Week 2 Game Recap: New England Patriots 24, New York Jets 17
What you need to know
The Patriots controlled this contest for the first two and one half quarters and jumped out to 24-0 lead before the Jets were able to mount a comeback. New York responded with touchdown passes of 71 and 46 yards in the third quarter and added a fourth quarter field goal to bring the game within one score. The New England offense answered and almost ended the game by marching 58 yards on 15 plays before settling for a 29 yard Stephen Gostowski field goal attempt. The kick was blocked and gave the Jets hope, but the Patriots’ defense was able to hold when linebacker, Tedy Bruschi, intercepted a desperate pass attempt by Chad Pennington.
Tom Brady spread his 15 completions around to seven different receivers and played well enough to win, but did not have one of his better games. He completed just over 50 percent of his passes for 220 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Corey Dillon and rookie Laurence Maroney split the running load. Dillon led the team with 80 yards on 20 attempts while Maroney chipped in 65 on 16 carries. Each scored one touchdown.
New England’s defense never allowed the Jets to establish a running game, shutting them out until midway through the third quarter, before allowing two big touchdown pass plays. The first was somewhat of a fluke as Jerricho Cotchery caught a pass and fell down on top of defensive back Eugene Wilson. Cotchery got up and streaked for the end zone. After an official review, Cotchery was credited with a 71 yard touchdown reception. The play gave the Jets life; they would add ten more points on their next two possessions to get within a touchdown before the Patriots’ defense held in the last minute giving New England their seventh straight victory over the Jets.
Until Jerricho Cotchery caught a Chad Pennington pass midway through quarter number three, it looked as if this game was all but over. Cotchery should have had a nice gain, but instead wound up with a 71 yard touchdown. After he landed atop Patriots’ defender Eugene Wilson without touching the ground, Cotchery regained his footing and took off down the sideline for a game changing touchdown.
With new life, the Jets’ offense scored again on its next possession, thanks to a brilliant run after a catch from Laveranues Coles. Pennington hit Coles on a short crossing route and watched his receiver turn it into a 46 yard touchdown. Coles slammed on the brakes to avoid a defender then darted downfield. A couple of nice cutbacks and a broken tackle resulted in highlight reel paydirt.
New York struggled to establish any consistency running the ball, failing to rush for even one first down in the game. Kevan Barlow started the game at running back and led the Jets in rushing with a modest 42 yards on 14 carries. Week one starter, Derrick Blaylock, totaled just seven yards on six runs.
The ineffective rushing attacked put the load on Chad Pennington’s surgically repaired shoulder. Pennington did his best to deliver, eclipsing 300 yards passing for the second game in a row. Pennington never before had passed for 300 yards in consecutive NFL games. He finished 22 of 37 for 306 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
After failing to record one 100 yard receiving game last season, Laveranues Coles now has two this year. Coles had not had consecutive 100 yard receiving games since he opened the 2003 season with three such games as a member of the Redskins. Coles finished with six catches for 100 yards and one touchdown. Jerricho Cotchery achieved his first career 100 yard game with a six catch 121 yard effort. He also had one touchdown.
What you ought to know
|QB Tom Brady, Pass: 15 - 29 - 220 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0|
Brady did not have a stellar game, but he played well enough to win. He completed just over 50 percent of his passes for 220 yards. His 15 completions went to seven different receivers. Brady’s one touchdown pass was a 13 yard strike to rookie Chad Jackson, who had dropped what could have been a 50 yard touchdown earlier in the drive.
Brady threw some perfect touch passes, including a 29 yarder to Jackson down the left sideline early in the game. Another pretty throw to Daniel Graham culminated consecutive 29 yard receptions by tight ends. However, Brady also missed some wide open receivers. He slightly underthrew a potential touchdown pass to Ben Watson in the third quarter. Watson was open, but Kerry Rhodes made a nice play on the ball and was able to reach high to knock the pass down. Brady’s interception resulted when he tried to force a deep ball to double-covered Doug Gabriel.
