Friday, November 23, 2012
Did That Game Really Just Happen Or Was I In A Food Coma?
New England (8-3, 4-2) won its fifth consecutive game thanks to an explosion in the second quarter that included three touchdowns (3!) in 52 seconds. Believe it or not, it was scoreless after one quarter before New York (4-7, 2-4 home) decided to self-destruct to an unbelievable level.
Lighting up the scoreboard in the past four games has been a common occurrence for the Pats. They've put up 190 combined points which is the most in a four-game span since the Rams in 1950 (208 points). Tom Brady (18 of 28, 323 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs) was nearly perfect again; he's had 14 TDs and 0 INTs in their last five games. New England's 108 points in the last two blowout victories is the third highest total in NFL history.
For the second week in a row, the Patriots scored touchdowns in all three phases: offense, defense and special teams. Wes Welker's (7 catches, 71 yards) 3-yard TD catch got the feast started in the second quarter. That was followed by Shane Vereen taking a swing pass 83 yards for a score, Steve Gregory (2 fumble recoveries, INT) scooped up a fumble 32 yards and took it to the house while Julian Edelman returned a fumble on a kick return 22 yards for the third touchdown in under a minute.
Speaking of Edelman, for good measure he added a 56-yard touchdown grab which put New England up 35-0 in the second quarter. Their 35-point quarter tied a franchise record. It also gave him four touchdowns in the last two games. The only downside is that he got crushed in the third quarter by LaRon Landry and it looked like he sustained a concussion.
New York couldn't get out of its own way and seeing Mark Sanchez (26 of 36, 301 yards, TD, INT) comically run into the back of his own lineman (in the most Jets play of all-time) and fumble then having Joe McKnight cough it up on the next play was something out of Football Follies. All that was missing was some Benny Hill music.
Credit to Rex Ryan and his team though as they scored 12 straight points to make it interesting. Haha yeah right. Nick Folk's 32-yard field goal with two seconds left in the first half broke the shutout. A chop block in the end zone led to a safety for the Jets and Bilal Powell had a 4-yard TD run in the third quarter.
New England went back to trolling New York as Brady had a 1-yard quarterback sneak and Stevan Ridley (21 carries, 97 yards) was rewarded for a solid night with a 9-yard touchdown run.
For some reason, the Jets dressed Tim Tebow even though after the game he admitted that he has two broken ribs. That meant all the Tebow talk during the broadcast and chants by their miserable fans were pointless, he wasn't coming in no matter what. Third-string quarterback Greg McElroy must feel good about his work situation.
Dustin Keller had a 1-yard touchdown catch with 2:21 left in the fourth quarter for the final margin. New England leads the NFL with 32 takeaways, they improved to 7-1 against the AFC and 4-0 against AFC East foes-they are done with the Bills and Jets. Jerod Mayo had 11 tackles (8 solo), a sack and tackle for loss while Dont'a Hightower had four tackles (3 solo), a sack and tackle for loss.
It was a very physical game and especially considering the short week of preparation, the Patriots were outstanding. Yes, the Jets helped them out with most of their five turnovers but New England also made the plays. Like last season, they are showing the knack for getting turnovers on defense which is a great sign. The No. 3 team in the AFC will get this weekend off and then next week they'll begin work on the Dolphins (4-6, hosting Seattle on Sunday). The Patriots travel to Miami on Sunday, December 2 (1 p.m., CBS) to face a team that started out looking so promising but they have lost their last three.
UPDATE 11/23: Kyle Arrington was fined $23,000 today for his helmet to helmet hit on Colts quarterback Andrew Luck on Sunday. No word yet on any fines from last night's game vs. the Jets. Also, Greg Salas was claimed off waivers by the Eagles.