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Patriots vs. Jets: Fan Notes from the Game

Notes, musings, and observations from the New England Patriots' 41-3 victory over the New York Jets.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Holidays. everyone!

I'm not sure how much it says about my own personal views regarding peace on earth and goodwill toward men, but nothing jingles my bells quite like an absolute blowout of the New York Jets to further increase New England's stranglehold on the #1 seed while adding yet another nudge to continue sending that team on their downward spiral. I may be permanently on the Naughty List, but whatever I may or may not have done to deserve my annual lump of coal pales in comparison to whatever it is that Woody Johnson did. Regardless, the Patriots got the win and have now secured their sixth 13 win season under Bill Belichick

  • I love going to Pats games. I try to go to at least one every single year. But I had absolutely no desire to sit outside in the cold and rain on Christmas Eve and I don't care who knows it. I watched this game in a big baggy sweatshirt in a toasty warm house and it was great.
  • Even better, it was a 1 PM game where the Patriots kicked off. It has been too long since I got to watch one of those and it kicked off my Christmas in style.
  • If it was up to me, every Patriots game would be a blowout like this and never in doubt. Everyone I say this to assures me that it would get boring watching New England dominate week in and week out as I set there, comfortable and relaxed, drink in hand, enjoying my favorite team engineering yet another victory by a wide margin...but somehow I'm not so sure.
  • I initially thought that the Patriots decided to go very big early in order to force the Jets, led at the time by Bryce Petty, to throw the ball. I saw that Vincent Valentine got the start alongside Alan Branch, so assumed that Belichick was trying to shut down the running game and put the offense on Petty's arm. And while that may have been part of it, the main reason as to why Valentine got the start is because Malcom Brown missed a meeting and thus didn't see a single snap until the 4th quarter.
  • I, like most people, had to endure gym class as a kid. I had to play dodgeball and pass physical fitness tests and run in circles around the gym floor until I felt like I was going to hurl. So I consider myself something of an expert in performing physical activity when I really, really don't want to be there. And what I saw from the New York Jets on Saturday was the epitome of a bunch of Alec Shanes doing laps on the middle school gym floor. If teams were allowed to forfeit, the Jets would have waved the white flag right after Petty's first pick of the day. It's almost enough to make you feel bad for them.
  • Almost.
  • Under a different system, Bilal Powell would have been one of the premier backs in the NFL. Why the Jets never bothered to give him a workload is beyond me. He's kind of like cheese pizza: always delicious, always delivered, but always takes a backseat to something more flashy.
  • Kevin McCallister knows what I'm talking about.
  • The Jets can take one highlight away from this game, and that's Sheldon Richardson straight up Nikolai Volkoff clotheslining LeGarrette Blount early in the first quarter.  Blount weighs 250 pounds, and Richardson stopped him with one hand. That's pretty remarkable.
  • This game was more or less over after the Patriots went up 10-0. New York couldn't get anything going through the air, Petty was inaccurate, and the Jets turned the ball over multiple times early. Even the refs wanted to just get this one over with.
  • This wouldn't truly be an Alec Shane article without at least one nugget of pessimism thrown in there. So here goes: I'm not incredibly confident about the Patriots in goal to go situations from inside the 10 or so. That's the area where this team will most miss Gronk. And I don't know what the answer is, but I do feel pretty confident in saying that corner fade routes to Julian Edelman isn't it.
  • This game also should probably have been 40-0 by halftime, given the number of turnovers the Jets generated and the average starting field position for the Patriots. I'd like to think this team will better be able to take advantage of those opportunities when those possessions matter more.
  • I have never in my life received a Christmas present that was wrapped so as to leave zero guesswork as to what it was. No bike, no golf clubs, no present with its tail wagging conspicuously. I've also never met anyone who has received such a gift. So who is it that's doing it so much that it's commercial worthy?
  • Under  different circumstances, seeing Petty come out and Ryan Fitzpatrick come in would make me a little nervous; we all know about the Fitzpatrick Cycle. However, a broken, defeated man took the field on Saturday. You won't hear anything about "body language" this week since it isn't Tom Brady and nobody cares, but Fitz knows that his time in New York has come to a close - and to be honest, I don't think he'll be losing too much sleep over it.
  • Cue all the talking heads waxing poetic about what a great move the Eric Rowe trade was now after questioning what Belichick saw in him when the Patriots first made the move. Not sure if he's only just now getting healthy or what, but his INT where he blanketed Marshall, turned his head, high pointed the ball, and came down with it in bounds is probably what Belichick had in mind all those months ago.
  • Usually there is only one month a year where a Patriots player makes a reception and I have no clue who just caught the ball, and that month is August. However, here we are in December, a Patriot caught a touchdown, and I had no clue who it was. Good for...Matt Lengel?
  • Not only was that Lengel's first TD reception, it was also his first career catch.
  • And finally...Matt Lengel was once a Bengal. Heh.
  • I can't help but wonder if those Patriots cheerleader outfits are North Pole approved.
  • The Patriots were very content to just run the clock out before half until the Jets called timeout. Belichick, in classic "OK, you asked for it, jerks" fashion, switched to kill mode and got the FU touchdown, aided by a highly dubious DPI call.
  • Tom Brady was out for two series in the 2nd half. His last drive of the day went 13 plays for 63 yards and ended with Blount's 2nd TD of the day, and that was it for Tommy B. Garoppolo threw all of two passes in relief, which means that the Patriots basically spent the entire 2nd half running the ball, and still managed to get another TD out of it. Todd Bowles should have stayed in the hospital.
  • Can't say I'm happy about Dion Lewis getting so many carries so late in the game when it's all well out of hand.
  • I was in such a good mood watching yesterday's game that I never even once found myself bothered by Dan Fouts's idiotic nincompoopery, which might be the biggest Christmas miracle I have ever experienced.
  • I think my New Year's resolution is going to be to hang out with the old guy from the iPhone 7 commercial who bellyflops into the pool from 50 feet up. That guy is the man.

When a game is more or less over after the first offensive series, and it's also Christmas Eve, you find yourself occupied with other things that are going on around you. It isn't often I get to watch Pats games with my father, so I know I appreciated the opportunity to not consume myself with holiday spirits alone for a change. I hope all of you got the chance to enjoy this victory with loved ones this holiday as well.