Snap Judgments: Patriots crush Jets behind second-quarter explosion
|11.22.12 at 11:34 pm ET|
EAST RUTHERFORD — The Patriots were in control of this one from start to finish, as they crushed the Jets, 49-19 , on Thursday night. New England used a 21-point explosion in the second quarter — where it scored an offensive, defensive and special teams touchdown — to come away with the thunderous win. The Patriots move to 8-3 on the season and 4-0 in the division, while the Jets are now 4-7 and 2-3 in the division.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
•Pretty much everything. New England depantsed it’s traditional divisional rival on a national stage, and fundamentally ended the division race. (At the end of this weekend, the worst the Patriots can do is be up by three games with five to play.)
•After a slow start — which ended with a scoreless first quarter — the Patriots were again able to control all three facets of the game, posting some impressive drives on offense, forcing five takeaways on defense and limiting the Jets when it came to special teams. Tom Brady played midway into the fourth quarter, and ended with an impressive 18-for-28 night, complete with 323 passing yards and three touchdowns before being replaced by Ryan Mallett. Overall, it was a sharp, efficient and impressive night for the quarterback
•The craziness began In the second quarter with just under 10 minutes until the end of the first half. With the Patriots up 7-0, Brady hit Shane Vereen for an 83-yard touchdown pass with 9:56 left in the quarter. On New York’s second play from scrimmage after the kickoff, New York quarterback Mark Sanchez fumbled the football after running into one of his offensive linemen, and Steve Gregory ran it back for a touchdown. And on the ensuing kickoff, New York’s Joe McKnight fumbled the ball away to Julian Edelman, who ran it back for a touchdown. Twenty-one points in 52 seconds, which effectively ended the game.
•Gregory had a terrific first half. He picked off one pass (his second of the season) and came away with a pair of fumbles (one of which he returned for a touchdown). Despite the fact that Patrick Chung was active for the first time since Oct. 14, the Patriots went with the combination of Devin McCourty and Gregory at safety, and the two appeared to work quite well together. While Chung got some reps over the course of the evening, it will be interesting to see how the snaps are doled out going forward.
WHAT WENT WRONG
•The Patriots lost wide receiver Julian Edelman to a head injury after he collided with New York defensive back LaRon Landry in the third quarter. Edelman was clearly wobbly after the hit and left for the rest of the evening after the play. For someone who has been dogged by injury for much of the season, his situation certainly bears watching going forward.
•This is relatively minor given the final score, but Stephen Gostkowski missed a 39-yard field goal in the first half when he hooked the kick wide left.
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