NEW ENGLAND (49) d NEW YORK (19)
The Headline: Jets implosion sets platform for big Patriots win
To steal a line from Anchorman, “Boy, that escalated quickly… I mean it really got out of hands fast!” What the hell happened in that second quarter? After a scoreless first quarter the Patriots went on a scoring rampage in the second quarter thanks to the Jets turning into a comedy team as opposed to an NFL team. Turnovers, poor execution and general crappiness meant that in the space of 13 game minutes it went from a tight divisional match to a blowout of epic proportions. At 28-0 after two quick Patriots touchdowns on defense and then special teams I got a text from a friend asking what the hell happened since he went away from his TV for a second and next thing he knew the Patriots had piled on two more scores. There will be complaints about the Patriots continuing to play hard in the second half of the game but what the hell were they supposed to do? Run three dive plays, punt and let the Jets try to come back? People who have an issue with teams playing right to the end need to grow the hell up (Florio) and realise that it is up to the coaches to manage their players the way they see fit. Besides, knowing how driven Tom Brady is, would you want to pull him any earlier than you have to?
Key Stat: Patriots: 0 total points in first and third quarters
Maybe this isn’t the be all and end all stat from the game but damn it, it’s fun to point out. The game was evenly poised at the end of the first quarter with the Patriots missing a field goal and looking a little bit rusty. The second quarter frenzy of points sort of rendered the pointless third quarter moot but it’s still amazing to think that for half the game the Patriots were shut out and still managed the amount of points they did.
Key Play: Mark Sanchez fumble recovered by Steve Gregory and returned for a touchdown
Everything you needed to know about the Jets luck in this game can be summed up on this play. Sanchez went to hand off, missed his back and was forced to improvise into a scramble up the middle. After gaining a couple of yards he decided to cut his losses and slide to the ground, unfortunately for him, Wilfork was pushing Brandon Moore backwards casing a collision between Moore’s ass and Sanchez’s ball carrying hand. The ball popped out and Gregory was there for his third turnover on the night and he took it all the way back for the touchdown to make it 21-0 Patriots.
Man of the Match: Vince Wilfork
3 tackles (2 solo)
Going solely off the stats of the game this could have gone to Steve Gregory or even Tom Brady but Vince Wilfork absolutely dominated the interior group of the Jets line. Nick Mangold in particular had a rough day as even double teams seemed to struggle to contain the big man as he was involved in breaking up just about every Jets running play around the line of scrimmage.