Jets vs. Patriots: 4 Things Bill Belichick Isn't Happy With After the Win
But it wouldn’t be surprising at all if the man in the hoodie found something to criticize, even in victory.
Here are four things Belichick isn’t happy with after the Patriots' win.
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
During the Patriots-Jets telecast, CBS commentator Phil Simms claimed that New England’s offensive line was the best in the business. It may be tough to argue that, but if someone wanted to, they could look no further than to how the hog mollies performed against Gang Green.
For as solid as the offensive line was in plowing paths for running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, New England’s line struggled to keep quarterback Tom Brady upright most of the day. Not only did the Jets sack Brady a surprising four times, they knocked him down many more.
At the end of the day, the offensive line got the job done when they needed to, but a coach like Belichick knows they’ll need to do a better job of protecting Brady, especially come playoff time.
Larry French/Getty Images
The Patriots bested the Jets both offensively and defensively, but regarding the kickoff game, New York won that battle hands down. New Patriots return man Stevan Ridley struggled on his kick returns, failing to even advance the ball to the 20-yard line more times than not.
Meanwhile, his Jets counterpart Joe McKnight continued to impress in the return game. A week after busting out for a 100-yard touchdown against the Ravens, McKnight followed that up with a big 88-yard kick return in the second half that directly led to a Jets touchdown.
For most of the season, coordinator Scott O’Brien’s special teams unit has excelled. But knowing how Belichick thinks, he may be worried that the Jets game could be a troubling sign of how the kickoff team will perform down the stretch.
Yes, the Patriots surrendered a season-low 166 passing yards against the Jets, but honestly, the secondary could’ve played better. That’s not nitpicking, that’s the truth.
The secondary only gave up 166 yards through the air, but it’s obvious that wasn’t against a true measuring-stick quarterback, as Jets signal caller Mark Sanchez continues to prove he’s merely pedestrian at this point in his career.
Nevertheless, Sanchez was able to connect on two Jets touchdown passes—a crossing route to rookie Jeremy Kerley and a deep corner route to Santonio Holmes—and looked very comfortable in doing so.
Once again, Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty struggled to play bump-and-run coverage against the physical Holmes and Plaxico Burress. And Leigh Bodden is proving he simply isn’t the same since returning from injury.
That said, nickel back Kyle Arrington was solid in the secondary, and when rookie Ras-I Dowling returns from injury, it will be a real shot in the arm for a unit that needs to play better overall.
Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker continued his torrid start to the season with another 100-yard performance, including a 73-yard bomb to open the second half against the double team of Darrelle Revis and Eric Smith.
Opposite Welker, Deion Branch also played well, hauling in seven catches for 74 yards and a touchdown. But where’s this supposedly great wide receiving depth that everyone was excited about in training camp?
Well, Julian Edelman missed the game with an injury, Taylor Price rode the bench yet again, and Chad Ochocinco had another lackluster, two-catch outing. It would be nice to see some other Patriots receivers step up to alleviate the weekly pressure placed on Welker, Branch, Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski in the passing game.
But until it does, the burden will continue to fall on that quartet.