An announcement was made by the Patriots late in the first quarter that Connolly was suffering from an illness, and said his return would be questionable. He was replaced by Nick McDonald.
“Dan Connolly got sick this morning,” coach Bill Belichick said. “We were kind of hoping to have him back for the game. [It] didn’t clear up.”
Not so fast
The Jets, well aware of the Patriots’ preference to play fast when they have the ball, figured that a way to possibly slow them down was to reportedly remind the referees of the rules regarding no-huddle offenses.
If the team with the ball makes a substitution after a play is over, the defense is permitted and given time to also make a sub, something the Jets wanted to be able to do.
ESPN reported Sunday morning that the Jets had contacted the NFL regarding the Patriots’ frenetic offensive pace.
Last week, Jets coach Rex Ryan said, “Sometimes when they substitute, you’re supposed to be allowed to substitute with them. We’ll see about that, but they move at such a quick pace that you have to be alert, and if you have to sub, you have to make your substitution extremely quick.”
Lex Hilliard had a monster game against his former team.
Released by the Patriots Sept. 19 (he had one carry for 2 yards against the Cardinals), Hilliard signed with the Jets Oct. 2, and hadn’t done much during his time in Gotham.
Until Sunday. Hilliard had three rushes for 14 yards, caught a pass for 8 yards, and forced McCourty’s fumble.
Eager to please
Tim Tebow, whom Ryan had said might be employed at running back, had four carries for 12 yards in spot duty at quarterback. He did not attempt at pass. Said Tebow, “I just listen to what I am told and just try to do the best I can with the opportunities.” . . . It required overtime, but the Patriots finished with 381 offensive yards, the 16th consecutive game they’ve had at least 350. That equals the NFL record also held by the St. Louis Rams, who did it in 1999-2000. The Patriots had 333 at the end of four quarters . . . Rookie cornerback Alfonzo Dennard had his first NFL interception, picking off a Mark Sanchez pass at the Patriots’ 2-yard line . . . Donald Trump was on the sidelines during thewarm-ups chatting with Robert and Jonathan Kraft.