NEPD Staff Writer: Doug Kyed
A Patriots win. A Jets loss. A beautiful Sunday. Here’s how it happened.
Granted, it was the Jets offense, but I think the Patriots defense proved a lot of doubters wrong today. The Jets were held to 158 yards through the air and 97 on the ground for only 3.9 yards per carry. Here are some positives and negatives I took away from the game:
-BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a great game today in the “clock killin Corey Dillon” role. A lot of credit has to go to the Patriots offensive line as well. They continue to prove how good a run blocking team they are.
-On the flip side, the o-line had perhaps their worst day in pass protection. Brady was sacked four times and was hit five times.
-Aaron Hernandez didn’t have a great first half and definitely showed some improvement in the second half. Just having him on the field made the Patriots a different team. Having another threat like Hernandez really opens up the rest of the WRs like Branch and Ochocinco. Hernandez deserves a lot of credit for playing so many snaps when he pretty clearly wasn’t 100%. If that was any other game, he wouldn’t have been on the field.
-Rob Gronkowski played the fewest snaps of the season in this game.
-17 no huddle snaps for the Patriots. Without Woodhead we saw Green-Ellis and Ochocinco filling in.
-Any fantasy owners that expected Stevan Ridley to have a breakout game, welcome to a Bill Belichick coached run game.
-The six minute and twelve second drive at the end of the game was exactly what the Patriots needed. It would have been nicer to be able to close out the game then and there, but it was absolutely good enough.
-The Patriots did a nice job of containing the Jets run game. Green was held to 83 yards and the longest run of the day for the Jets was only 9 yards.
-New England also did a nice job preventing big plays. The Jets only had two plays over twenty yards. They may have lost the turnover battle, but you can still win the game if you’re not letting up yards in big chunks.
-We actually saw the Patriots defense bailing out the offense for once. When Brady and the offense couldn’t score in the second half, the defense came up with three big three and outs.
-I’m still worried about the Patriots linebackers with Mayo out. Spikes and Guyton have a lot of holes in their game.
-The pass rush looked a lot better today. It didn’t quite show up on the stat sheet with only 2 sacks and five QB hits, but Sanchez was pretty constantly hurried on his throws.
-Mark Anderson pretty quietly now has three and a half sacks on the season. He’s currently our sub and third down rusher, but I’d like to see him start getting more snaps.
-I noticed when Shaun Ellis was out, the Patriots would go to a 3-4 with Cunningham standing up. If anything I’d like to see Ellis as a 3-4 DE and Cunningham as a 4-3 DE, not OLB.
-For all of Derrick Mason’s talk, it was nice to see him get what? Two snaps?
Beating a team like the Jets feels great and the Patriots showed a lot today. As I said earlier, the Jets don’t have a great offense, they don’t even have a good offense, but at least the Patriots proved they can stop a bad offense today.
Belichick is now 3-3 against Rex Ryan and that alone feels pretty good. I’ll have more tomorrow in my six keys to victory column.