What a half. The Patriots came out of the gates with guns slinging and the Jets couldn't answer. The defense emerged as more than solid performers and the offense looked like they couldn't be stopped. The young players stepped up their performance and the old veterans showed their experience. It was a thing of beauty.
Here are some first half notes:
Tom Brady has been phenomenal. It looked like he was on the run every time he dropped back to pass, but he couldn't miss. He's making high percentage passes to move the chains and is taking chances down the field to keep the defense honest.
The run game has been solid in the first half. They've been getting the yards to keep the defense from dropping every player into the secondary, helping the offense be more efficient and effective.
The offensive line has been okay. They're struggling to stop the secondary blitzes by the Jets and have surrendered a lot of pressure and a few sacks. They give Brady enough time- but barely enough. Matt Light hasn't been keeping enough of an eye on the safety blitz, which could lead the Patriots to keep a tight end on the blind side for the second half.
The tight ends have been quiet in the passing game. The Jets planned to keep help up the middle as it seemed the Patriots would try to take advantage of their weak safety cover play. As a result, the Patriots have been able to move the ball on the outsides. The tight ends might run a couple more out routes in the second half to get involved.
The defensive line has been solid and has forced Mark Sanchez to pass under some pressure, which is better than no pressure at all.
The linebackers have been average as well. Jermaine Cunningham has been a beast and has generated a ton of pressure, has stopped the run and even played some "spy" in coverage. Every other linebacker has been okay. Everyone is still struggling to finish sacks and get to Sanchez.
The coverage by the secondary has been awesome. Kyle Arrington has a couple of fantastic third down stops and Devin McCourty has been avoided all game. Darius Butler has stepped up and played extremely well as the nickelback (they've stopped using Chung in coverage) and the safeties have been in great position.
The Jets are chewing each other out. They've been making mistakes and aren't functioning as a unit. They're dropping balls and missing tackles. This is what the Patriots want. The Jets are falling apart at the seams.