-4).