Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/14/11

Rob Gronkowski finished with 2 touchdowns against the Jets

Finally, the New England Patriots look back to form as they handled the New York Jets (5-4) Sunday night 37-16.  The Patriots, who were being written off for their awful defense showed up Sunday night looking like the Pats that we are used to seeing.  Here are a few things to take away from the game:

  • The Patriot’s Defense:  Finally, the Patriots make the adjustments needed and the defense comes up big.  Stepping up huge was linebacker Rob Ninkovich who had two interceptions and one that was returned for a touchdown.  The Patriots used a rotation of players in the secondary that for the most part shut down the Jet’s wide outs.  The defense, which ranked dead last in the league, got some help from the offense as they took a lead for good right before halftime.  The Jets were forced to throw most of the second half and the Patriots were all over Mark Sanchez forcing him into tough situations.
  • Tom Brady looked like Tom Brady again:  The past two weeks left people wondering what was going on with Brady.  Turnover heavy and inaccuracy made people wonder what was going on with the star quarterback.  But Brady quieted critics and had one of the best games of the season.  Brady finished 26 for 39, 329 yards for 3 touchdowns and no turnovers.  Brady had full control over this game and picked apart the Jet’s defense while getting everyone involved.  Brady’s best drive came in the fourth quarter after the Jets scored bringing the game within one possession.  Brady led the team on 13 plays for 84 yards and found Deion Branch for an 8 yard touchdown pass.  Brady looked absolutely untouchable as most of the drive was no huddle and the Jets defense looked completely out matched.
  • Rob Gronkowski is Brady’s new favorite target:  Tight end Rob Gronkowski finished the game with 8 catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns.  Whenever Brady was given enough time in the pocket, it seemed that Gronkowski would get away from man coverage or find a hole in the zone for a first down completion.  The 6’6 265 lb. tight end is to big for safeties and has enough speed to cause trouble for linebackers.  At times, it didn’t look fair to Jet’s defenders as the big man was able to make all types of catches throughout the game.
  • Chad Ochocinco sighting:  Early in the game, Patriot fans must have done a double take when they saw Ochocinco making plays for the offense.  Brady was finally able to get the receiver involved as he had 2 catches on the same drive, one of which went for 50 yards.  Ochocinco made a great grab along the sideline and got some running room to get some yards after the catch.  Unfortunately, those were his only two catches of the game but it is a great sign to see the Patriots getting him involved.
  • The AFC East: The Patriots now sit atop the AFC East by two games due to the tiebreaker.  The Buffalo Bills got absolutely destroyed by the Dallas Cowboys today and it doesn’t seem as if they can make a play for the division crown.  The Jets now look to be in search of a wildcard position due to a stat that was brought up during the game.  The Patriots have the easiest schedule for the rest of season if you add up the current records for the teams that face the Pats.  It may just be another division title for the New England Patriots.

The Patriots head back home next week as the Kansas City Chiefs roll into Foxborough.

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