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Second-quarter notes: Patriots 35, Jets 3

11.22.12 at 9:56 pm ET
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EAST RUTHERFORD — The Patriots have taken command of this one with 35 second-quarter points — including 21 in 52 seconds — on the way to a 35-3 halftime lead on their division rivals. Here are a few quick halftime notes:

‘€¢It was a big quarter for safety Steve Gregory. The Patriots got on the board first with 14:54 left in the second quarter when Tom Brady found Wes Welker for a three-yard touchdown pass. That put the capper on a 15-play, 84-yard drive that started after New England’s first takeaway of the game, an interception by Gregory late in the first quarter.

‘€¢Gregory accounted for another takeaway on New York’s first drive of the second quarter. Again, the Jets had driven into New England territory — this time, they were at the Patriots’ 31-yard line — but fumbled the ball away after going for it on 4th and less than a yard. The ball was knocked away, and Gregory came away with it again at the New England 17.

‘€¢Following that turnover, the Patriots took an immediate shot at the end zone when Brady connected with Shane Vereen on an 83-yard touchdown pass, their best-executed play of the first half. Vereen accounted for the bulk of the yardage, as the quarterback found him with a swing pass and he darted down the New England sideline for the score to make it 14-0 with 9:43 left in the first half.

‘€¢That’s when the nuttiness began: On the first play from scrimmage on the following drive, Mark Sanchez botched a handoff, and then ran directly into the backside of offensive linemen Brandon Moore. Flattened, he dropped to the ground and dropped the ball. Gregory picked up up again and dashed 32 yards to the end zone for the score, making it 21-0 with 9:00 left in the second quarter.

‘€¢It only got worst for the Jets — on the ensuing kickoff, Joe McKnight was popped by Devin McCourty and coughed up the football. Julian Edelman plucked it out of midair and ran it back 22 yards for ANOTHER touchdown to make it 28-0. That prompted the MetLife crowd to start chanting for backup quarterback Tim Tebow.

‘€¢There was no Tebow, but following a Jets punt, the Patriots put the capper on the half with a four-play, 73-yard drive that ended with a 56-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Edelman where wide receiver was able to sneak neatly behind the Jets defense and safety LaRon Landry and haul in the deep ball to make it an unfathomable 35-0 late in the second quarter.

‘€¢The Jets got their first points of the game at the end of the second quarter when Nick Folk connected on a 32-yard field goal that brought Bronx cheers from the Jets’ faithful.

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