Thoughts and Analysis: Patriots Blow Out Jets, Take Control of AFC East

Derek Havens
November 14, 2011 at 09:00am ET

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The New England Patriots traveled to MetLife Stadium and defeated the New York Jets 37 - 16 on Sunday night. The Patriots delivered one of their best overall performances of the season and are now in the AFC East drivers seat. Here are some thoughts on the team's victory. -

- The Patriots move to 6 - 3 on the season and take control of the AFC East. With a one game lead and ownership of the tie breaker with the Jets, they are in good position to win this division outright.

Andre Carter had 4.5 sacks in Sunday's blow out victory. (FILE:Icon/SMI)

- After tonight's victory, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady now have 117 wins together. The most for any head coach and quarterback pair in NFL history.

- WBZ is reporting that cornerback Devin McCourty has a separated right shoulder. Hopefully the second year defensive captain can return to full health as soon as possible.

- One amazing observation during the game - When Devin McCourty left the game with a shoulder injury, every player in the Patriots secondary was an undrafted free agent. An observation that makes the unit's performance even more impressive.

- Is there a defense in the league capable of stopping Rob Gronkowski? The second year tight end is an absolute monster and he had a great game on Sunday night. He finished the night with eight receptions, 113 yards and two touchdowns.

- Andre Carter was a pass rushing terror throughout the contest. Coming into the game, Carter had 4.5 sacks on the season and he finished Sunday's game with the same total; he now has nine for the season.

- Along with Andre Carter, Mark Anderson had a fantastic game in the Meadowlands. Yes, he was only accredited with .5 sacks and two tackles (one solo), but he generated a ton of pressure. I have been in favor of him seeing more playing time, and after this, he should definitely get that opportunity.

- The Patriots statistically have the easiest schedule in the NFL the rest of the season. An underlying note in Sunday's game was the Jets and Patriots share six of their last seven opponents to finish the season. It will certainly be tough for New York to get back in control under these circumstances.

- Rob Ninkovich provided the knockout blow on Sunday night, picking off Mark Sanchez on the Jets ensuing drive and returning it 10-yards for a touchdown to put New England up 37-16 with 7:45 left in the contest.  On the play Ninkovich stepped in front of LaDainian Tomlinson and read it perfectly, making the grab and taking it in for the score.  The 37 point total is also the highest amount of points ever allowed by the Jets at home since Rex Ryan took over.

- Chad Ochocinco continued to make strides, but is still making some mistakes. I have a gut feeling the wide receiver will give New England solid production later in the season, but he's not quite there yet.

Sterling Moore had never played safety until joining the Patriots this season. Tonight was his first NFL start at any position. He made some mistakes, but it seemed Belichick and the coaching staff refused to let Serjio Brown see the field.

I will be posting my "Report Card" and "Tale of the Tape" observations over the next few days. For now, the Patriots will return home to host the Kansas City Chiefs next week.

Do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me:@PatriotsHaven!