The New England Patriots beat the Jacksonville Jaguars with a final score of 51-17 and that was with undrafted rookie Justin Coleman spotting the visitors a garbage time touchdown. The Patriots can't be, won't be stopped and with a week of rest the rest of the league will just wait to see what the next performance will bring.
Quarterback Tom Brady led the Patriots offense to the red zone on eight of the team's nine offensive drives. The one exception was the team's second drive, where Danny Amendola brought the ball to the 19 yard line, only for a Rob Gronkowski penalty to bring the ball back and stall the drive. The Patriots settled for a field goal.
The Patriots scored 51 points on nine drives, for a silly 5.67 points per drive (PPD) rate. Tom Brady has only been this efficient two other times in his career:
1) The 59-0 snow game against the 2009 Titans, where Brady led the offense to 52 points with eight scores (and an extra missed field goal) in nine drives, before sitting early in the 3rd quarter and letting Brian Hoyer lead a touchdown drive. Brady threw for five passes in the second quarter.
2) The 56-10 spanking of the 2007 Bills, where Brady led the offense to seven touchdowns in seven drives, before letting Matt Cassel lead the only drive that ended in a punt.
The Patriots ran extended drives, with six requiring seven or more plays, taking what the Jaguars gave them down the field and taking advantage of the Jaguars poor coverage tight ends.
"If they were going to drive 10, 12 plays and score, so be it," Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said after the game. "And they had some long drives."
The Patriots ended the game with a 9 minute, 47 second, 17 play, 63 yard drive in the fourth quarter that included five conversions on third down. Julian Edelman did not play that drive. Rob Gronkowski came on to block once the offense reached the goal line.
Tom Brady couldn't be stopped with his starting offense, so they used Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson, and Scott Chandler with LeGarrette Blount and James White at running back and they still couldn't be stopped. And even better, they're still not happy.
"I feel like we left some plays out there, offensively, just because we got three points out of the possession," Amendola said after the game. "We definitely feel like we should get six there. That's what we strive for, that's what our goals are going into each drive.
"Don't get it twisted, three points is a great drive. But touchdowns would be better. That's what we're out there for."
With three drives ending in field goals, it appears the offense won't be happy until record-setting kicker Stephen Gotskowski ends up as bored on the sideline as punter Ryan Allen.
The New England defense was nearly as effective as the offense, with the Jaguars only posting 10 points before their final drive of the day. While there were a couple lapses in play, most notably Malcolm Butler whiffing in coverage of Allen Hurns and Duron Harmon making a poor tackle attempt leading to a 59-yard touchdown on 3rd down, every player did their job to a great degree. But no player was better than Jamie Collins.
Collins had four key tackles against the run, a sack, a forced fumble, and was fairly effective as a deterrent in pass coverage. The Jaguars needed to set up their rushing attack if they wanted to extend their drives and reduce the Patriots time of possession, but Collins led the charge in snuffing out the Jacksonville attack. After a slow first two weeks to the season, Collins regained his 2014 form.
While the Patriots defense has allowed garbage time scores in all three of their games and the coaching staff will have plenty of places for improvement, the fact remains that there's only a garbage time because the team has been so dominant early in the game.
Bill Belichick, Brady, and the rest of the Patriots will head into their bye week looking to rest up for the final stretch of the season and to continue their dominance in week 5 against the Dallas Cowboys.