Patriots Make Thanksgiving Turkeys Out Of Jets
Friday, November 23, 2012
No Gronk? No problem!
The New England Patriots spent their Thanksgiving day in New Jersey preparing for their primetime match-up with the New York Jets. Unfortunately for Jet fans who left their families early to attend the game at MetLife Stadium, all they saw was their team resemble a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Patriots blew the Jets out of their own building with a dominant second quarter.
The dominance actually started towards the end of the of the first when the Pats mounted a 15-play, 84-yard scoring drive that culminated on the first play of the second quarter when Tom Brady hit Wes Welker for a 3-yard touchdown strike to make it 7-0 Pats.
The Jets actually led what appeared to be a solid drive on their ensuing possession as they marched from their own 32-yard line to the Patriots 31. On 4th and 1, the Jets decided to go for it and Shonn Greene was stuffed. As he tried to pick up the first down, the ball was poked loose by Brandon Spikes and recovered by Steve Gregory.
On the next play of the game, Brady hit running back Shane Vereen on a wheel route coming out of the backfield for an 83-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0 Pats.
It got much worse from there for New York.
On the second play of the next drive for the Jets, quarterback Mark Sanchez ran into his own offensive lineman and fumbled the football. In fairness to Sanchez, Jets guard Brandon Moore was bull-rushed by Vince Wilfork who pushed Moore into Sanchez creating the fumble. Steve Gregory scooped it up and ran it into the end zone from 32 yards out for a Patriots lead.
Then, on the ensuing kickoff, Devon McCourty belted Jets kick returner Joe McKnight who coughed up the football. Julian Edelman grabbed the loose ball and ran it in from 22-yards out for a 28-0 Patriots advantage and it was raining boos at the Meadowlands.
After a Jerod Mayo sack of Sanchez stopped another Jets drive, the Pats put together a quick 4-play drive which culminated in a Brady TD strike to Edelman on a skinny post for 56 yards making it 35-0 and the route was on!
A 32-yard field goal by Nick Folk with :02 seconds to go until halftime drew the ire of the home crowd even more because they knew that their team would need touchdowns to even have a chance at getting back into the game.
Although Bill Belichick told NBC’s Michelle Tafoya at halftime that he remembers the Houston Oilers blowing a 32-point lead to the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Wild Card Playoff game in 1993, nobody believed the Jets had a chance of executing a second half comeback.
To the Jets credit, they fought to the end delivering some hard hits to the Patriots in what we have come to expect from this rivalry.
Likewise, to the Pats credit, after the Jets ran off 12 straight points to cut the deficit to 35-12 in the 3rd, New England mounted a clock-killing 17-play drive featuring a strong dose of the running game which culminated in a Tom Brady quarterback sneak to make it 42-12. It's always a good sign when you can run the ball against a defense that knows you want to run the ball which is what the Pats did on that drive.
-The 35 points scored in the second quarter was 6 shy of the NFL record. The 1945 Green Bay Packers and the 1950 Los Angeles Rams each scored 41 points in a single quarter.
-It may be too early to tell, but Julian Edelman could be the player offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels relies on a bit more with Gronkowski on the shelf. However, there clearly appears to be a chemistry developing between he and Brady as the Patriots quarterback seems to be looking his way a bit more often as the season progresses. However, Edelman got ear-holed by safety Laron Landry early in the third causing him to fumble. It appeared that Edelman may have been concussed on the play as he did not return to the game with what was called a "head injury."
-There were some notable players absent from the Patriots line-up Thursday night. As expected, TE Rob Gronkowski (broken arm) did not play. Nor did DE Chandler Jones (ankle), LG Logan Mankins (calf, ankle) and RT Sebastian Vollmer (back, knee).
-The good news for the Pats was that TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle), RG Dan Connolly (back) and S Patrick Chung (hamstring, shoulder) were active Thursday night.
-Even though Chung was active, he did not get the start at safety as Bill Belichick went with the same secondary that played last week against Indianapolis. Aqib Talib and rookie Alfonso Dennard got the start at the corner positions while Steve Gregory and Devon McCourty started at safety. Chung came in for the nickel package.
-The Patriots did have four tight ends active for the game with Hernandez joined by Daniel Fells, Visanthe Schiancoe and Michael Hoomanawanui or “Hoo-Man” as his teammates and coaches call him.
-Rex Ryan and the Jets tried to confuse Tom Brady and the Patriots offense by not putting defensive linemen in a three-point stance and walking them around at the line of scrimmage prior to the snap. The idea behind it was to not give Brady and the offensive line any idea as to who was coming and who was going and who would be lining up in what gap.
-Pats PK Stephen Gostkowski missed is fifth field goal of the season and second in as many games as he pulled a 39-yard attempt wide left which would have put New England up 3-0 early in the first quarter. The missed kick came after Tom Brady uncharacteristically misfired on a third down pass to a wide open Wes Welker on third down. Had Brady hit Welker in stride on the play it clearly would have resulted in a first down to keep the drive alive.
-With Thursday night’s victory, the Patriots have now won 16 of the last 20 regular season games against the Jets. The win improved New England’s AFC East-leading record to (8-3) while the Jets fall to (4-7). New England now have 10 days to prepare for their next game which is December 2nd at Miami. The Dolphins (4-6) will host the Seattle Seahawks Sunday in Miami.