After escaping with a victory on Sunday against the Bucs, your New York Jets had a short week and faced Tom Brady and Bill Belichick on Thursday Night. The results? A very ugly game that resulted in a 13-10 victory by the New England Patriots. Both teams looked brutal on offense, as Brady completed just 19 for 39 passes and Jets rookie QB Geno Smith threw three interceptions in the 4th quarter.
Honestly, it was a very winnable game for the Jets, as they played the Pats at the best time possible given the load of injuries sustained to Brady’s primary targets in TE Rob Gronkowski, newly acquired WR Danny Amendola and RB Shane Vereen. The defense held the Patriots’ offense to just 232 total yards and nine first downs and shut them out in the 2nd half. Four turnovers and some questionable calls did the Jets
Offense: The Jets offense struggled for the 2nd straight week, managing only 15 first downs. Geno Smith was just 15 of 35 but had at least five passes dropped by his receivers, especially potential touchdowns by Clyde Gates. On the first possession Smith completed a pass to Stephen Hill who fumbled on the play, setting up a Pats field goal and an early 10-0 deficit. Gates and Hill missed or dropped a combined 10 passes. Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley need to be healthy. They managed just two or three good drives all night but only got 10 points out of it. Chris Ivory ran the ball very well but for some reason didn’t get many touches in the 2nd half.
I’m not gonna totally blame Geno for this, as he should have had at least two touchdown passes. He simply made some typical rookie mistakes in the 4th quarter that helped decide the game. Short week in his second career start against Bill Belichick, so he gets a pass for now. Still, F- for the whole unit. Awful
Defense: The Jets defense played as good of a game as you can play against Tom Brady. They forced 11 punts out of 16 Pats possessions and allowed the offense to control the ball a full 8 minutes longer than Brady. The Pats’ unit only got nine first downs and converted only four of 18 third downs totaling just 232 total yards. Granted, with several injuries to their unit, Brady had arguably the worst receiver core in his career on Thursday, and that’s no hyperbole. Julian Edelman was their leading receiver. Aaron Dobson was missed or dropped seven passes despite catching the first score of the game early.
Still, they had constant pressure on the legendary QB and kept the running game in check (just 54 yards on 24 carries) thanks to their improved defensive line led by rookie DL Sheldon Richardson and DE Muhammad Wilkerson. The Pats scored only three points after the first quarter and were shut out in the second half, which gave the Jets offense plenty of chances they would squander. Maybe it’s a lot worse if they had Gronkowski or Hernandez, but it’s Tom freaking Brady. Grade: A-
Going Forward: : The Jets have a much longer period to prepare for their next game, a 4:25 home game against Buffalo on Sunday. The Bills also gave the Pats a fight, as their rookie QB EJ Manuel outplayed Brady. The key is for Gang Green’s rookie to cut down on the mistakes (already five turnovers on the season), pound the ball with more efficiency, (129 rushing yards last night) and use pressure to make their young QB make mistakes.