By: Steve Balestrieri
This one was uglier than any Patriots game since perhaps a 21-0 whitewashing by the Miami Dolphins in 2006. But in the end, the Patriots gutted out another win, this one 13-10 over the New York Jets.
With the win, the Patriots not only go to 2-0 but are more importantly are now 2-0 in the division. This one, as ugly as it was a huge win for the team. The Jets were hoping to catch the Patriots at a bad time and weren’t able to capitalize.
Here are some quick observations:
Offense has “Miles to go, before they sleep”: The Patriots young wide receivers had another rough outing with drops and wrong routes and tons of frustration with Tom Brady. It didn’t start that way, on their first drive; Tom Brady hit Aaron Dobson on a 39 yard touchdown where no one covered him down the right sideline.
With no Danny Amendola, Rob Gronkowski and Shane Vereen, the only reliable option was Julian Edelman who caught 13 passes and did a fantastic job on punt returns. The Jets defense didn’t respect the passing game and the linebackers were shooting the gaps and limiting the running game as well.
Tom Brady Boils Over: Brady’s frustration level was building all game but it seemed to reach a peak in the third quarter. Numerous opportunities were lost especially on a play where Dobson made the wrong cut in the end zone, he should have sat on the route but instead broke it to the outside and the ball hit him in the foot.
Brady exploded both on the field and on the sidelines; he mentioned after the game that he needs to do a better job of controlling his body language.
Defense Steps Up At Crunch Time: While the Jets are hardly an offensive juggernaut, with the game in the balance, clinging to a 3-point lead and the offense unable to mount any credible attack the Patriots defense came up with three turnovers, all interceptions to seal the game away.
Aqib Talib had two interceptions, including the one that iced it with less than a minute remaining and Alfonzo Dennard added another and Devin McCourty picked up a fumble that was forced by Talib and the Patriots defense had a second big game to start the season. Steve Gregory had a very solid game in the secondary as well as Kyle Arrington for the Pats beleaguered back end.
Pass Rush Dials it Up: After sitting back in the first quarter, in the second quarter the defense started to dial up the pressure and got to Smith a few times and forced five straight punts while only giving up 27 yards in a key point of the second quarter.
Chandler Jones had two sacks, Tommy Kelly added another and the team got more stellar play from DE Rob Ninkovich.
Player of the Game: Julian Edelman, 13 catches for 78 yards and a great job on punt returns. Without him, the team might have been whitewashed.
Honorable Mention: Aqib Talib, two interceptions, a forced fumble and very good coverage all night.