By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots had themselves a very bad football season. But they at least had a good time on the way out.

Sure, a loss might have helped the franchise get a better draft pick, but winning is always winning, and beating the Jets is always beating the Jets.

The Patriots accomplished both on Sunday, rallying from a second-half deficit to score 21 unanswered points en route to a 28-14 win over the Jets to end their season with a 7-9 record.

There were ups. There were downs.

Here are those ups and downs.


Opening Drive

Cam Newton, James White (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Scoring has been a problem for the Patriots this season. Scoring early has been a bigger problem. Scoring on an opening possession has been a huge problem.

But not on this day.

Cam Newton ran up the middle for 49 yards — the longest rush by a quarterback in Patriots history — on the third play of the game, and he hit James White for a 7-yard touchdown pass a few plays later.

The Pats moved 84 yards on seven plays in just 3:37 to take a 7-0 lead.

Granted, they wouldn’t score again for the remainder of the half. But it was a positive start.

Cam Newton

Cam Newton (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

His time in New England was a disappointment for all involved parties, but he ended his season with a positive flourish.

Newton threw three touchdowns on the day, recording his first game with more than one passing touchdown of the entire season. That’s crazy.

Newton was 21 for 30 as a passer and also caught a touchdown (you’ll see that soon enough) and rushed for 79 yards.

It was the type of all-around game that Newton seemed capable of having early in the season. It may help him land a new job in the coming weeks and months.

Jakobi Meyers

Look, this was sweet.

So sweet.

That touchdown pass was Meyers’ second of the season, and the touchdown reception was the first of Cam’s career.

Meyers also led the Patriots both in receptions (6) and receiving yards (68).

J.C. Jackson

Granted he didn’t exactly do much other than have Sam Darnold throw a horrible pass in his direction, but J.C. Jackson nevertheless earns a spot on the list by hauling in his ninth interception of the season. That tied him with Ty Law for third-most interceptions in a season by any Patriot in franchise history.

This pick was a big one, too, as it led to a short field for the Patriots, who drove 45 yards on four plays to take a 21-14 lead early in the fourth quarter.

BONUS: Devin Asiasi

The rookie tight end caught the first pass of his career in the first half, and he hauled in his first touchdown in the second half.

The touchdown came after Jackson’s pick, with Asiasi making an over-the-shoulder grab on the 26-yard score.

BONUS: Sony Michel

The running back ran for 76 yards on 16 carries, and he had 60 receiving yards (and a TD) on three receptions.

BONUS: Jake Bailey

It’s not a Patriots game in 2020 if we’re not praising the work of punter Jake Bailey. He was once again very good. A Pro Bowl bid well-earned.


Myles Bryant

The undrafted rookie cornerback had a good season. He did have a rough stretch in the second quarter, though, allowing the Jets to tie the game before halftime. After getting beaten in space on one play, he stood still on the sideline, waiting for an interception to come to him, as Jamison Crowder burst in front of him to snag a reception for a gain of 12 yards.

Then on the very next play, Bryant led with his helmet while leaping into the helmet of tight end Chris Herndon as he hauled in a touchdown catch.

A tough stretch of football right there.


Bryant’s personal foul wasn’t the only Patriots infraction. The team was penalized five times for 40 yards in the first half. That included an ineligible lineman downfield penalty on the very first snap of the game, and a false start two plays later.

They finished with six penalties for 47 yards. Maybe that’s not remarkable … but neither was this game!

Adrian Phillips

The safety-turned-acting-linebacker has been incredibly tough and dependable for the Patriots’ defense all year. Just the other day, he talked about how good his body was feeling, despite the in-the-box workload that’s resulted in a lot of absorbed contact.

Unfortunately for Phillips, his run of good health ended early on Sunday, as he suffered a hip injury in the first quarter. Early in the second half, he was downgraded to out, ending his season on a sour note.

Damiere Byrd

Likewise, the receiver’s season ended in unfortunate fashion, after he left the game with a head injury in the third quarter and did not return. Byrd was running upfield on a reverse when Neville Hewitt delivered a high speed hit up high on the receiver.