Brady is now 56-1 as a starting quarterback when taking a lead into the fourth quarter. He has won on six straight trips to The Meadowlands.
Dillon shared carries nearly evenly with Laurence Maroney. He averaged four yards per carry. His long run of 14 yards came on a sweep. However, the majority of Dillon’s carries were punishing runs between the tackles. After both Laurence Maroney and Heath Evans had attempts from inside the New York five yard line, Dillon scored the Patriots’ first touchdown from a yard out on third and goal. When the Patriots needed a long clock killing drive at the end of the game, Dillon was outstanding.
Maroney’s results were remarkably similar to Corey Dillon’s. Both averaged approximately four yards per attempt. Both had long runs of 14 yards and scored one touchdown. The difference was in the style of runs. While Dillon ran mostly between the tackles, Mauroney used his speed and shiftiness to get outside. On New England’s first touchdown drive, Mauroney got a first down attempt from the Jets’ four yard line, but was stopped at the one yard line. Dillon got the touchdown carry two plays later.
Maroney averaged 32.5 yards on two kickoff returns.
|RB Kevin Faulk, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0, Rec: 2 - 16 - 0 (3 targets)|
Faulk’s only run resulted in a three yard gain on a third down and five play. He frequently lined up as a wide receiver on passing downs. His receptions went for six and ten yards. Both converted first downs. Faulk was targeted on a deep pass attempt down the left sideline. Victor Hobson was called for pass interference on the play.
Faulk returned one kickoff for 26 yards as well as one punt for six yards.
On his only carry, Evans, the fullback, was held for no gain on a second and goal attempt from the one yard line.
Brown was New England’s most targeted receiver and led them with four catches for 51 yards. Twice Brown had the option to go out of bounds after catches. Instead, he chose to fight for extra yardage. On the second occasion, he completely flattened Derrick Strait with a stiff-arm.
Rookie Chad Jackson made the first two receptions of his career. He caught a perfectly thrown 29 yard pass down the left sideline. He later dropped what likely would have been a 50 yard touchdown pass, but redeemed himself later in the drive with a 13 yard touchdown in the back of the end zone.
Caldwell’s two receptions both came on third and five plays and resulted in first downs. The gains were for eight and six yards. Caldwell was targeted in the end zone on a play where the Jets were penalized for holding.
Gabriel was targeted three times without a reception. Gabriel had his hands on a Tom Brady pass (and probably should have caught it) in the end zone, but the pass was broken up. Tom Brady’s lone interception resulted on a deep pass attempt when Gabriel was double covered.
Watson was the Patriots’ second most targeted receiver. He had receptions of 14, 23, and two yards and was targeted once in the end zone and deep downfield on two other occasions.
Thomas, a rookie tight end, caught his first NFL pass. Tom Brady hit him on a short crossing route with plenty of room to run. The play resulted in a 29 yard gain.
Graham had a 29 yard catch on a pretty throw from Tom Brady.
Gostowski converted all three of his extra point attempts and also made a short field goal. His 29 yard field goal attempt late in the fourth quarter was blocked.
The Patriots’ run defense never allowed the Jets to establish a running game, holding the Jets to 51 yards on 24 carries, a paltry 2.1 average per attempt. New York had zero rushing first downs and a long run of eight yards.
The Patriots were shutting out the Jets and had the game under control until Chad Pennington hit Jerricho Cotchery with what resulted in a 71 yard touchdown reception on a third down and 13 play in the third quarter. Cotchery had a nice gain when Chad Brown hit him high and knocked him onto Eugene Wilson. However, Cotchery never hit the ground, got to his feet, and raced another 47 yards for a touchdown. Suddenly, New York had life. Their next two possessions resulted in a 46 yard touchdown to Laveranues Coles and a Mike Nugent field goal. Quickly a 24-0 game had become 24-17. Tedy Bruschi ended the New York threat, when he intercepted Chad Pennington’s desperation throw after Rodney Harrison deflected it.
