Monday Night Football has become an American tradition that NFL fans have adopted as their own.  Even if they watched games on TV all day Sunday, they all say, “Let us have just one more game, please.” And so, the NFL’s Monday Night classic was born.  Looking at the teams for last night’s contest at first did not seem to be very good – the New England Patriots and the New York Jets.

This is a good AFC East rivalry, but the Jets were winless, 0 and 6, and the Patriots, who are having a rough time of it without Tom Brady, were not much better at 2 and 5. But it turned out to be a pretty good game with a fantastic finish, after all.

The Jets Give The Pats A Hard Time

Sam Darnold, the Jets’ starting quarterback, had a sore shoulder and did not play on Monday.  His backup was Joe Flacco, who ended up passing for three touchdowns and 262 yards.  Not many teams have a backup quarterback with a Super Bowl ring.

Cam Newton, struggling to fit into Tom Brady’s tight shoes, continued his quest for NFL greatness.  Cam is a better football player than he has shown this year, and head coach Bill Belichick and Patriots fans were hoping that he will show some improvement and start looking like the Cam Newton of old.  They finally saw a bit of that Monday night.

It was cold at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey at kickoff time.  Even so, it was Newton’s time to shine a bit.  He played well all evening, passing for 274 yards on 27 of 35 tries and, at the end of the game, it was he who made the one-yard touchdown plunge that tied the game in the fourth quarter to give the Patriots a chance at a come from behind victory.

Newton didn’t score a passing touchdown all evening, but he didn’t get intercepted all evening, either.  Running backs Damian Harris and Rex Burkhead both had excellent games, as well, rushing for 71 and 56 yards, respectively.

The Pats Kick For The Win

In the end, after some more Cam heroics, it was kicker Nick Folk who stepped up and nailed a 51-yard field goal with no time left on the clock to give New England a 30-27 win that they so desperately needed.  Add one more fantastic finish to the collection.  The Patriots don’t do come-from-behind football games very often, but this was a good one.

Newton told Lisa Salters after the game, “To God be the glory, man, it has been a long last couple of games in the last month.  But yet, this could kick-start right where we want to be.  We just showed resiliency and I’m just so happy for those guys in the locker room to keep just battling back.  It wasn’t pretty.  But, it was a win.”

Week 9 Is Now A Wrap

The Patriots must have felt pretty good on their way back home last night.  Perhaps this will be the kick in the pants they needed to get their season back on track and win some games so that they can at least come out with a winning record this year.

Belichick surely hopes so.  He has a couple of Super Bowl rings to defend himself and is definitely not accustomed to his team having a 5-2 record at the halfway point in the NFL season.  The New York Jets, on the other hand, are the number-one team in the NFL in one respect.  They are on track to get the first pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.