Notes, musings, and observations from New England's 49-19 victory over the New York Jets.
This may come as an absolute shocker, but Thanksgiving is, without a doubt, my favorite day of the year. I'm pretty sure I've brought it up in the past, but I love Turkey Day so much that it's worth repeating here. It's the only holiday of the year with zero commercialism, zero pretention, and zero hidden agendas. The only thing you have to do on Thanksgiving is spend time with your friends and family, eat a great meal, and take some time to be thankful for what you have. Top all that off with a few football games and a nap, and you have everything that makes Alec's sizable engine purr.
And until about 9:15 or so last night, I honestly thought that there was absolutely no way I could have improved on my Thanksgiving activities. It was right about then when the Patriots vs. Jets game turned into an episode of America's Funniest Home Videos and the Jets set themselves a whole new standard for ineptitude. Not only did the Patriots absolutely obliterate the Jets on national television, but they did it in all three phases of the game and essentially ended any slim playoff hopes that the Jets may have had. Once again, Rex Ryan and his traveling circus is out of our hair for another year and the Patriots put an absolute stranglehold on the AFC East.
No need to build this one up with a lengthy intro - last night's game speaks for itself. Let's just get to the notes.
- In theory, Patriots football on Thanksgiving is an amazing thing. In reality though, I was pretty miserable at the start of this one. Full, groggy, a little too hydrated, and an absolute mess of nervous energy. Just an awful combination. Luckily for me, I wasn't nervous very long.
- Who needs offensive linemen, defensive linemen, or tight ends? There were so many key players missing last night that on any other team, last night's game would have been a real struggle. But as usual, The Patriots just roll along.
- Pats sure got off to a great start on this game offensively. Intentional grounding, run, pass, punt. Boo ya.Thank goodness for that vaunted Pats D.
- Welcome back, Aaron Hernandez. Oh, how I've missed you.
- Offensive line took all of one drive to settle. Mr. Scarnecchia, sir, I would love to buy you a beer sometime.
- Come on, Gostkowski. I'm getting sick of this.
- So what exactly happened over the bye week that caused the Patriots to suddenly forget how to stop the run?
- Steve Gregory is an awful tackler.
- He's pretty damn good at picking up fumbles though, isn't he?
- Neither team came out of the gate looking overly impressive. And by that, of course, I mean that the Patriots came out flat and the Jets were playing at full capacity. The difference, of course, is that New England settled down and the Jets...not so much.
- The Patriots are so banged up right now that even their coaches are on crutches.
- We're going to hear about that Bart Scott tackle on Stevan Ridley for the next three years.
- Will a pissed off Rex Ryan ever get old?
- New England's first scoring drive was absolutely beautiful. 16 plays, 84 yards, 6 minutes off the clock, and an excellent balance of run and pass.
- You know, you can knock the whole "let the offense march down the field and then force a turnover" style of defense all you want, but it always seems to work.
- What the hell happened? Pats forced a fumble, Tommy B was under center, I leaned to the left to cut a turkey fart, and by the time my eyes stopped watering and I looked back at the TV Shane Vereen was in the end zone. That's one fast dude.
- That....that Sanchez fumble...wow. I don't even know what to say. Just absolutely amazing. I mean you couldn't write that kind of comedy with a room full of Hollywood writers and Jack Black, Will Farrell, and Steve Carrell as your cast members.
- I didn't even have time to finish writing that last note before the Jets messed up again and the Patriots scored another touchdown. How does this even happen?
- Brandon Lloyd ran with the football! It's a Thanksgiving miracle!
- That's the first time I ever saw Fireman Ed without his helmet on. It is not, however, the first time I've seen him scowling.
- A few weeks ago I wrote, "so Julian Edelman is a deep threat now?" Question answered.
- How fired up was Tommy B after that Edelman bomb? Throat, meet Ugg-covered foot.
- Vince Wilfork is an absolute animal. He was clearly pissed that he had to put his turkey dinner on hold for another day.
