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Week 7 Patriots vs Jets Instant Observations and Analysis: Rob Gronkowsk is BACK

The Patriots won a squeaker against the Jets. Here's what we learned in the New England 30-23 victory.

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady isn't human

Teams aren't supposed to win when their quarterback throws 50+ times. He accomplished the feat for the 23rd time in his career, the most by any quarterback in NFL history. He now stands at 16-7, the best winning percentage of any quarterback with 3 or more such games. Peyton Manning is 4-13. Dan Marino is 5-11. Drew Brees is 3-12. Drew Bledsoe is 4-9. Brady is impossible.

Rob Gronkowski found a way to be involved

After struggling to get involved in the past couple of games, the Patriots found a way to get Gronkowski involved. They helped him beat coverage with quick passes to get the ball in his hands and Gronk made defenses pay after the catch. 11 for 108 and a touchdown is a big game.

Danny Amendola was a major player

Amendola collected 8 receptions on 9 targets for 86 yards and a touchdown. He stepped up in a big way with challenging catches all over the field. He's quickly ascended towards the top of the Patriots offensive depth chart and now, when Dion Lewis returns, the Patriots have four players that Brady knows he can trust with Gronkowski and...

Julian Edelman struggled with some plays

While Edelman is still in Brady's circle of trust, he's had a difficult couple of outings with drops. He missed an easy touchdown grab and his 5 receptions for 54 yards on 9 targets is a very weak day by his standards. He needs to rebound quickly on the short week.

No one was worse that Brandon LaFell

In his first game back, LaFell saw 8 targets. He corralled 2 of them for 25 yards. He dropped the other six. It mirrors his first game in a Patriots uniform when Brady went 0 for 6 in his direction, and ultimately LaFell turned it around. Hopefully LaFell can get back into a groove quickly enough because he would be a 5th reliable weapon for Brady.

The offensive line took some time to adjust and become comfortable

The Patriots fielded Sebastian Vollmer, Josh Kline, David Andrews, Tre Jackson, and Cameron Fleming as the offensive line. They faced the most talented defensive line in the entire league. That's not hyperbole. Tom Brady had to get the ball out extremely quickly early in the game, but whether the defenders wore down or the offensive linemen improved, Brady was seeing more and more time in the pocket late in the game.

The defensive was atrocious on 3rd down

The Jets converted 8 of their 14 3rd down attempts. They absolutely couldn't get off the field and the Jets continued to move the chains and to extend drives. The Patriots struggled to get off the field against the Colts, so you can expect the 3rd down defense to be a major point of emphasis.

Rob Ninkovich should be a defensive back

The Patriots defensive captain knocked down four passes on the day and should've intercepted another couple. When asked about his success attacking the ball, Ninkovich said, "You just have to read the quarterback and match the throwing arm." Ninkovich was expecting a quick passing game due to the Jets low number of sacks allowed, so he decided to just try to swat the passes instead of go for the sacks. It worked.

Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins are the heartbeat of this defense

The Patriots wanted to stop the Jets rushing attack as the #1 point of winning the game. Chris Ivory and Zac Stacy combined for 60 yards on 24 carries, or 2.50 yards per carry. This was a great success for the Patriots defense that can be attributed to the performance of Hightower and Collins. Collins and Hightower combined for 22 tackles on the day, and they stuffed the running backs at the line time and time again.

Malcolm Butler was torched all day by Eric Decker

Decker collected 94 yards on 6 receptions, but he was in Butler's head the entire day. Butler was clearly getting frustrated, culminating in a key pass interference penalty that required the rest of the defense to pull Butler aside to tell him it will be okay. Butler has been great this season, but this was worse than his game against Antonio Brown. He'll need to rebound quickly.

Ryan Allen was an early hero with field position

Allen did everything he could to hurt the Jets. He pinned them at the 17, the 8, and the 17. That's a great day and he bought the offense some time to allow Tom Brady and company to dissect and defeat the Jets defense.