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Brandon Browner admits ‘looking on paper, we probably should have killed those guys’

12.21.14 at 6:16 pm ET
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — If you’re looking for a backhanded compliment from the Patriots of the Jets following New England’s 17-16 nail-biter at MetLife Stadium, look no further than Brandon Browner.

“Looking on paper, we probably should have killed those guys but we’re well coached in situations,” Browner said. “They let us know that it’s going to be a tough battle, regardless, going against the Jets. We played them earlier on this year and it was a tough battle all the way down to the end of the game. And that’s what happened. Guys are just resilient. Hats off to my teammates because that’s a good football team. Well, when they play us.”

The Jets, now 3-12 in another dreadful season for Gang Green, played the Patriots as hard as anyone could have expected. They had the chance to take the lead after a Tom Brady interception in the fourth quarter gave the Jets the ball at the Patriots 30.

But Dont’a Hightower recorded a 10-yard sack that turned a 42-yard field goal into a 52-yard attempt by Nick Folk, a kicker nursing a hip flexor.

“It was so huge,” Browner said of Hightower’s sack. “It made a longer field goal, and on a longer field goal, the flight of the ball is always going to be [lower] than on the shorter kicks because he’s trying to get it kicked out there so it’s not going to be as high and our shorter D-lineman was able to get out there and block it.

“We’re well coached in situations we’re put in throughout the week so it when it comes up we’re ready for it.”

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Sheldon Richardson on Jets’ success against Tom Brady: ‘Feasting, you have to feast out there’

12.21.14 at 5:30 pm ET
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Tom Brady was sacked a season-high four times against the Jets on Sunday. (Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Tom Brady was sacked a season-high four times against the Jets on Sunday. (Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Even though the Jets fell to the Patriots for the second time in two games this season, 17-16 on Sunday, they lost by a combined three points in those two games, and have forced quarterback Tom Brady into two of his tougher games of the season.

Brady was 23-for-35 for 182 yards with a touchdown and an interception on Sunday. This comes following their Week 7 matchup when Brady went 20-for-37 for 261 yards, but threw three touchdown passes and didn’t have an interception. Brady’s 182 yards are the lowest he’s had in a game since the Kansas City game in Week 4 when he threw for just 159 yards.

With the Patriots missing left guard Dan Connolly up front, forcing them to mix-and-match all different players in different spots all game, what was the key to getting to Brady?

“Feasting. You’ve got to feast out there,” Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson said. “Got him off his spot. Put pressure on him pretty much every passing play, just didn’t come out with a victory.”

The Jets were able to sack Brady four times, a season-high, while also picking up 11 quarterback hits — throwing the quarterback off his game. Brady had just 79 passing yards at halftime.

Richardson said the key to stopping Brady and the offense, who came into the game averaging a league-high 31.6 points per game, was taking away Brady’s first read. The 17 points were their fewest output since also the Chiefs game in Week 4.

“Big pass breakups on Gronk [Gronkowski] and man, we were able to get to the quarterback,” Richardson said. “We were talking, when you take his first two reads away from him and he has to hold it, we’re there. We did that today.”

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Gisele Bundchen and daughter celebrate another victory for Tom Brady

12.21.14 at 5:12 pm ET
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Tom Brady‘s wife, Gisele Bundchen, took to Instagram once again to celebrate another win by her husband and his Patriots.

Yeeeeaaaaahh! #godaddy #gopats ‘¤Ã¯¸’¤Ã¯¸’¤Ã¯¸’¤Ã¯¸

A photo posted by Gisele Bündchen (@giseleofficial) on

To view more of Gisele’s Instagram posts, click here.

What we learned: Patriots escape New Jersey with narrow win over Jets

12.21.14 at 3:54 pm ET
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Jonas Gray scored the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter. (Getty Images)

Jonas Gray scored the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter. (Getty Images)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The Patriots escaped from MetLife Stadium with a victory on Sunday, barely coming away with a 17-16 victory over the Jets.

It wasn’t an easy one for New England, as the Patriots had to battle back from a 13-7 third-quarter deficit on the way to the win. But some key stops late and a couple of second-half scoring drives — as well as a key third-down run from Brandon Bolden where he picked up 17 yards — proved to be the difference for New England, which moved to 12-3 with the win and clinched a first-round bye.

Tom Brady went 23-for-35 for 182 yards, with one touchdown and one pick.

