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Danny Amendola stepping up in Julian Edelman’s absence: ‘Everyone has a job to do, just trying to do my job’ 12.21.14 at 7:38 pm ET
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EAST RUTHERFORD N.J. — With wide receiver Julian Edelman downgraded to out Saturday night with a concussion/thigh injury, someone was going to have to step up and fill the void left by a guy who has 92 catches and 972 yards on the year.

That guy was Danny Amendola.

Amendola entered the game Sunday with 15 total catches this season, and finished Sunday with eight catches for 63 yards. At times the sixth-year veteran looked like the best Patriots player on the field in the first half. He also was able to provide a spark in the return game as he finished with 91 yards on five kick returns, and 63 yards on three punt returns, including a 39-yard return in the first half, which led to a Rob Gronkowski touchdown, the Patriots’ first score of the game.

“Absolutely,” when asked if he was looking forward to Sunday. “It’s a rough game. Some guys go in, some guys go out. Everyone has a job to do, just trying to do my job.”

The wide out played a total of 43 snaps by our count, his most since Week 9 against Denver. His season-high was 61 in Week 1 against Miami. He was part of the grouping that sparked the Patriots in the second half when they went no huddle with he and Brandon LaFell as the wide receivers, Tim Wright and Gronkowski at tight end and Shane Vereen in the backfield.

“He did a great job, and he’s been really looking for this opportunity,” Tom Brady said. “I thought he did a great job in here in the role that he played. He’s a very good player for us. He did a good job returning some great kicks and punts. It will be good to get Jules [Julian Edelman] back next week. Hopefully he can get back next week.”

Even with not being as productive as he was with the Rams, Amendola is keeping his confidence up and making sure he’s ready when called upon.

“You have a job to do every week,” Amendola said. “You have a role on the team if you’re suited up. You have something to do within the game plan. You have to do your job. Whatever it is, never doubt yourself.”

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Tom Brady: ‘I’m glad it came out the way that it did. It makes for a better Christmas’ 12.21.14 at 7:00 pm ET
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Tom Brady didn't have his best game Sunday, going 23-for-35 with 182 yards, a touchdown and an interception, but he made the plays when it mattered late. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Tom Brady didn’t have his best game Sunday, going 23-for-35 with 182 yards, a touchdown and an interception, but he made the plays when it mattered late. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

EAST RUTHERFORD N.J. — Although it wasn’t as dramatic of a turnaround as last week’s second half against the Dolphins, Tom Brady and the Patriots offense did just enough in the second half to overcome a stingy Jets defense for a hard-earned, 17-16 win Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

The Patriots entered the locker room trailing 10-7 and Brady was a pedestrian 11-for-15 passing with 79 yards and a touchdown, while Geno Smith was 11-for-16 with 117 yards and a touchdown. The Patriots had just seven first downs total in the first half, but were able to put together a few good drives in the second half — led by a more up-tempo, no-huddle offense.

“We got into a little rhythm there, Brady said. “I think it settled a few things down. We have to sustain it and get it in the red zone down there. We kind of came up short on that 3rd-and-1, 3rd-and-2, whatever it was. We just have to finish those drives, especially key drives like that where you can finally get a little momentum, a little rhythm. It’s a good defense, they challenged us. We had long field all day, we had a couple good short fields that we took advantage of. The defense really stepped up when we need to.”

Brady finished the game 23-for-35 with 182 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He was 12-for-20 with 103 yards with an interception in the second half.

Things weren’t going the Patriots’ way, as they trailed 13-7 in the third quarter, but after kicking a field goal, got a huge interception from Jamie Collins. Running back Jonas Gray ran it in from a yard out on the ensuing possession to give the Patriots a 17-13 lead. The Jets then kicked a field goal on their next possession making it a 17-16 game with 7:53 left in the game.

Following the field goal, Brady threw his first interception of the game — a tipped ball intended for Brandon LaFell — giving the Jets great field position at the Patriots’ 24-yard line. A huge Dont’a Hightower sack on third-down made it a 52-yard field goal attempt for Nick Folk, and fortunately Vince Wilfork was able to bail them out by partially blocking the attempt. The Patriots then were able to pick up a few first downs and run out the final 5:16 of time.

“We made plenty of good ones in the fourth quarter to come from behind. That was great,” said Brady. “Defensively, we played great again. I’m glad it came out the way that it did. It makes for a better Christmas. It’s always tough to get a win here, they’re a good team. They always play us hard. We got their best today.

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Rex Ryan on Tom Brady: ‘We’re the team that always gives him the biggest challenge, whether he admits it or not’ 12.21.14 at 6:19 pm ET
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Sunday could have been the last time Rex Ryan will face the Patriots as head coach of the Jets. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Sunday could have been the last time Rex Ryan will face the Patriots as head coach of the Jets. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

EAST RUTHERFORD N.J. — If indeed Sunday was Rex Ryan’s last game as head coach of the New York Jets, maybe the happiest guy to see him out of the AFC East is Tom Brady, as Ryan led teams have done historically well against the Patriots’ quarterback.

According to ESPN Stats and Info, going into Sunday, Brady’€™€™€™s completion percentage in games against Jets’€™€™ defenses led by Ryan was 59 percent, compared to 65 percent against the rest of the league. That trend continued Sunday as although Brady completed 66 percent of his passes (23-for-35), he wasn’t his usual self and the Jets put tons of pressure on him all game long, forcing him into just 182 yards passing, his lowest since Week 4.

“I don’t know if it is really possible to control Tom Brady. If not, we’re the team that always gives him the biggest challenge, whether he admits it or not,” Ryan said after the game.

