It was 9-3 Patriots going into the second half and, on the surface, we essentially had control of the game. The problem? All nine points were off of Stephen Gostkowski's foot which meant our red zone efficiency was crap. And looking at the numbers, that is proven: 0/3.
I remember thinking that if the Jets clean their game up, we'll be in trouble. While we were ahead, it was a dogfight on defense; pressure was the name of the game for this matchup and NY figured out how to get around our pass protection while providing enough protection for Mark Sanchez. Or, our defense simply ran out of gas. Either way, some defensive re-tooling is necessary.
As we've discussed all week, the feeling was Rex Ryan would bring the house and amp up the pass pressure. I think today was evidence of that. Tom Brady was rushed repeatedly. There were times in the first half when Brady's pass protection looked very good, with Laurence Maroney providing a lot of extra protection. That all ended in the second half. The Jets' defense started getting to him. No sacks, but a lot of hurries. And it showed. Brady was overthrowing a lot of balls. But the reception woes weren't necessarily all on Brady; some of the misses were blown routes and/or a lack of communication between Brady and his receivers.
The rushing attack wasn't stellar, but it seemed to provide enough diversity to keep NY on their toes, at least for the first half. El Mo looked good and Fred Taylor seemed to have a couple of good runs that could've broken away. The rushing yardage wasn't stellar, but it was enough to keep things unbalanced. Unfortunately, Brady was never able to hit his screens effectively. Running backs, including Kevin Faulk, were taken out of the game from a reception standpoint.
As hard as it is, let's take a look at the numbers:
Red Zone efficiency - Patriots: 0/3, Jets: 1/3. If ya can't punch it in for six, it's gonna be a long day and that's exactly what we got today.
Passing - 23/47, 216 yards. You can't go under 50% with low yardage like that and expect to mount a crushing aerial attack. This is so un-Brady. And a QB rating of 53.1. Ouch.
- Penalties - 11 for 89 yards vs. the Jets 8 for 55. The Patriots' 11 included 3 (2 back-to-back) delay game penalties.
- Special Teams - Jets' Leon Washington had four kickoff returns for an average of 31 yards and a long of 43 while our average, split between Maroney and Julian Edelman, hovered at 20 yards. Stephen Gostkowski, usually able to boot it into the endzone for a touchback repeatedly, had only two for four.
Were there any bright spots in this game?
- Julian Edelman stepped in nicely for the ailing Wes Welker to the tune of 8 for 98 and a long of 29.
- DE's Ty Warren and Mike Wright each had a sack on Mark Sanchez.
- Vince Wilfork and Mike Wright were each credited with a forced fumble.
- Most of the thing wrong with this game, from the Patriots perspective, are fixable.
I hate to say it, but this one's on Tom Brady. There was pressure, but a lot of bad passes. That's not good for a team that depends on their aerial attack.