Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/20/14
East Rutherford, N.J. — The Patriots’ defense forced five turnovers on Thursday night, which was key to the team’s 49-19 romping of the Jets at the Meadowlands. Safety Steve Gregory played a big part in the win during his only visit home this season. Gregory, a Staten Island, N.Y., native, played quite the game at MetLife Stadium on Thursday. You might even say it was the best game he’s ever played in the NFL. I’m not sure if he’d say that, but it would definitely be a fair assessment. The 29-year-old defender accounted in some way for four of the Patriots’ five forced turnovers against the Jets, intercepting a pass, forcing a fumble and recovering two more loose balls. The turnovers were a necessary contribution from Gregory, but he was even able to find his way into the end zone — only the second score of his career. Last week, it was Aqib Talib and Alfonzo Dennard receiving praise for their opportunistic plays in a blowout win over Andrew Luck and the Colts. That performance left the Patriots’ secondary with a definite boost in confidence, and that buoyant attitude was further heightened on Thursday. “It’s growing every week. We go to work everyday in practice to get better,” Gregory said of his unit. “We study a lot of film, and we’re really trying to dial in and get better as a unit. And I think you’re seeing some of the results of that.” Those results have seen the Patriots’ defense lock down on opposing offenses, forcing quarterbacks like Mark Sanchez — who had a pair of turnovers — into making mistakes and averting some of the big plays that killed New England early this season. Gregory, who returned from injury just last week, has already had a major impact on the secondary unit, which was obvious in his performance. However, being able to perform so well in front of friends and family made Thursday’s Thanksgiving win even more special for the born and bred New Yorker. “It was great [to] come home. I grew up not far from here in Staten Island. So, a lot of friends and family were able to come out and see the game,” Gregory said of his homecoming. “It was exciting for me to come play a game in my backyard.” That excitement may have played a role in Gregory’s extraordinary play against the Jets. But in order for the Pats’ defense to take a true step forward, Gregory and others will have to make such performances the rule and not the exception. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kevin Love not expected to be available next series

Titans have reportedly been 'all over' Marcus Mariota

Report: Browns talked with Redskins about trading up

Doc Rivers tore into Clippers in film room after blowout loss

Jon Jones facing felony charge for leaving scene of crime

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Josh Hamilton officially traded back to Rangers

Report: Landing Adrian Peterson too costly for Cardinals

Report: Antonio Brown joins Steelers voluntary work outs

Charles Barkley: JR Smith should be suspended 10 games

Report: Redskins likely to pick up Robert Griffin III's option

Eagles trying to trade Marcus Smith for another duck?

Arkansas has leather belt to commemorate Texas Bowl win

John Angelos, Orioles got it right with Freddie Gray protest

Belichick's girlfriend fine with coach checking out Teigen

V. Stiviano posts birthday message to 'BFF' Donald Sterling

Mark Cuban and the inevitable playoff peril of the Mavs

Wizards made Raptors look bad while remaking themselves

Previewing Game 7 showdown between Islanders and Capitals

WATCH: Rick Carlisle tapes mouth shut so he can't rip refs

NFL Draft 2015: Ranking the quarterbacks

Greg Hardy faces teammate, Cowboys locker room leak

Top 10 storylines for the 2015 NFL Draft

Paul Pierce burns Raptors fans with epic troll job

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Titans have been 'all over' Mariota?

Doc Rivers tore into Clippers after loss

Jon Jones facing felony charge

Worst picks ever by every NFL franchise

Report: Cowboys not in on Peterson

NFL Draft 2015: Ranking the QBs

Top 10 storylines for the 2015 NFL Draft

Paul Pierce trolls Raptors fans

Yes, ESPN2 is airing video games

Darko Milicic is enjoying life

Pitcher throws perfect game, still loses

Will Aldridge leave the Blazers?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.