The New England Patriots are back in the win column, having defeated New York 25-6. It was the team’s first victory of 2021. However, the Pats continue to make news as they start to make preparations for their week three matchup with the New Orleans Saints. From milestones for a defensive captain to a potential active roster move, here are the latest Pats news and notes, courtesy of the Patriot Maven Notebook:
That’s Not All, Folk?
Per league rules, the Patriots’ week two roster elevations, kicker Nick Folk and linebacker Tashawn Bower, have reverted back to the team’s practice squad.
While Bower is expected to remain on the practice squad, Folk’s stay will apparently be temporary. The 36-year-old is no longer eligible for game day elevation, as he was already called up to New England’s active roster twice; both in week one and week two. Should the Patriots wish to utilize his kicking services in week three and beyond, they will need to sign him to the active roster.
At present, the Patriots have such a spot open. Rookie kicker Quinn Nordin has been placed on injured reserve with an abdomen injury. Therefore, it is widely expected that Folk will be added within the next few days. The count for the Pats practice squad currently stands at 15, after quarterback Brian Hoyer was added to the active roster on Saturday.
Folk’s addition to the active roster would cap an eventful week for the veteran kicker. On Sunday, he set a Patriots team record with 33 consecutive field goals, after connecting on field goals of 46, 49, 32 and 26 yards. The team record was previously held by Stephen Gostkowski, with 31 straight made-field goals. Since missing his first two field goals of the 2020 season, Folk has not missed any three-point attempts. Folk’s previous longest streak was 23 straight field goals in 2013 when he played for the New York Jets. The NFL record is 44 straight field goals by former Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri.
Milestones For McCourty
With his interception of Jets’ quarterback Zach Wilson on Sunday, Patriots safety Devin McCourty has moved into a tie for third place on the Patriots all-time interception list. The Pats defensive captain now had 29 career interceptions, tying him with Ron Hall, Roland James and Fred Marion. Patriots Hall of Fame cornerbacks Ty Law and Raymond Clayborn are tied for the team record with 36.
McCourty also became the third Patriots player to reach 500 interception-return yards. McCourty entered the game with 493 interception return yards and needed seven to become the third Patriots player with 500 interception return yards. He returned an interception 22 yards on his third-quarter pick and now has 515 return yards to join Ty Law (583) and Raymond Clayborn (555) as the only Patriots players with 500 return yards.
Despite further etching his name into the Patriots team record books, McCourty continues to value team accomplishments above all else…in true Patriots fashion. Following Sunday’s victory over the Jets, McCourty was asked about his role in helping the Patriots to four turnovers in week two.
“It was a good job,” McCourty said. “Even last week we talked about turning the ball over. We had one with the (Jonathan) Jones interception last week, but we have to do a better job of that. Bill (Belichick) always talks about winning the turnover margin and how big an indication that is on who wins the game. In order to win the turnover margin, we have to create turnovers. We did a good job of that early in the game and that had a big impact on the game. When you can start off getting an interception on the second play, it makes it tough for the offense and what they want to do. (With) a rookie quarterback, (it’s) just adding the pressure and putting more pressure (on him). I think we did a good job of that tonight.”
Patriots Get Big Views in the Boston Market
As they secured their first win of the 2021 season, the Patriots had plenty of ‘sharp eyes’ affixed on their grounding of the Jets. The game’s CBS broadcast averaged 1,047,200 viewers, the highest-rated program in the Boston market this week.
Fans across New England tuned in to the CBS program in massive numbers. In a combined total from WBZ-CBS and WMUR-ABC stations in the Boston (Manchester) DMA, the Patriots vs. Jets game delivered an impressive 28.9 household rating and a 67 market share, up 15 percent (25.1) and 52 percent (44) respectively from last year’s matchup between the teams in New York on Monday Night Football. Viewership for Sunday’s game peaked at 3:15 p.m. with 1,125,100 viewers tuning into the program