Snap Judgments: Patriots survive sloppy contest with 13-10 win over Jets
|09.12.13 at 11:54 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots pushed out to 2-0 on the season Thursday night with a sloppy 13-10 win over the Jets at Gillette Stadium.
Quarterback Tom Brady, who was clearly pretty frustrated by the performance of some of his receivers, came away 19-for-39 for 185 yards with one touchdown, while Julian Edelman was far and away the best offensive skill position player on either side of the ball. The former college quarterback ended up with 13 catches for 78 yards. On the other side of the ball, Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith ended up 15-for-35 for 214 yards with no touchdowns and three picks while suffering his first loss of the year.
Here are a few quick notes on one of the sloppier games the New England offense has played in the last few seasons:
WHAT WENT RIGHT
• As was the case last week for the first three-plus quarters, Edelman was a steady, consistent presence in the New England passing game for several reasons. He showed a nice chemistry with the quarterback, and while the Patriots were able to get minor contributions from the rookie receivers, it was Edelman who was the main target for the quarterback.
• Patriots defensive lineman Chandler Jones was extremely active, coming from multiple spots on the defensive line and causing havoc for a large portion of the evening. He had two first-half sacks and several pressures. (In a related note, rookie Michael Buchanan also held up very nicely in spot duty while working on the edge, mostly taking Jones’ spot when he moved inside.)
• There were some other positive defensive moments for the Patriots. Aqib Talib came away with his first interception of the season early in the fourth quarter on a bad ball from Smith, and added another one with time ticking down in the fourth quarter. He added a forced fumble in the first half after a Stephen Hill reception that was picked up by Devin McCourty. Alfonzo Dennard also had a fourth-quarter pick of Smith on Gates.
WHAT WENT WRONG
• The two teams looked really ragged for large stretches of the night, but at the same time, it’s important to remember they both played their season opener roughly 100 hours previous, so some of the poor play can be blamed on the fact that it was a Thursday night contest early in the year. But even considering the circumstances, it was a sluggish night for both teams that was filled with turnovers, penalties and breakdowns on both sides of the ball.
• The New England offense submitted one of its worst performances in recent memory. Brady had trouble connecting with any receiver not named “Julian Edelman,” and the Patriots struggled to maintain any sort of real consistency in the running game. The quarterback was clearly upset with his young receivers — while Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins had their moments, they also ended up with plenty of really bad drops. The quarterback has said several times that the offense, and the passing game in particular, is a work in progress. Some of those growing pains were evident against the Jets.
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