Next up: Angry Dallas Cowboys

Congrats on the win, Pats. Getting one in the win column after two frustrating losses at home is especially gratifying.

The only downside to that win in the Meadowlands is that it came against the New York Jets.

Preseason favorites to glide through the AFC East after luring in quarterback Aaron Rodgers, with that great defense, they adopted a winner’s swagger.

That swagger better not have lingered for more than 30 seconds.

For one thing, the Jets look like a collection of dazed, confused wannabes who know the season they envisioned faded to black when Rodgers went down and couldn’t get up.

The only warm body they had to replace a future Hall of Famer is Zach Wilson, a JV QB who has no business playing for the varsity.

Maybe the Jets can shake off their malaise and resemble a respectable team. They must know that the clock is ticking on that pity party.

As for the Pats, they didn’t play great – or even pretty good. But they scored more points, and for the 2023 Patriots, any win is a good win.

The problem of being less than pretty good would be no problem at all if they had a dozen more games with the Jets. 

Alas, there is only one more. 

This week, they return to regular-season action against the Dallas Cowboys. 

Now the Cowboys lost to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. On its face, that may resemble a good thing. The Cowboys are human! They are beatable! Bring ‘em on!

The flip side is the more likely reaction: The Cowboys will be fueled by anger.

They lost to an inferior team. Teams widely considered elite can become very disagreeable under such circumstances.

New England, prepare for Dallas’ wrath.

And there is the reality, confirmed again Sunday, that offensively the Pats are a smoldering dumpster fire.

They gained 157 yards rushing on 40 carries against New York.

Mac Jones was 15 for 29 for 201 passing yards with no interceptions and no fumbles.

And he wasn’t sacked, which is a far cry from claiming he wasn’t hit.

Overall, not horrible … before recalling that they did this against the Jets’ disinterested defense.

The Pats offense scored 13 points. Three came in the third quarter. None came in the fourth quarter, when all their possessions ended in failure as they tried to maintain a modest lead,

It remains a work that, hopefully, is in progress.

Or it is a work that, ultimately, is pure futility.

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