Meanwhile, Shane Vereen finished with six carries for 38 yards while Brandon LaFell had seven catches for 64 yards. On the other side of the ball, Geno Smith was 17-for-27 for 210 yards with one touchdown pass and one pick. Chris Ivory had 11 carries for 53 yards and Jeremy Kerley had three catches for 54 yards.

Here’s what we learned about the Patriots on Sunday:
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Halftime analysis: Jets 10, Patriots 7

12.21.14 at 2:21 pm ET
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Two quarters are done here at MetLife Stadium, and the Jets lead, 10-7.

Here are a few quick notes:

Tom Brady finished the first half 11-for-15 for 79 yards and a touchdown. Danny Amendola had three catches for 27 yards, and Rob Gronkowski had four catches for 18 yards and a touchdown. On the other side of the ball, Geno Smith was 11-for-16 for 117 yards with one touchdown pass. Percy Harvin had four catches for 44 yards, while Chris Ivory and eight carries for 26 yards.

— On New England’s first third-down opportunity of the game, David Harris and Calvin Pace teamed for the first sack of the game on Brady, as the Jets overloaded their right side and there appeared to be some sort of misocmmunication between left tackle Nate Solder and left guard Josh Kline (who was starting in place of a hobbled Dan Connolly). The Jets got to Brady two more times in the first quarter and another in the second for a total of four in the half. (The four sacks already match the season-high for sacks in a game this year on Brady.) The Patriots tried a variety of combinations to help Brady buy more time in the pocket — extra offensive linemen, Gronkowski as a fullback — but New York was able to get after the quarterback consistently in the early going.

— Defensively, the Patriots offered a lot of beef up front to start, looking to do whatever it took to slow down the New York running game. Chandler Jones, Sealver Siliga, Vince Wilfork and Alan Branch were part of the defensive line out of the gate, and kept that same look for most of the half.

— Despite New England’s attempts to try and stack the box with defenders, New York was able to get some decent production out of its ground game. The Jets suffered a massive loss in this area, however, midway through the second quarter when center Nick Mangold (their best run blocking offensive lineman) went down with an injury, and had to be carted off. On that same drive, New York was able to make a couple of really nice plays on offense, and their drive came to a conclusion when Smith found tight end Jeff Cumberland with a 20-yard floater to tie the game at seven with 5:59 left in the half. Perhaps the best pass of the game made by either quarterback, the nice touch displayed by Smith allowed Cumberland to beat Pat Chung in coverage for the touchdown.

— Smith followed that drive up with a nice sequence just before the end of the half when he made a couple of really nice throws — including a 25-yarder over the middle to Harvin — that got New York into the New England red zone with less than two minutes to go in the half. The Jets ultimately stalled out, and settled for a 26-yard field goal to make it 10-7 with 52 seconds left in the half. As badly as he played in the first quarter (when he was 3-for-6 for 14 yards), Smith had a good second quarter, with a few nice throws, including the touchdown pass to Cumberland and a few other good connections with Harvin.

— The Patriots offense had its best drive of the first half at the start of the second when Danny Amendola — working in place of Edelman — had a nice 39-yard return (which might have been set up by an illegal block from Darius Fleming) to set up the Patriots at the Jets’ 36-yard line. New England punched it in six plays later, with the capper coming on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Gronkowski to make it 7-0 with 12:10 left in the first half. On that drive, the Patriots were able to do a relatively good job minimizing the pressure that wrecked the first few series for the New England offense.

Live Blog: Tom Brady, Patriots take on Rex Ryan, Jets

12.21.14 at 12:29 pm ET
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Live Blog Patriots vs. Jets, live blog
 

Dan Connolly, Alfonzo Dennard inactive vs. Jets in addition to 3 players already downgraded

12.21.14 at 11:36 am ET
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The following Patriots players are inactive for Sunday’s game against the Jets: cornerbacks Kyle Arrington and Alfonzo Dennard, running backs LeGarrette Blount and James White, wide receiver Julian Edelman, and offensive linemen Dan Connolly and Jordan Devey.

Arrington, Edelman and Blount were already ruled out Saturday night. It is the first game any of the three have missed all season. For Arrington today will snap a streak of 83 straight regular-season games played, which dates back to Nov. 8, 2009 against Miami.

Connolly (knee) will miss his second game of the season — he also missed the previous game against the Jets. He left last weeks game with a neck injury, but was listed on the injury report with a knee injury on Friday. Dennard (healthy) is inactive for the third straight game, as he’s only played in six games this year. White has only played in two games this season.

Offensive lineman Cameron Fleming (ankle) will play for the first time since the Indy game and tight end Steve Maneri will make his Patriots debut.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

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