- Speaking of - what do you think that Thanksgiving at the Wilfork house looks like? Does everyone get their own individual turkey? Do you think there is just a huge trough and they hand you a massive spoon when you walk in the door?
- I was abnormally mad about that Nick Folk field goal that made it a 35-3 game.
- There's something very, very nice about going into halftime relaxed and very, very happy with the way the game is going.
- I don't know about any of you, but there's nothing I'd rather do on a cold night when my team is getting absolutely embarrassed on national television and I'm starting to question why the hell I left the comfort of my own home and all the delicious food there than listen to Lenny Kravitz cover "American Woman." Good stuff,MetLife Stadium.
- Is it me, or does Bob Kraft sound drunk all the time?
- I wonder if you can apply Tommy B's pocket presence to other aspects of life? Like can I just walk down the street avoiding people effortlessly and get to where I'm going twice as fast?
- I absolutely loved that Edelman toss play that ended up as a fumble off a massive LaRon Landry hit. The entire front seven bit on that.
- I also absolutely love Brandon Spikes. He's like Fulton and Portman all rolled into one.
- You're going to have a hard time convincing me that that safety the Pats gave up weren't mercy points. If the Jets can't score, we'll score for them.
- I'm not going to lie...I got a little nervous when the Jets scored their first touchdown of the game. I guess it's a reflection of how the season has been going when you're a little worried about a 35-12 game late in the 3rd quarter.
- Hernandez still isn't 100%. He sprained his ankle Week 2. I'm not sure how well this bodes for the rest of the season.
- Up 23 in the 4th quarter and still using the hurry-up. I absolutely love it.
- Dammit Tommy B! I needed a Ridley touchdown there! What are you doing sneaking it in? If I lose this week in fantasy by 6 points... who am I kidding. I'm not going to do anything about it at all.
- HA! I just remembered that Sanchez fumble again!
- That playaction deep to Welker right after the Jets turned the ball over for the 5th time made me so, so happy.
- Antonio Cromartie didn't even try to shed the protection and get in there on the Ridley touchdown - which is odd, seeing as he's so good at shedding protection and getting in there in his personal life.
- I will say that the Jets's problems are not all on Mark Sanchez. That said though - if Sanchez were to get cut right now, who picks him up? And does he have any chance at all of starting?
- I figured out a sound I like more than booing Jets fans: an empty stadium.
- Kyle Arrington has had two great games in a row. I'm not going to go so far as to say that the secondary has turned a corner, but I have absolutely loved what I've seen out of that unit.
- We're going to see a lot of articles titled "No Gronk, No Problem" this week; let the record show that I was the first one to post it.
- As much as I love continuing to throw and run up the score, yesterday was a great opportunity to get Ryan Mallet some in-game reps. I wish that Belichick had put him in there just to give him the experience.
- But hey, if you want to keep your foot on the gas, who am I to tell you no? Have fun stewing about this one all offseason, Rex - assuming you're even still here next year.
- The only Jet I felt bad for yesterday was Tim Tebow. He deserves better.
- How great were those smug, obnoxious Patriots fans with HORRIBLE mustaches smiling ear to ear and yelling at the few Jets fans that were still left? Good for you guys.
- How many times did the Patriots punt yesterday? Four, including the safety and garbage time?
- Jets fans cheering for a Sanchez injury. This really is the time of the year for peace on Earth and goodwill towards men.
- The funniest thing about the Tebow chant at the very end of the game is that there were so few people in the stands by that point that you could hear each individual who was chanting.
- You know what's going to happen: at some point this season, Mark Sanchez will be benched in favor of Tim Tebow. And Tebow is going to start winning games. And then it's REALLY going to hit the fan.
- Does giving thanks for dejected Jets fans go against the spirit of the holiday?
- Vince Wilfork eating a turkey leg looks like me eating a Buffalo wing.
- Happy Holidays, everyone. I'm very, very thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this fantastic community of Patriots fans. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, and enjoy the rest of this week's slate of games.