Halftime analysis: Patriots 13, Jets 9
|11.13.11 at 10:11 pm ET|
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Two quarters are in the books at MetLife Stadium and the Patriots hold a 13-9 lead. Here are a few quick notes.
Two of the first-half stars for the Patriots? Chad Ochocinco (two catches for 65 yards) and Andre Carter (2.5 sacks, as well as forcing Mark Sanchez into a bad intentional grounding situation), both of whom have sparked New England. Brady is 12-for-22 for 194 yards and a touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski, who has five catches for 79 yards.
Offensively, the Jets failed to convert their first five third-down chances, but picked up a safety with 4:44 left in the second and added a late touchdown on a two-yard scramble from Sanchez (10-for-16 for 137 yards) with 1:20 left in the half to make it 9-6. The Patriots then answered with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Gronkowski with nine second left to end the first-half scoring.
The Patriots defense was very impressive throughout much of the first half, stopping New York in the red zone on their first series and getting lucky when Nick Folk missed a 24-yarder. Most of the rest of New York’s first-half drives were slowed by Carter. The Jets could only get to its own 35 on its second drive, one that ended with Carter’s first sack of the night on Sanchez. Carter helped slow New York’s third drive of the night by coming up with another sack when New York’s blocking scheme broke down. It was more of the same on the next sequence, where Carter and Anderson consistently brought good pressure on the Jets’ quarterback.
After New York’s first drive, the Patriots answered with a solid drive of their own that was slowed when they were called for an illegal substitution. The highlight of the series was likely a 12-yard connection to Ochocinco down the New England sideline, a play where the receiver could have had significantly more yardage had he not stepped out of bounds with no one around him. (He did a good job shaking cornerback Antonio Cromartie on the route.) It ended with a 50-yard field goal from kicker Stephen Gostkowski. On New England’s next drive, it was Ochocinco again, as No. 85 was left wide open on third down for 53 yards to the 17-yard line. That sequence also ended with a Gostkowski field goal, this one coming from 36 yards out that staked the Patriots to a 6-0 lead.
The Jets got on the board with 4:44 left in the half when Jamaal Westerman got to Brady in the end zone. The quarterback flung the ball away and was called for intentional grounding, giving the Jets the safety and making it 6-2. That set the stage for the two late touchdowns.