The death knell rang 5:45 into the third quarter.
Mark Sanchez had accepted the snap and dropped back. He scanned the field before settling on an open receiver. The quarterback planted and fired a perfect spiral…
…into the waiting hands of Brandon Spikes.
For a game that Rex Ryan, ESPN and journalists titled the 2010 NFL’s premier regular season matchup, there is not one aspect of Monday night’s 45-3 loss in New England that the Jets can point to as a positive. Simply, they were humiliated in front of a national television audience by a hated rival in every facet of the game.
The Patriots (10-2) are tied with Atlanta for the NFL’s best record. The 9-3 Jets are tied with Pittsburgh and Chicago for the second best mark in the NFL. The Jets, who host Miami Sunday afternoon, will play the Steelers in Pittsburgh in two weeks.
New England scored on seven of 10 possessions, totaled 405 yards, recorded 22 first downs, controlled the ball for 31:01 and forced three turnovers. Contrast that to the Jets, who could not sustain drives, could not force turnovers and were unable to get the Patriots offense off the field. Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?
Tom Brady picked apart the Jets defense with surgical precision, as he completed 21-of-29 passes for 326 yards and four touchdowns. The MVP candidate completed passes to eight different receivers, led by ex-Jet Danny Woodhead’s four receptions for 104 yards. Wes Welker (seven catches, 80 yards), Deion Branch (three catches, 64 yards), Aaron Hernandez (three catches, 51 yards) and Brandon Tate (one catch for four yards) all had touchdown grabs.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed for 72 yards and two touchdowns. Shayne Graham drilled a 41-yard field goal in addition to the six made extra points. New England scored on its first four possessions, and was up 24-3 halftime. The Patriots scored touchdowns on their first three second-half drives.
Not one Jet comported themselves with any degree of competence Monday night, underscored by Sanchez’s three interception performance. He was also sacked once for a 15-yard loss while only completing 17 passes for 164 yards. Sanchez’s three interceptions came on the Jets’ first three drives of the second half.
Sanchez, Shonn Greene, LaDainian Tomlinson, Joe McKnight and Brad Smith totaled 152 yards on 31 carries. Santonio Holmes led the Jets with seven catches for 72 yards.
Nick Folk was one-for-two on field goal attempts. His first attempt, on the Jets first drive of the game, was a missed 53-yarder. He made a 39-yarder in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 17-3.
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