Style was not the name of the game as the New York Jets fell to their division rivals, the New England Patriots at Foxboro Stadium, 13-10. Jets QB Geno Smith got his second start of the season due to Mark Sanchez’s shoulder injury and seemed very poised in the pocket for the first three quarters. In the 4th quarter, Smith imploded and threw three interceptions. On the other side of the ball, Patriots QB Tom Brady was without two of his main targets on offense, WR Danny Amendola and TE Rob Gronkowski and had to depend mainly on WR Julian Edelman, rookie WR Aaron Dobson and rookie TE Kembrell Thompkins. Brady had one of his less stellar games due to the many dropped passes by both of his rookie targets and his frustration could be seen on the field and on the sideline. Despite the frustration, the game did start brightly for the Patriots.
Patriots began the game by going on a quick 6 play, 81 yard drive to take the early 7-0 lead. Brady completed a 39 yd pass off of play action to Dobson for the touchdown. That was Dobson’s first career reception and touchdown of his career. Unfortunately, that was his only bright spot of the game as he proceeded to drop many passes thrown his way throughout the rest of the game. Later in the quarter, the Patriots took advantage of a Stephen Hill fumble to tack three more points on the board from a Stephen Gostkowski 21 yd FG to take a 10-0 lead.
Jets responded on the next drive with a Nick Folk 37 yd FG to cut the lead to 7, 10-3. On that drive, Smith completed a huge 3rd down pass to Santonio Holmes for 27 yards and 15 yards were tacked on due to a Roughing the Passer penalty on Chandler Jones. Smith had an opportunity to to cut the lead to 3 instead, but missed Stephen Hill wide open, down the middle, in the end zone. Jets go into the 2nd quarter down 10-3.
Both teams, the Jets and the Patriots couldn’t get anything going on offense to start the 2nd quarter. The first four drives all resulted in punts, then on the 5th drive of the game, Patriots DL Michael Buchanan got the first sack of the season for the team by sacking Smith on 3rd down. As a result, the Jets had to punt and on the first play of the drive, Brady throws a 38 yd pass to Thompkins. The Patriots couldn’t do much else on offense and had to settle for a Gostkowski 30 yd FG to go up 13-3.
With under a minute to go in the 2nd quarter, Edelman returns a punt for 17 yards giving the Patriots good field position. On the third play of the drive, Brady throws a 25 yd pass to a diving Thompkins in the end zone for a touchdown. However, after review, the ruling was overturned to an incomplete pass. Replays showed that Thompkins never had his hands under the ball and as he went to the ground, the ground aided him in completing the catch. Patriots ended up getting nothing from the drive as Gostkowski misses a 43 yd FG wide left to end the quarter. Patriots go into the half with the lead, 13-3.
Jets couldn’t get anything going on offense and were held scoreless in the 2nd quarter. The Jets finished the quarter running 21 plays for only 27 yards. Smith was also sacked three times as the Patriots increased their pressure on defense.
As the rain began to fall heavy in the 3rd quarter, the Jets found their niche on offense to get back in the game. On the Jets second drive of the quarter, Smith leads the team on a 9 play, 58 yard drive which was capped off by a Bilal Powell 3 yd TD run. On the drive, Smith had a huge scramble for 16 yds, while completing passes to Holmes for 14 yds, Powell for 11 yds, and Kellen Winslow for 9 yds. Throughout the drive, the Jets had a good mix of run and pass plays and kept the Patriots defense off-balanced. Jets cut the lead to 3, 13-10.
Brady and the Patriots couldn’t get anything going on offense in the second half as receivers continued to drop passes and the Jets defense being tough against the run.
Jets had three opportunities in the 4th quarter to either tie the game or take the lead but Smith began to show that he is a rookie by throwing three interceptions, one to Alfonzo Dennard and two to Aqib Talib.
The game did end on a nasty note as Talib was tackled low by Nick Mangold while he was out of bounds. The tackle seemed to buckle Talib’s knee, but he was fine and continued to the bench. Players on the Patriots sideline took offense to the tackle and defended their teammate, then a huge scuffle took place. Jets OL Willie Colon and D’Brickashaw Ferguson were both ejected from the game for pushing the official and throwing a punch, respectively. A personal foul was also charged to Mangold for his late hit out of bounds on Talib.
Key Stats: G. Smith ended the game going 15 for 35, 214 yds., with 3 INT. Chris Ivory had a decent game on the ground with 12 rushes for 52 yds. and B. Powell also contributed with 13 rushes for 48 yds., 1 TD. Stephen Hill led all Jets receivers with 4 rec. for 86 yds. Jets offense ended the day with four turnovers. On defense, Antonio Allen led the way with 8 tackles and Leger Douzable had the only sack of the game for the Jets.
T. Brady had an off game going 19 for 39, 185 yds., 1 TD. Stevan Ridley led the way for the Patriots on the ground with 16 rushes for 40 yds. J. Edelman was Brady’s main target with 13 rec. for 78 yds. and A. Dobson contributed with 3 rec. for 56 yds., 1 TD. On defense, Steve Gregory and Dont’a Hightower led the way with 8 tackles, C. Jones had 5 tackles, 2 sacks, and A. Talib had 2 tackles, 2 INTs.
T. Brady also passed Drew Bledsoe for 7th on the NFL All-Time Completions list. Catch game highlights here.