“I just think we play defense a lot different than most teams in the league,” Ryan added. “We don’t just line up and play standard defense. I think that’s what I am talking about. Everybody plays hard and we’re no exception. Through the years, that probably holds true.”

Brady was asked what makes facing the Jets defense so difficult?

“I think this is a team that does a lot of things well,” said Brady. “They have good scheme, good players, a good rush, good in the middle of the defense, good middle linebacker, good safeties. The corners played well today. I just think we got their best and I think we kind of sputtered there and got out of rhythm.”

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Sheldon Richardson on Jets’ success against Tom Brady: ‘Feasting, you have to feast out there’ 12.21.14 at 5:30 pm ET
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Tom Brady was sacked a season-high four times against the Jets on Sunday. (Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Tom Brady was sacked a season-high four times against the Jets on Sunday. (Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Even though the Jets fell to the Patriots for the second time in two games this season, 17-16 on Sunday, they lost by a combined three points in those two games, and have forced quarterback Tom Brady into two of his tougher games of the season.

Brady was 23-for-35 for 182 yards with a touchdown and an interception on Sunday. This comes following their Week 7 matchup when Brady went 20-for-37 for 261 yards, but threw three touchdown passes and didn’t have an interception. Brady’s 182 yards are the lowest he’s had in a game since the Kansas City game in Week 4 when he threw for just 159 yards.

With the Patriots missing left guard Dan Connolly up front, forcing them to mix-and-match all different players in different spots all game, what was the key to getting to Brady?

“Feasting. You’ve got to feast out there,” Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson said. “Got him off his spot. Put pressure on him pretty much every passing play, just didn’t come out with a victory.”

The Jets were able to sack Brady four times, a season-high, while also picking up 11 quarterback hits — throwing the quarterback off his game. Brady had just 79 passing yards at halftime.

Richardson said the key to stopping Brady and the offense, who came into the game averaging a league-high 31.6 points per game, was taking away Brady’s first read. The 17 points were their fewest output since also the Chiefs game in Week 4.

“Big pass breakups on Gronk [Gronkowski] and man, we were able to get to the quarterback,” Richardson said. “We were talking, when you take his first two reads away from him and he has to hold it, we’re there. We did that today.”

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Dan Connolly, Alfonzo Dennard inactive vs. Jets in addition to 3 players already downgraded 12.21.14 at 11:36 am ET
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The following Patriots players are inactive for Sunday’s game against the Jets: cornerbacks Kyle Arrington and Alfonzo Dennard, running backs LeGarrette Blount and James White, wide receiver Julian Edelman, and offensive linemen Dan Connolly and Jordan Devey.

Arrington, Edelman and Blount were already ruled out Saturday night. It is the first game any of the three have missed all season. For Arrington today will snap a streak of 83 straight regular-season games played, which dates back to Nov. 8, 2009 against Miami.

Connolly (knee) will miss his second game of the season — he also missed the previous game against the Jets. He left last weeks game with a neck injury, but was listed on the injury report with a knee injury on Friday. Dennard (healthy) is inactive for the third straight game, as he’s only played in six games this year. White has only played in two games this season.

Offensive lineman Cameron Fleming (ankle) will play for the first time since the Indy game and tight end Steve Maneri will make his Patriots debut.

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Patriots downgrade Julian Edelman, LeGarrette Blount, Kyle Arrington to out vs. Jets 12.20.14 at 9:02 pm ET
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The Patriots have downgraded three players to out for Sunday’s game against the Jets. Julian Edelman, LeGarrette Blount and Kyle Arrington did not make the trip and will not play Sunday.

Edelman (concussion/thigh) was listed as questionable Friday and practiced on a limited basis all week, but will miss his first game of the season. Blount (shoulder) was the same as Edelman, practicing all week on a limited basis and being listed as questionable, but he will miss his first game since joining the Patriots a few weeks ago. Arrington (hamstring) left last week’s game, but spoke during the week and said he felt like he wouldn’t miss anytime, but he too will miss his first game of the season. He was also limited in practice all week and listed as questionable.

It is worth noting on Arrington, he will snap a streak of 83 straight games played.

Look for Danny Amendola to take a lot of Edelman reps, while Jonas Gray, Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden should expect more carries without Blount. Defensively, Logan Ryan, Malcolm Butler and possibly Alfonzo Dennard will get the snaps in place of Arrington.

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Julian Edelman (thigh/concussion) remains among 12 Patriots limited 12.18.14 at 4:50 pm ET
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There were no changes to the Patriots’ injury report from Wednesday, as every player was present at Thursday’s practice in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Jets at MetLife Stadium.

12 players were limited though, including Julian Edelman (thigh/concussion). With Edelman staying the same as he did on Wednesday, it is a good sign for his availability on Sunday. A concussion popped up next to his name on the report on Wednesday. It is still unknown when he suffered the concussion. LeGarrette Blount (shoulder), Kyle Arrington (hamstring) and Danny Aiken (finger) are among the 12 players limited.

One small note is that Dan Connolly‘s ankle injury has been changed to a knee injury. He was limited.

Quarterback Tom Brady (ankle) remained a full participant.

Here is a complete practice report:

Limited participation

LS Danny Aiken (finger)
CB Kyle Arrington (hamstring)
RB LeGarrette Blount (shoulder)
OL Dan Connolly (knee)
WR Julian Edelman (thigh/concussion)
OL Cameron Fleming (ankle)
LB Dont’€™a Hightower (shoulder)
DE Chandler Jones (hip)
WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder)
DE Rob Ninkovich (heel)
RB Shane Vereen (ankle)
LB Chris White (ankle)

Full participation

QB Tom Brady (ankle)

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