After starting off with a great opening drive turnover, forced by Chandler Jones and recovered by Dont'a Hightower, the defense struggle to force a stop for the rest of the half. The Jets converted third down after third down after third down using legal pick plays, taking advantage of penalties, and through good execution.
Wide receiver Eric Decker picked on Malcolm Butler throughout the first half, with 4 receptions and 59 yards.
New England really focused on stopping the Jets rushing attack, but Ryan Fitzpatrick was more-than-willing to take the game into his hands by throwing down the field. Linebacker Dont'a Hightower has been a monster against the run and Rob Ninkovich is having his best game of the season.
Dominique Easley has a pretty wild first jump. Makes the tackle, too. pic.twitter.com/TYcL0giKAk— Rich Hill (@PP_Rich_Hill) October 25, 2015
On the other side of the ball, the Patriots offense really struggled to get anything going against this Jets defense. Darrelle Revis matched up well against Julian Edelman and Tom Brady struggled to get to his second and third reads due to tremendous pressure by the New York defensive line.
Cameron Fleming really struggled at right tackle and the team didn't even try to establish the run. Brady was on the sideline for most of the first quarter with a withdrawn look that is common when he's frustrated, but feels helpless. He needs his linemen and skill players to step up and make plays. Missing Dion Lewis has been a big loss for the offense.
Brady eventually took the game into his own hands with a clutch scramble and a dive for a touchdown in the second quarter. It will be important to carry the momentum into the second half.
Brady touchdown!!! pic.twitter.com/W1iye8zriz— Rich Hill (@PP_Rich_Hill) October 25, 2015
The Patriots have also had the opportunity to intercept at least four Fitzpatrick passes and they need to take advantage of these chances if they want to turn the tide of the game. The Patriots get the ball after the half.