|09.13.13 at 2:28 am ET|
FOXBORO — It wouldn’t be a Patriots-Jets game if there wasn’t a little tension between the two teams.
While it was a relatively uneventful week, which carried over into a very sloppy, poorly played game, tempers did flare in the closing minute of the Patriots’ 13-10 win.
With 48 seconds left in the game and the Jets attempting to drive down the field, Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib intercepted Jets quarterback Geno Smith at the New York 46-yard line, for his second interception of the game, sealing the win for the Patriots. Following the interception, Jets lineman Nick Mangold dove at the cornerback’s legs when Talib didn’t just take a knee and was dancing up the sideline. The Patriots sideline took exception, and the two teams came together, exchanging words and, in the case of two Jets players, more than words.
“I didn’t do anything, I made the tackle,” Mangold said. “He was along the sideline. I obviously could not play defense in this league because I thought he was still in bounds, so I tried to make a tackle.’
Fellow offensive linemen D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Willie Colon were ejected for throwing punches and in the case of Colon, striking an official in the melee. Following the game both players could not recall the particulars of what took place.
‘I don’t really remember the details of what happened,’ said Ferguson, the fourth overall pick in the 2006 draft, said. ‘At the end of the day I was ejected and like I said, just a lot of frustration today and we didn’t have the result we were looking for.’
Like Ferguson, Colon, in his eighth season in the league, couldn’t recall the details of the scrum, just that he was stepping in to protect one of his players.
‘I was tired of losing, and we just can’t have it,’ he said. ‘I saw [Nick Bellore] in there and a lot of guys running. I was trying to get in there and help my brother, and that is why I reacted the way I reacted.’
|09.13.13 at 1:48 am ET|
|09.13.13 at 1:00 am ET|
FOXBORO — What made Julian Edelman‘s night so remarkable wasn’t the career high 13 catches on 18 targets or his 78 yards receiving. It was the fact that he did it all when there were no other viable options for Tom Brady.
‘I just prepared like I do every week,” Edelman said. “I tried to get open every play, and Tom found me.’
Edelman was a lone bright spot on a night when the Patriots were 4-of-18 on third down. Edelman converted three of those four by himself.
‘I’m sure our offense wasn’t giving up. We were trying to move the ball,” Edelman said. “Sometimes you have to tip your hat to the other team. They did some good things. But, our defense made some big plays, and we came out with the win.’
The Patriots did move the chain at key moments of the fourth quarter, eating up just enough time and giving the defense just enough of a breather to come up with game-saving plays.
‘It was obviously very important,” Edelman said. “We played complementary football. The defense played a hell of a game, came up with some big plays, so hats off to them. We’re going to go in, watch some of this film and fix the corrections so we can get better.’
Did he sense he was Tom’s go-to guy?
‘I wasn’t even thinking about that,” Edelman said. “Like I said, you’re just thinking about beating your guy, getting open and catching the ball.
‘Any time you can go out and get a divisional win, start out 2-0, and [get] a home opener win it’s a good thing.’
|09.12.13 at 11:54 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots pushed out to 2-0 on the season Thursday night with a sloppy 13-10 win over the Jets at Gillette Stadium.
Quarterback Tom Brady, who was clearly pretty frustrated by the performance of some of his receivers, came away 19-for-39 for 185 yards with one touchdown, while Julian Edelman was far and away the best offensive skill position player on either side of the ball. The former college quarterback ended up with 13 catches for 78 yards. On the other side of the ball, Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith ended up 15-for-35 for 214 yards with no touchdowns and three picks while suffering his first loss of the year.
Here are a few quick notes on one of the sloppier games the New England offense has played in the last few seasons:
WHAT WENT RIGHT
‘¢ As was the case last week for the first three-plus quarters, Edelman was a steady, consistent presence in the New England passing game for several reasons. He showed a nice chemistry with the quarterback, and while the Patriots were able to get minor contributions from the rookie receivers, it was Edelman who was the main target for the quarterback.
‘¢ Patriots defensive lineman Chandler Jones was extremely active, coming from multiple spots on the defensive line and causing havoc for a large portion of the evening. He had two first-half sacks and several pressures. (In a related note, rookie Michael Buchanan also held up very nicely in spot duty while working on the edge, mostly taking Jones’ spot when he moved inside.)
‘¢ There were some other positive defensive moments for the Patriots. Aqib Talib came away with his first interception of the season early in the fourth quarter on a bad ball from Smith, and added another one with time ticking down in the fourth quarter. He added a forced fumble in the first half after a Stephen Hill reception that was picked up by Devin McCourty. Alfonzo Dennard also had a fourth-quarter pick of Smith on Gates.
