The New England Patriots entered Week 7 with a 2-4 record and trying to avoid falling to the bottom of the standings in the AFC East.
With a tough stretch upcoming, they had to defeat the New York Jets at home in order to hang onto any semblance of hope.
New England didn’t just win, they dominated the Jets for four straight quarters and ultimately walked away with a much-needed 54-13 victory.
"I really have a lot of respect for these guys, head coach Bill Belichick said in a radio interview on WEEI's The Greg Hill Show. "They come to work every day, we've improved (again) every day, really every week. Certainly, we're far from perfect or far from where we need to be, but we are headed in the right direction."
Belichick constantly preaches about his players continuing to improve each week. On Sunday, a handful of his players performed well and did their job.
"The guys have had a couple of weeks where it’s been tough, but they’ve shown a lot of mental toughness and resilience to keep showing up and working hard and getting better,” the Patriots’ coach noted. “That’s what you want as a coach to see your team work hard and improve. And they’ve done that.”
Damien Harris had 14 carries for 106 yards and two touchdowns while J.J. Taylor had 21 yards on the ground and two touchdowns of his own.
Brandon Bolden even stepped up his game catching six passes out of the backfield for 79 yards and a touchdown.
As well as Bolden played, he credited everyone else's success.
"I really didn't do much except move my legs."
For the Patriots, it was important to take care of business against a team they were expected to beat.
One of the areas the team needed to approve upon was consistency.
For example, in week 4 against the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Patriots played up to their competition and almost pulled off the upset.
However, in week 5, this same Patriots team played down to their competition and almost lost to the one-win Houston Texans team.
Things do not get any easier for the Patriots as they will fly to Los Angeles this week to take on the 4-2 Chargers. Not only are the Chargers coming fresh off their bye week, but they are also 5.5 point favorites over the Patriots.