Steve Gregory: Turnovers blitz ‘really set the momentum for the game’
|11.23.12 at 2:39 am ET|
EAST RUTHERFORD — Mark it down, Steve Gregory AFC defensive player of the week.
If Darius Butler earned his for two picks and a fumble recovery, then Gregory is almost certainly going to get the nod for what he turned in Thursday night during a 49-19 win over the Jets.
When the game was actually still in doubt, he intercepted Mark Sanchez over the middle as he was spying the Jets’ quarterback. That pick ended New York’s second drive of the game deep in Patriots territory and set the tone for five turnovers forced by the Patriots defense.
“It’s growing every week,” Gregory said of the secondary’s confidence level. “We go to work every day in practice to get better and we study up on film. We’re really trying to dial in and focus on getting better as a unit and we saw some of those results tonight.”
Then, he recovered a fumble on a Shonn Greene failed attempt to pick up a yard on fourth-and-1. The next play resulted in Tom Brady finding Shane Vereen for 83 yards and a touchdown, giving New England a 14-0 lead.
Moments later, Sanchez ran into the backside of his offensive lineman and fumbled. Guess who was there to pick it up and scamper 32 yards for the score?
“It was a good one for me today,” Gregory said in a tone that could describe a morsel off the Thanksgiving dinner table. “Some of that stuff is just the ball popping out and being in the right place at the right time, so you know it was a team effort. The guys did a great job up front getting pressure on the quarterback and we were just really crisp tonight.”
The 21-point barrage ended when Devin McCourty popped Joe McKnight, with Julian Edelman catching the ball out of midair and going 22 yards for the score. Three touchdowns in 52 seconds. Game over.
“That was a lot of points in a short period of time. I thought that really set the momentum for the game,” Gregory said. “It really turned things into a lopsided feel there. They’re a good football team, but I think we’re a little better this year. We’re excited about what we did today.”
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