After kicking off the ball, the Patriots' defense forced a punt on its first drive. However, the offense couldn't get anything going early on and was stopped on 3rd and short on its first drive. To make matters far worse, left tackle Sebastian Vollmer was injured on the 3rd down play, when running Joey Iosefa fell awkwardly on his left foot. Vollmer left the game on a cart and was quickly declared out – further weakening an already thin offensive line.
While New England struggled in the first quarter, the Jets were able to take a 3-0 lead. However, the Patriots started the second quarter far more successful. First, the team stopped the Jets' offense, then it had its first successful offensive series. One, that was sparked by three successful trick plays – a flea-flicker pass (incomplete), an end-around (nine-yard gain), a wildcat play with Brandon Bolden as quarterback (gaining no yards) – and led to a field goal to tie the game.
Following the Patriots' 12-play field-goal drive, the Jets answered with a long drive of their own. On the drive's final play, Fitzpatrick connected with Brandon Marshall to give New York a 10-3 lead. Tom Brady and New England's offense received the ball with a little under two minutes to go and two timeouts available but did not show any urgency, gaining one first down and then just letting the time run down.
Overall, the Patriots did not play up to their potential on both sides of the ball in the first half. The defense struggled mightily against the run with Patrick Chung out, while also being unable to put pressure on New York quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The offense, on the other hand, struggled to move the ball consistently. No matter if it was through the air or on the ground, Josh McDaniels' unit needs to find ways to stay on the field and score in order to leave New York victoriously.
The Patriots receive the second-half kick-off.
Here's to a successful and injury-free second half! Go Patriots!