If you ask some members of the New York Jets, the New England Patriots were a little too good at their jobs Sunday.
The Patriots routed the Jets 54-13 at Gillette Stadium, opening up a 31-7 lead by halftime and piling on 20 points in the fourth quarter to score 50-plus points for the 14th time in franchise history.
After the game, Jets offensive tackle Morgan Moses told The Athletic's Connor Hughes that he and a few of his teammates weren't pleased about those 20 fourth-quarter points.
Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins and head coach Robert Saleh were a little less direct, but appeared to share Moses' opinion.
"Probably some things I’m not going to say," Rankins said Sunday in his postgame press conference when asked what he was thinking when the Patriots were still throwing late in the fourth quarter, via ESPN's Rich Cimini. "But it's our job to stop it."
"It’s the NFL, it’s not like Alabama vs. William & Mary,” Saleh added, per Hughes. “It’s the NFL. We’re all professional athletes. If you don’t want to get scored on, you gotta stop ‘em.
"Is it something I would do? Probably not, but to each his own."
Translation: The Patriots' late-game scoring didn't go over well on New York's sideline.
New England took a 34-13 lead into the fourth quarter against a Jets team without starting quarterback Zach Wilson, who exited in the second quarter due to injury. But the Patriots stayed aggressive with three touchdown drives in the final 15 minutes, two of which came with quarterback Mac Jones and the starting offense still on the field.
While Brian Hoyer eventually replaced Jones with 6:42 remaining, the Jets likely took issue with two plays in particular: a 46-yard deep ball from Jones to Kendrick Bourne in the fourth quarter that helped Jones eclipse 300 passing yards, and a 28-yard jump ball from Hoyer to N'Keal Harry near the goal line with under four minutes to play that set up New England's final score.
So, did the Patriots run up the score Sunday? Yeah, probably. But this was nothing out of character from head coach Bill Belichick, whose team has beaten New York by scores of 33-0, 38-3 and 41-3 in the last six years alone.
Perhaps Belichick still holds a grudge against the Jets after his acrimonious 2000 departure from the franchise. Or perhaps his Patriots just played a really good game against a very bad team, and 54-13 was the result.