WHAT WENT WRONG
‘¢ The two teams looked really ragged for large stretches of the night, but at the same time, it’s important to remember they both played their season opener roughly 100 hours previous, so some of the poor play can be blamed on the fact that it was a Thursday night contest early in the year. But even considering the circumstances, it was a sluggish night for both teams that was filled with turnovers, penalties and breakdowns on both sides of the ball.
‘¢ The New England offense submitted one of its worst performances in recent memory. Brady had trouble connecting with any receiver not named “Julian Edelman,” and the Patriots struggled to maintain any sort of real consistency in the running game. The quarterback was clearly upset with his young receivers — while Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins had their moments, they also ended up with plenty of really bad drops. The quarterback has said several times that the offense, and the passing game in particular, is a work in progress. Some of those growing pains were evident against the Jets.
|09.12.13 at 10:13 pm ET|
FOXBORO — After two sloppy quarters at Gillette Stadium, the Patriots hold a 13-3 lead on the Jets. Here are a few quick notes on the first half:
It was a sloppy first half on both sides of the ball, with both sides failing to take advantage of turnovers, committing penalties and generally looking a little ragged. Some of it could be attributed to the heat, and also the fact that both teams had played four days ago, and that’s the price you pay for such a quick scheduling turnaround so early in the season. But it wasn’t the sharpest of halves for either side.
On New England’s first drive of the night, Tom Brady led the Patriots on a six-play, 81-yard drive that ended with a floater of a pass from Brady to Aaron Dobson that ended up going for 39 yards and the first touchdown of Dobson’s career. On the play, Dobson was lined up almost like a tight end on an unbalanced line, and he had a free release into the secondary. He was able to fly, untouched, into the end zone, making it 7-0 early in the first quarter. The best play of the first half, for both sides. (Later in the first half, Dobson had a pair of drops, including one on a deep ball from Brady that he had to lay out for, but would have been a roughly 70-yard catch for the rookie.)
As far as the rest of the young pass catchers, a 38-yard pass play from Brady to Kenbrell Thompkins was the highlight of the New Engkand drive near the end of the second quarter, one that ended with a 30-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski with just over five minutes left to make it 13-3. The rookies were also good on the final drive of the first half when Dobson went over the middle to come away with a nice reception that helped move the chains. It looked like Thompkins had a touchdown catch just before the halftime horn, but the call was overturned on review, and Gostkowski missed a 43-yard field goal attempt.
Defensively, the Patriots opened in the same 4-2-5 look they ran for most of the time last week against the Bills. The Jets went three-and-out on their first series, and on their second, New York receiver Stephen Hill couldn’t hold onto the ball after a nice pass from Geno Smith. Aqib Talib poked the ball away, and Devin McCourty picked it up and got all the way down to the New York 8-yard line. The Patriots had to settle for a 23-yard field goal to make it 10-0 with 9:17 left in the first quarter.
The nicest sequence of the night for New York came on its third offensive series, as Smith was able to put together a nice 11-play, 61-yard drive that ended with a 37-yard field goal from Nick Folk that made it 10-3 with 4:01 left in the first quarter. On that sequence, the Jets drive was kept alive when Chandler Jones was called for roughing the passer after breaking free from Jets offensive lineman Vlad Ducasse (after beating him inside from a defensive tackle spot) and coming up the gut. It was the first flag of the year on the defensive end, who moved from his defensive end spot to defensive tackle on a handful of occasions in the first half. Later in the first half, Jones had a sack of Smith while lined up at the defensive tackle spot, his first of the season. (He added another late in the first half.)
One interesting defensive wrinkle: New England lifted Steve Gregory from his role at strong safety for a stretch in the first half and replaced him with rookie Duron Harmon. At first glance, it didn’t appear to be injury-related, as Gregory took his usual reps on special teams in that time. He later returned to the starting lineup. Ultimately, we’re not sure how much of it was personnel and how much of it was scheme, or maybe just in the name of keeping some fresh legs from in the secondary.
|09.12.13 at 8:38 pm ET|
|09.12.13 at 7:57 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Not that it comes as much of a surprise but Bill Belichick has had his contract extended beyond this season, according to a report from the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Belichick signed a contract in 2007 that was set to expire after the 2013 season. Rapoport reported Thursday night that is no longer the case.
“He’ll be coaching a long time,” a source told Rapoport.
With Sunday’s win, Belichick moved past Marty Schottenheimer and into sixth place all-time with 206 victories. Belichick needs one more postseason win to tie Don Shula (19) for second place all-time. Tom Landry is the all-time leader with 20.
Belichick is the only coach in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in four years and has five conference championships to his credit. He is one shy of Don Shula (6) in Super Bowl appearances as a head coach.
Belichick would have to average 12 wins over the next 12 seasons to pass Shula, who is the all-time leader in wins with 347.
Belichick's contract was to expire in '13 after his '07 renew. Sources say that's no longer the case. "He'll be coaching for a long time"
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 12, 2013
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