Second-quarter notes: Patriots 13, Jaguars 13
|12.23.12 at 2:28 pm ET|
Two quarters are done in Jacksonville, and after a rough start for the Patriots, the game is tied at 13. Here are a few notes:
The Jags were moving at the start of the second quarter, but after some nice defensive pressure on Chad Henne by Justin Francis and Trevor Scott, the Patriots were able to force Jacksonville to settle for a field goal — Josh Scobee connected on a 35-yarder to push the Jags’ lead to 13-3 with 13:11 left in the half.
After a 3-and-out for the Patriots, the Jaguars dialed up a 3-and-out of their own. New England then answered with a sharp drive, but one that again stalled out short of the goal line. Tom Brady found Aaron Hernandez on a nice 14-yard catch-and-run, and that was followed with a 24-yard pass play to Danny Woodhead. But a bad penalty on Hernandez put the Patriots’ in a third-and-long situation, and forced them to settle for a 49-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski (his second field goal of the day) to make it 13-6 with 5:25 left in the quarter.
The Patriots then put together their best drive of the first half at the end of the second quarter, a 10-play, 66-yard sequence that ended with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Woodhead that tied the game at 13 with less than a minute to go in the first half. The drive was highlighted by a direct snap to Stevan Ridley and an 11-yard pass play to Wes Welker.
The Patriots continued to shuffle things up in the secondary. Aqib Talib was back on the field, while Tavon Wilson replaced Pat Chung at safety. That gave New England a Wilson/Steve Gregory combo at safety, while Talib, Devin McCourty and Kyle Arrington were together at corner. It’s debatable how much the changes could be happening because of situational football — it appears there’s also a desire to make sure everyone is as game-ready as possible heading into the postseason. They’re getting a look at a lot of people this afternoon on both sides of the ball. (Offensive players who are getting a good look include rookie running back Brandon Bolden.)