EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The sky was falling in Patriot-land after back-to-back losses, but all is right in that corner of the world following the Patriots 37-16 victory over the Jets at MetLife Stadium
Let’s take a quick look back:
WHY DID THE PATRIOTS WIN?
The dominated in all three phases (OK, maybe special teams wasn’t overwhelming but did have a fumble recovery) for the first time this season. In fact, we think it was the Patriots’ most complete victory since beating the Steelers last season. Tom Brady finally solved Rex Ryan thanks to the hurry-up offense and Rob Gronkowski, and the defense was robust (five sacks – a franchise record 4.5 from Andre Carter – and two interceptions). It was the kind of victory that when you get home, you smoke a Cuban, put your feet up and savor it. And considering many were wondering – myself included – if this team had this kind of statement left in them, makes it all the sweeter.
- CB Devin McCourty (right shoulder) did not return. Did not break anything, according to sources, but we’ll have to see how long he’s out.
- RG Brian Water (left knee) returned.
- S James Ihedigbo (stinger) returned to the game
- RT Sebastian Vollmer (back) returned to the game.
- Tom Brady got his groove back: Brady was struggling again as he started 7 of 16 with some more uncharacteristic inaccuracy. Then he hit 19 of his next 23. Not bad. The hurry-up seemed to help, so was throwing to Rob Gronkowski.
- Pass rush: For the second-straight game, the Patriots really got after the quarterback. Let’s see if they can keep building on this. A secondary is only as good as the pass rush.
- Gut check: For years you could take it to the bank that if the Patriots were backed into a corner, they would respond. There was more than a little doubt they could do it with this group. We think we have an answer.
THREE THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT
- Secondary depth: Losing McCourty for any length of time isn’t good. Ihedigbo has at least been solid in the back end. How far as Sergio Brown fallen? When Ihedigbo was injured, Ross Ventrone went in. Yikes.
- Seriously, enjoy the victory for one night.
- DE Andre Carter: He set a franchise record with 4.5 sacks in this game – the same number he had coming in. And Jets LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson is no slouch.
- TE Rob Gronkowski: Caught eight of his 11 targeted passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Everybody else had trouble getting loose, but Gronk was beastly once again.
- QB Tom Brady: Me think Rex Ryan has run out of tricks against Brady after seven matchups. The loss of Jim Leonhard two days before the 45-3 game was a legitimate excuse for the Jets defense. There’s no defense for their play after Brady went 26 of 39 for 329 yards and three touchdowns. He just beat them.
Kansas City Chiefs (4-5), 8:30 p.m. Monday at Gillette Stadium.
Result: Lost 17-10 to the Tim Tebow and the Broncos.