Patriots defense leads way in 25-0 shutout of Falcons

The New England Patriots defense continues to dominant opponents and pitched a shutout against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night.

Kyle Van Noy picked off backup quarterback Josh Rosen and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown to put an exclamation point on the defensive effort for the Patriots in the 25-0 win over Atlanta.

The Patriots defense has not allowed any points in their last 19 possessions dating back to the opening drive of last week’s game against the Cleveland Browns. They’ve allowed just 13 points total over the last three games in victories over the Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns and Falcons. The Panthers scored six points on a pair of field goals. The Browns scored a lone touchdown from Austin Hooper on their opening drive last week and the Falcons were skunked on Thursday night.

Mac Jones completed 22 of 26 passes for 207 yards and a 19-yard touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor, and Nick Folk converted four field goals to lead the Patriots’ offensive effort.

It’s the first shutout for the Patriots since a 45-0 win over the Los Angeles Chargers last season. For the Falcons, it’s their first time being shutout since a 38-0 loss to the Panthers in 2015. It’s the first time they’ve been shutout at home since a 33-0 Los Angeles Rams victory in 1988.

The Patriots intercepted four passed off Falcons quarterbacks in the fourth quarter.

Devin McCourty and J.C. Jackson each hauled in interceptions off Matt Ryan that led to a pair of Folk field goals to extend the lead to 19-0. Van Noy’s pick-six off Rosen made it a 25-0 game and then Adrian Phillips intercepted third-string quarterback Feleipe Franks on the final possession of the game for Atlanta.

Folk’s 32-yard field goal got the Patriots on the board in the first quarter before Jones and Agholor connected for the only touchdown of the night to give New England a 10-0 lead.

The Falcons then had one of several promising drives come up empty.

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