By David Austin Bumpus 10/27/15
The Patriots continued their string of strong second half performances with a win over the Jets to move to 6-0 on the year.
New England’s #1 ranked offense was held to just 13 points in the first half, and even went down four points in the fourth quarter to New York.
The game went differently than anyone would have expected, with the Jets’ high-ranked defense and #1 rushing offense going up against a balanced offensive attack from the Patriots and their inconsistent defense.
Both teams did the opposite of their usual game plans, as the Jets focused more on the aerial attack, and the Patriots completely ditched their running game and let quarterback Tom Brady do the damage for the entire game.
Brady threw 54 passes in the game, completing 34 of them for 355 yards and two touchdowns. It’s tough to call that a bad day for a quarterback in the NFL, but Brady would’ve had more completions if his wide receivers, specifically Brandon LaFell, hadn’t dropped 11 passes throughout the game.
LaFell played in his first game of the season after being put on the physically unable to perform list after a foot surgery this past offseason. LaFell just started practice last Wednesday, and seemed rusty in his first game since last season’s Super Bowl. The receiver dropped six passes from Brady in the game, and only caught two passes for 25 yards.
The Patriots rushed for a total of just 16 yards, as Brady led the team with 15 yards and one touchdown. The team only ran the ball nine times, the equivalent of running once every seven plays.
The Jets’ also showed a strong passing performance, as quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick went 22-39 for 295 yards and two touchdowns. The top rushing team in the league was held to just 89 yards on the ground, with starting running back Chris Ivory gaining just 41 yards on 17 carries.
The one difference between the two teams was the mistakes made late in the game. The Jets made two mistakes with the clock in the last two minutes of the game, both costing them chances to keep the game alive.
The first came when New York chose not to use a timeout as New England was bleeding the clock down with a minute and a half left in the game, and Brady threw a touchdown to a wide-open Rob Gronkowski to put the Patriots up by 10.
The Jets then brought the lead to just seven points, and had a chance to set up a Hail Mary with less than ten seconds left in the game. However, as they attempted a quick play to make the last throw easier, the Jets suffered a false start penalty that ended the game and a potential Jets comeback.
The Patriots continued their unbeaten regular season, but the team has had games end closer and closer in the past few weeks. With a quick turnaround for their next game, it’ll be interesting to see if the Patriots can regain their dominance from the first two weeks of the season.