Insert your Thanksgiving-themed blowout pun here.
The Patriots dominated in all phases Thursday night in a 49-19 victory - scoring on offense, defense, and special teams for the second straight week. And even in the huge win, you could argue the Patriots weren't playing their best football. The run defense seemed to struggle again in the first half, despite some stellar individual play from Brandon Spikes and Vince Wilfork. And in the second half, Tom Brady missed some throws at the start that I'm sure he'll look back at the tape and want back, even though he had a great game overall.
Alright, I'm going to stop myself now. How could you possibly nitpick a 30 point victory on the road against a division rival. Lets quickly focus on some of the highlights:
1. Steve Gregory Comes Up With Three Turnovers. Gregory came up with a first quarter interception with the Jets driving, then had a fumble recovery for a touchdown after a Mark Sanchez sack-fumble, and then he recovered a late first half fumble on a Jets fourth down attempt.
2. Vince Wilfork, Brandon Spikes with Dominant Individual Play. These two were making plays all over the field, and it's pretty clear at this point, that they're the two best players on this defense. The two plays that stand out the most: Brandon Spikes' goal line stop on Mark Sanchez and Vince Wilfork throwing a blocker back into Sanchez in the first half that forced a fumble that was recovered by Gregory for a touchdown. That was a mouthful. There were plenty of other plays, but those two stood out the most.
3. Jets Stay Away from Talib. I think the Jets looked Talib's way maybe once all night (dropped short slant for a would be touchdown). But for the most part, Talib shut down his side of the field. And the guy on the other side, Alfonzo Dennard, did a pretty solid job as well.
4. Fells over Shiancoe at Tight End. I was a bit surprised to see Daniel Fells get the snaps as Rob Gronkowski's primary placement. I didn't track it specifically, but I can't remember Shiancoe playing a snap into well in the fourth quarter, with the rout already in hand.
5. Patriots Take Dominating Lead in Division. With the win, the Patriots take a three and a half game lead over the Dolphins, a four game lead over the Bills (since they swept them) and a virtual five game lead over the Jets (since New England swept them). The Patriots have a long week before they travel to south Florida to face the Miami Dolphins. A win in Miami will essentially lock up the division. Well actually, if both Miami and Buffalo lose this week, a win against the Dolphins week 13 will clinch the Patriots the division. Yeah, we're already talking about playoff scenarios.