By: Russ Goldman
The Patriots dominated the New York Jets in every phase of the game, and beat them 45-3 Monday Night at Gillette Stadium.
This turned out to be a statement game for New England. At halftime they were up 24-3, but it was the second half where they showed their true dominance and rolled to a victory.
So what did we learn from watching the game on Monday Night?
The first thing we learned is when Bill Belichick and his staff have 11 days to prepare for an opponent, the result more often than not will be positive for the Patriots. The team came out firing on all cylinders in all three phases of the game, and it was pretty obvious that the Pats were prepared for the Jets.
The second thing we learned is that this Patriots offense is so difficult to contain because Brady has so many options for him to go to. A defense can’t just key on one player, because Brady will surgically find the open man. This offense isn’t just about Welker and Moss anymore. It is now all about the best quarterback in football orchestrating his offensive unit like a conductor.
The third thing we learned is that you cannot just look at numbers when you are judging the Patriots defense. This unit is fast and continues to make plays in critical situations. I want to say it is not all about the turnovers that this unit is converting. It is also about doing their job and working together as a unit. How often do you see the defense get beat by a big play? They make you earn your points by driving, and maybe you will make a critical mistake like Monday night showed.
The Jets showed they still have a tremendous amount of talent. But, as we know in New England it isn’t just about acquiring talent. Unfortunately for the Jets they did not play well together as a team.
On offense, the Jets were able to run the ball against the Pats. Overall, the Jets ran for 152 yards with a 4.9 yards per carry average, which is excellent. The problem on offense was Mark Sanchez and the passing game. He did not look like a quarterback in command of his offense. He made many poor throws, and had a hard time reading the Patriots defense. Sanchez threw 3 interceptions. and that killed the Jets in this game. He was 17-33 for 164 yards. For the Jets to be a championship team, Sanchez needs to raise his game to an elite level. There is no question Monday night he did not play close to where the Jets need him to be.
For the Patriots, on offense it starts and ends with Brady – who played almost a flawless game. He was 21-of-29 for 326 yards and 4 touchdowns. This was an MVP performance.
On defense this unit did its job well. It caused three turnovers, and was very active the entire game. On third down conversions the Patriots held the Jets to 25%. That is a major improvement from where the defense ranks in the League. Overall, the defense continues to improve and do their job.
The most important thing we learned is that the Patriots are playing their best football of the year when it really matters. They are now a legitimate threat to go deep in the play-offs and possibly go to the Super Bowl.
As I always do, I like to look back at my keys to victory to see what kind of role they played in the game. Below is my analysis of ” My Five Keys To Victory For the Patriots Against The Jets. “
1. The Patriots defense needs to stop the run. In this key the Patriots did not do a great job at stopping the Jets running game. Shonn Greene ran for 64 yards, and Ladainian Tomlinson ran for 47 yards. Obviously it didn’t cost them last night, but against better opponents the Patriots will need to do better at stopping the run if they plan on making a long run in the play-offs.
2. The Patriots need to keep Mark Sanchez in the pocket. I thought the Pats defense did a nice job of containing Sanchez in the pocket. By keeping him inside, it probably helped in Sanchez forcing the ball, and creating turnovers for the Patriots.
3. The Patriots defense cannot give up big plays. Overall, the Pats did not give up a huge play to the Jets. Santonio Holmes caught some passes, but he was not able to break one for a touchdown.
4. The Patriots tight ends need to make an impact in this match-up. I thought all three tight ends made a difference against the Jets. Rob Gronkowski only caught 1 pass but his catch gave the Patriots a key first down. Aaron Hernandez caught 3 passes and 1 for a touchdown. Also, Alge Crumpler was huge in the running game. These tight ends did their job Monday night.
5. The Patriots need to win the turnover battle. I thought the turnover battle would be a huge key in this game and I was right. The Jets had 3 turnovers and the Patriots had none.
So what did we learn from this game? I think we saw a team that is coming of age at the best possible time. You want your team to be playing their best ball after Thanksgiving. The Patriots are doing just that. Hopefully we’ll see it continue next Sunday in Chicago.
What are your reactions to the game? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you thought of New England’s 45-3 victory against the Jets.