Final grades and analysis are below.
New England - 27
NY Jets - 30
|Position Unit||1st Half Grade||Final Grade|
Game analysis for the New England Patriots
Pass Offense: The third quarter was New England’s worst of the season, and Brady’s pick-six started the snowball. The offense’s inability to pick up anything for much of the quarter was a huge factor in letting the Jets back into the game. Credit the offense for a clutch fourth-quarter game-tying field goal, but the Patriots were smothered for most of the second half.
Run Offense: Trailing for much of the second half, the Pats went away from the run game and compiled just 39 yards rushing after the intermission. Overall, however, Stevan Ridley ended up having a solid game, averaging 4.5 yards per carry, while Brandon Bolden is starting to look more comfortable as the team’s passing back.
Run Defense: The overall numbers aren’t terrible, but the Jets got critical first downs when they needed them. The lack of depth finally reared its head, as the Patriots clearly wore down by the end of the game trying to contain the Jets' bruising backs. This will be a battered unit going into next week’s game against the Dolphins.
Pass Defense: Per usual, the Patriots were able to adjust after a rough beginning. Big downfield plays were largely eliminated, with a couple of big pass deflections on the Jets’ final drive of regulation to give Brady an opportunity to tie the game. The Jets aren’t the most explosive passing team, but without Aqib Talib, this unit held up fairly well.
Special Teams: Poor Chris Jones will bear the goat horns this week. The undrafted rookie has done admirable work filling in at defensive tackle, but his fatal unsportsmanlike conduct penalty effectively cost the Patriots the game. Jones’ gaffe overshadows Gostkowski’s 44-yarder that sent the game to overtime after a nice offensive drive.
Coaching: The Patriots made good defensive in-game adjustments, helping to limit Smith after an explosive start. One might irrationally criticize Josh McDaniels for the team’s third-quarter offensive breakdowns, but it simply boiled down to this: The Jets dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, exposing the Pats' lack of healthy bodies.
First-half analysis for the New England Patriots
Pass Offense: If there were any doubts about Rob Gronkowski’s value, he essentially erased them in one half. Tom Brady looked more comfortable than he has all year, running a fluid no-huddle three-receiver set. The 30th ranked red-zone offense is 2-for-2 in the red area today—that’s not a coincidence. An underrated performance: The offensive line has provided exemplary pass protection.
Run Offense: With the Pats going with a pass-heavy game plan, Brandon Bolden has received the lion’s share of the snaps. Stevan Ridley did get more runs in the second quarter and rewarded the Pats with an impressive 17-yard touchdown run. Patriots have to be satisfied with the quality all-around production so far.
Run Defense: One might have expected the Jets to tear up the soft middle of the Pats defense, but that has not been the case thus far. The Pats have gone heavy, playing both Brandon Spikes and Dont’a Hightower for the majority of the snaps. So even though the Jets are getting push at the line, the Pats' thumping linebackers have shored things up at the second level.
Pass Defense: Early atrocious third-down defense kept the Jets in game, with Kyle Arrington having an especially rough day covering Jeremy Kerley. Since a 6-for-6 start, however, the secondary has tightened up, as the Jets finished the half 0-for-4 on third down. Props as well to Logan Ryan for his first career interception, a critical pick-six.
Special Teams: Julian Edelman again showed why he’s one of the league’s best punt returners with a gorgeous 38-yard return, a beautiful juking cross-field run. Matthew Slater also made an impact in his return, tackling Josh Cribbs at the 15-yard line.
Coaching: The Pats defense looked better when Belichick inserted veterans Dane Fletcher and Marquice Cole in the sub package. Those two are unspectacular but reliable players, so look for them to continue getting the reps going forward.