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Patriots spoil Christmas for the Jets with 41-3 final score

The Patriots swept the season series against the Jets.

The New England Patriots led the New York Jets 27-0 at halftime. The second half offered more of the same.

The Patriots received the kickoff in the second half, but an illegal hands to the face penalty by C David Andrews stalled the New England drive. The Jets received a Ryan Allen punt and started their first drive of the second half at their own 18 yard line.

The Jets promptly went three-and-out, giving the ball back to the Patriots. QB Tom Brady led the New England offense down the field on a 7 minute, 40 second drive capped off by a LeGarrette Blount rushing touchdown and a 34-0 lead. Blount recorded his 16th rushing touchdown of the year, the 4th most touchdowns by a Patriots in franchise history. Brady’s day was over after his second drive in the second half.

The Jets responded with a 5-play, 38-yard drive that was stopped by a second Malcolm Butler interception. Butler added a fumble recovery to his two interceptions for one of his best games of the season.

QB Jimmy Garoppolo led the Patriots down to the goal line and Blount plunged in for his 17th touchdown of the year, tying Curtis Martin for the 3rd most touchdowns in a single season. Blount trails just 2011 TE Rob Gronkowski (18) and 2007 WR Randy Moss (23) for the most touchdowns in a single season in franchise history. The Patriots led 41-0.

The Jets managed to avoid a shutout with their next drive, converting a pair of fourth down attempts to drive down to the Patriots 11-yard line. In their defense, the Patriots didn’t allow a third down conversion on the drive- the Jets converted just one third down all game. The Jets decided to take the 3 points from the field goal instead of going for a touchdown, with Nick Folk hitting a 29-yard field goal to close the score to 41-3.

QB Tom Brady finished his day 17 of 27 (63.0%) for 214 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions for a 124.6 rating. WR Julian Edelman picked up 5 receptions for 89 yards, extending his 70+ receiving yard streak to 7 games, the third longest in franchise history. Edelman holds the franchise record with 9 straight.

The Patriots didn’t have an extremely productive day from a statistical standpoint, but the defense forced 4 turnovers, giving the offense short field position all day.

DT Alan Branch, ED Chris Long, and ED Jabaal Sheard all recorded sacks; CB Malcolm Butler (2) and CB Eric Rowe picked up interceptions; and CB Logan Ryan, CB Cyrus Jones, and Rowe added additional passes defended.

The story of an otherwise strong day for the Patriots defense is the benching of DT Malcom Brown. Brown did not take the field until the start of the 4th quarter, with the defense leaning on Branch and rookie DT Vincent Valentine. Brown’s status in the doghouse is worth monitoring.

Congratulations are also in order for New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who has recorded his 200th career regular season victory with the Patriots.

The Patriots are now 13-2 and turn their focus to the 4:05 PM EST game between the Colts and Raiders. An Indianapolis victory would secure homefield advantage for the Patriots in the AFC playoffs, allowing New England to rest their starters in the season finale against the Miami Dolphins.