By: Ian Logue
THE BEST PERFORMERS FROM MONDAY NIGHT:
Sammy Morris – Morris was a bulldozer on the opening kickoff return, and played well on special teams. He also made a reception out of the backfield on New England’s first drive of the second quarter, which ended in a touchdown.
Logan Mankins – Mankins did a great job run blocking for both Green-Ellis and Woodhead on their opening drive, and also gave them a much more physical presence than they had in their last meeting. He’s definitely a ‘difference maker’ up front.
Deion Branch – Made a great catch and run on their third drive, followed by a 25-yard touchdown reception. He finished the night with 3-catches for 64 yards along with his TD.
Gary Guyton – Played well Monday night providing good coverage on LaDainian Tomlinson, and nearly helped Mayo make an interception early in this one.
Vince Wilfork – Created a lot of havoc up front and also had success getting in the backfield and being disruptive. He definitely made his presence known.
Rob Gronkowski – Beat Eric Smith on a deep play early on, and Smith interfered to help set up 1st & Goal. That play helped set up New England’s first touchdown.
Danny Woodhead – made a big tackle on special teams and also had a carry for 7-yards to help set up the Patriots first field goal. Later made a 35-yard reception to help take the Patriots down into Jets territory and set up a touchdown pass to Brandon Tate. Woodhead also added a 50-yard reception on a “shuffle pass” later in this one that set up a touchdown pass to Aaron Hernandez.
Jerod Mayo – Once again led the team in tackles with 12, and had great intensity all night.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis – Rushed for two touchdowns and had a good night carrying the ball, rushing 18 times for 72 yards (4.0avg).
Kyle Arrington – Made a big 3rd down hit to help break up a potential completion to Braylon Edwards, and forced a field goal attempt. The Jets trailed 17-3 at the time.
Wes Welker – Finished with 7 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown despite being matched up on Darrelle Revis for much of the night.
Brandon Tate – Made a tough TD reception to help put New England up 24-3.
Jermaine Cunningham – Played well defensively Monday night, finishing with five tackles but seemed to be in the right place for most of the evening.
Brandon Spikes – Made a red zone pick on Sanchez and killed a potential touchdown for the Jets. Jets had driven 59-yards on 9-plays and were knocking on the door of New England. Had they scored it would have cut the lead to 14 – but Spikes ended that possibility.
Wes Welker – had an 18-yard touchdown reception from Brady to put New England up 31-3. That 18-yd TD pass to Welker was Brady’s 251st career TD pass, tying Drew Bledsoe for 13th place all-time.
Devin McCourty – made an interception on the Jets ensuing drive after they went up 31-3, with great coverage on Braylon Edwards (#17)
Aaron Hernandez: Finished with 3 catches for 51-yards including a touchdown to start the fourth quarter, which was Tom Brady’s 252nd career TD pass, passing Drew Bledsoe (251) to move into 13th all-time in NFL history. Patriots lead at that point 38-3.
James Sanders: Made an easy interception to give the Patriots the ball right back on the ensuing possession after they went up 38-3.
Kyle Arrington – Broke up a 3rd down potential touchdown reception after the Patriots went up 45-3, forcing a 4th and 5 attempt.
WORST PERFORMERS FROM MONDAY NIGHT:
Darius Butler – Got beat for a reception early in the game and then later missed a tackle on Tomlinson on the same drive. But to be honest, it’s hard to really put him in the “worst category” because he settled in and played well. Unfortunately these were the only two plays that stood out, but there wasn’t much else to complain about. He shook off the rust as the game went on and even nearly made an interception.
Dane Fletcher – He failed to fall on the ball after Tomlinson fumbled early in the third when New England lead 24-3. That play happened at the Jets 32 yard line. Had the Jets gone down and scored, it would have cut the lead to just 14 and potentially given them some momentum. Fortunately Spikes would later pick him off later in the drive, but the fact he wasn’t able to fall on it and let it get away stood out.
NOTES: The Jets put Antonio Cromartie on Deion Branch and Darrelle Revis on Wes Welker Monday night…A muffed play on the last first down killed their opening drive. On that play Tom Brady went one way, BenJarvus Green-Ellis went another. That was one of the few real miscues of the night….Darius Butler got the start as the third defensive back Monday night…The Patriots opened in nickel without Patrick Chung …On the Jets opening drive, it was 10th time allowed a 4th down conversion this year, 2nd most in NFL…Cheerleaders waiving “LOUD” cards trying to incite the fans, and it appeared to work. That was probably the nosiest we’ve heard the crowd in a long time…..Green-Ellis’ 10th rushing TD is the most by a Patriot since Corey Dillon rushed for 13 TDs in 2006…Danny Woodhead‘s 35-yard reception was the longest catch by a Patriots RB since Kevin Faulk had a 38-yard TD catch vs. Tennessee on 10/18/09. It was also a career-high… Woodhead is also now the first Patriots RB to record over 100-yards receiving since Faulk did so in 2003….The Jets had been giving up 17-points per game coming into last night’s game, yet they were already over that mark through two quarters….Brandon Spikes’ interception was the first of his NFL career. In college at Florida, he had six INT’s, with a school-record 4 returned for TDs…. Aaron Hernandez‘s 35-yard catch was his 37th catch of the year. He ties Greg Baty (1986) for most catches by a rookie TE in Patriots history…. With tonight’s performance, Brady has passed for at least 4 TDs in back-to-back games for the 2nd time in his career….Brady also won his 26th consecutive home game, passing Brett Favre all-time.