Halftime analysis: Patriots 10, Jets 7
|10.09.11 at 5:37 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots and the Jets are done with two quarters here at Gillette Stadium, and New England holds a 10-7 lead. Here are a few quick notes:
• The Jets opened in a 3-1-7 formation against the Patriots — the same way they approached the playoff game last year — and had a variety of coverages on Wes Welker. He lined up opposite Darrelle Revis in man coverage often, but they also zoned it up a bit, as well. (The surest way to spot it? The Patriots sent Welker in motion a whole lot over the first half, and whenever Revis trailed after him, it was a pretty good sign New York was in man coverage.) Welker ended the first half with three catches for 47 yards.
• With New York utilizing so many defensive backs, New England took advantage, running the ball for serious yardage over the first two quarters. On the first scoring drive of the game for the Patriots, BenJarvus Green-Ellis carried the ball four straight times for 27 yards, with the final carry going for three yards and a touchdown to make it 7-0 with 7:36 left in the first quarter.
Green-Ellis ended the first half with eight carries for 51 yards and a touchdown. Overall, the New England offense was bogged down a bit in the second quarter, but still managed a 44-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski to make it 10-0 with 11:15 left in the second. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was 13-for-17 for 157 yards, but ended the first half with a pick deep in the New York red zone on a ball meant for Aaron Hernandez that went off his hands and landed in the breadbasket of New York corner Antonio Cromartie. (Brady was also sacked three times by the Jets.)
• The two big injury questions marks on both sides — Hernandez and Jets center Nick Mangold both got some serious run in the first half. Hernandez caught three balls for 26 yards while Mangold went the first two quarters without incident. (Hernandez briefly went to the locker room early in the second quarter, while New England was able to get its first sack since Week Two when Mark Anderson brought down Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez in the first quarter.)
• Defensively, the Patriots put together an impressive performance against the Jets, at least in the early going. The Jets didn’t get a first down until just over 10 minutes were left in the first half when Sanchez hit Plaxico Burress on a 19-yard pass play. On that same drive, New York went back to the ground and pound attack, chewing up plenty of play clock. For the Jets, it was a 13-play, 78-yard drive that took 7:54 and ended with a Shonn Greene touchdown run from three yards out to make it 10-7 with 3:24 left in the half.
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