The New England defense was able to put pressure on Pennington throughout the game. The unit totaled four sacks and numerous hurries.
Pennington’s passes did not seem quite as crisp as last week’s. However, his accuracy mostly remained precise. Pennington has now passed for more than 300 yards in consecutive games for the first time in his career.
Pennington was under pressure frequently in the game. He was sacked four times and was forced to scramble or hurry throws numerous other times. He was 11-20 for 104 yards in the first half and 11 for 17 for 202 yards with two touchdowns in the second half. His one interception came on a desperation deep pass attempt as time was winding down in the game. He came close to throwing another interception early in the game, when he telegraphed a quick out to Derrick Blaylock. Asante Samuel nearly picked off the pass. Had Samuel made the pick, he would have had clear sailing to the end zone.
|RB Kevan Barlow, Rush: 14 - 42 - 0, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (1 targets)|
Barlow was the Jets’ starting tailback for this game. He found the running room tough to come by and ended with 42 yards on 14 carries. His longest run went for eight yards.
Blaylock was ineffective in six rushing attempts, totaling seven yards. He was not lacking in effort, but just could not overcome the lack of running room. Blaylock was more useful as a receiver, catching three passes for 19 yards. He dropped another opportunity, however.
Rookie Leon Washington had one carry for no gain. He returned one kickoff for 23 yards.
Askew’s one run gained no yardage on a third down and one play. He was targeted as a receiver on a third and one play, but Pennington’s pass sailed high off his fingertips and was almost intercepted.
With a crowded backfield, Houston again was declared inactive for the game and appears to be the odd man out.
Coles finished with his second consecutive 100 yard receiving game. He last accomplished that feat when he opened the 2003 season with three straight 100 plus yard games as a member of the Washington Redskins.
Coles’ 46 yard touchdown catch is the longest of his career. The play resulted when Chad Pennington hit him on a short crossing pattern. Coles stopped abruptly and turned up field. After making a few Patriots miss, he broke a tackle to reach the end zone. Coles’ eight yard reception was a key play on New York’s field goal drive. On a third down and six play from the New England 45 yard line Pennington was forced to dump a short pass to Coles, who proceeded to break two tackles and move the chains.
Cotchery had another strong game, leading the Jets in receiving yardage and tying for the team lead in receptions. His 71 yard touchdown reception got the New York offense on the board after two plus stagnant quarters. Cotchery would have had a nice gain on the play. However, when Chad Brown attempted to tackle him, he fell onto Eugene Wilson and never contacted the turf. Cotchery got back to his feet and sprinted 47 more yards into the end zone.
Cotchery’s five other receptions totaled 50 yards.
McCareins chipped in four catches for 51 yards. His receptions went for five, 23, eight, and 15 yards. Three of them converted third downs into first downs. McCareins was the targeted receiver on the Jets’ final offensive play that was a desperation deep interception throw from Chad Pennington.
Rookie Brad Smith was used as a decoy on a few plays, but was not targeted in the passing game.
Ryan caught one pass for six yards.
Baker had one five yard catch.
Nugent converted both of his extra point tries as well as his lone field goal attempt, a 42 yard kick that was perfectly down the middle. After his dismal performance in week one, Nugent should be more firmly on solid ground.
The Patriots rushed for 147 yards on 39 attempts for a 3.8 average. Corey Dillon and Laurence Maroney both scored on short touchdown runs and were effective.
The Jets’ pass defense held Tom Brady to just over 50 percent passing. Brady finished with 220 passing yards and one touchdown. David Barrett intercepted one of his passes. Brady often had plenty of time to throw and was sacked only once (by Kerry Rhodes). That play, however, resulted in a turnover that led to a New York touchdown. Rhodes was all over the field and finished with 10 tackles, an assist, a sack, the forced fumble, and a key pass defended that prevented a touchdown.