FOXBOROUGH, MA – The definition of gangrene is the death of soft tissue due to obstructed circulation, usually followed by decomposition and putrefaction.
The Gang Green decomposed in all facets early and often, as they were beaten down 45-3 in Foxborough, in what was dubbed the game of the year leading into the Monday night mauling.
“We got our butts kicked,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said. “We got outcoached. We got ouplayed.”
Ryan would go on to say that it was the biggest “butt-whooping” he’s ever received.
“I thought we were going to play a great game. Our preparation was great. I thought we were going to have a huge game.”
For the Patriots, it was.
Tom Brady was 21-of-28 for 326 yards and four touchdowns. BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed for another two scores and former-Jet Danny Woodhead had 115 yards in a game that was all Patriots, all the time.
In contrast, Mark Sanchez looked reminiscent of the last time he played in New England where he went 8-for-21 for 136 yards and threw four interceptions. In Monday night’s game he was 17-of-33 for 164 yards and three interceptions. All three interceptions led to Patriots’ scores.
“It wasn’t as fluid as we normally are and it obviously showed,” Sanchez said after the game. “It’s just too bad because we had some of the right plays on, and [that one with LaDanian Tomlinson] was one of them and we just weren’t on the same page.”
It was a memorable night for the Patriots, who honored former linebacker Tedy Bruschi at halftime as well as seeing Brady pass Drew Bledsoe for thirteenth on the all-time touchdowns list with 252 in his career.
“It’s the best 60 minutes of football we’ve played all year,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “It was a good night for us. The Jets are a good football team.”
The same couldn’t be said for the Jets, who were helping the Patriots all game long. Nick Folk’s 53-yard field attempt was short and led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Green-Ellis. And Jets punter Steve Weatherford’s 12-yard shank was followed by a 25-yard catch-and-run by Deion Branch.
It was a mismatch from the start. The Patriots scored on their first four possessions with Brady’s only blemish coming from three straight incompletions on the Patriots first drive of the game. They settled for a Shayne Graham 41-yard field goal.
The Jets followed by putting together a 12-play drive in which Rex Ryan was unsuccessful on a 4th&1 challenge from the Jets 46-yard line. They were successful in converting the fourth down play, but left fans scratching their heads as to why he would challenge the call in the first place.
The Jets would attempt a 53-yard field, in which Folk came up short. Folk is 0-for-5 in 40 yard attempts since the Oct. 17 game in Denver.
The Jets pass rush, which has been criticized for their play this season, continued to disappoint as their blitz packages were fruitless for the better part of the night.
“You have to take your hat off to them because they gave it to us today,” said defensive end Shaun Ellis. “We have got some things we need to go back and work on. They played an excellent ballgame and had us on our heels.”
Brady, who has now not thrown an interception in seven straight games, had ample time to sit back and pick a part a Jets defense that was missing their signal caller, Jim Leonhard.
Leonhard broke his tibia in a collision with receiver Patrick Turner in practice leading up to the game. Without him, the defense, who has struggled with communication issues all season, wilted in the harsh New England weather as the Patriots put up 17 unanswered points in the first quarter.
The Jets lone scoring-drive of the game came on a 39-yard field goal by Folk following an eight-play drive that featured a heavy dose of Shonn Greene (13 rushes, 64 yards).
Brady went back to work as he shied away from Darrelle Revis and, instead, focused his attention towards Antonio Cromartie. Cromartie was on the wrong end of two touchdown passes; the 25-yard reception by Branch, in which Branch ran through a would-be Cromartie tackle, the other, a four-yard fade in back of the endzone to Brandon Tate.
The lone bright spot for the Jets was Santonio Holmes (7 receptions, 72 yards) who Sanchez seemed locked-in on the whole game. Holmes, who was apart of the punt returner by committee with Leonhard on the IR, had a 31-yard return that was negated by an illegal block in the back by Brad Smith. Instead of having momentum at the Jets 45-yard line, they were pushed back to their own 12-yard line. They produced only a three-and-out.
The Jets went in at halftime trailing the Patriots, 24-3.
That’s the closest they would get for the rest of the game as Sanchez would throw three interceptions to the 32nd-rank passing defense. All three turnovers would lead to Patriot touchdowns.
In a game that would most likely decide not only the AFC East, but home-field advantage, the Jets all but secured themselves the fifth spot in the AFC playoffs.
If the playoffs were to start today, the 9-3 Jets would visit the 7-5 Jaguars.
The Jets will now turn their attention to another divisional foe, the 6-6 Miami Dolphins. The game will be at the New Meadowlands Stadium at 4:15 p.m. EST.
- The Jets were 5-0 this season on the road and 8-0 dating back to last season.
- The Patriots have extended their regular season home winning streak to 26 games. With the win, Brady surpassed Brett Favre for most consecutive wins in his home building.
- Eric Smith, who filled-in for the injured Leonhard, was exposed early as he was called for a 36-yard pass interference call that led to the 1-yard Green-Ellis touchdown.
- LaDanian Tomlinson, who was instrumental in the 28-14 Week 2 win with 102 total yards, tallied a mere 61 total yards Monday night.
- The Jets redzone and third-down problems continued as they were 0-for-2 within the 20-yard line and 3-for-12 in extending drives.
- Danny Woodhead on playing his former team: “This is where I am. I am a New England Patriot. Was I over there [referring to the Jets sideline] at one time? Yeah, but that’s not something I dwell on or ever want to dwell on because that’s not who I am now. I am a New England Patriot and that’s the most important thing.”
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