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Week 7 Game Recap: New York Jets 23, New England Patriots 30


What you need to know

New York Jets

Bill Belichick is known for taking away the opposition’s best playmaker. His flavor of the week was none other than Brandon Marshall. Belichick’s defense rolled coverage towards Marshall throughout the game, giving Eric Decker one-on-one opportunities on the perimeter. Decker made several big catches, highlighted by four big third down conversions.

Chris Ivory re-injured his balky hamstring on the game’s first play, but battled through the ailment throughout the game. Ivory was regularly spelled by Zac Stacy, but credit Ivory for a gritty, gutty effort. Ivory hit paydirt in the third quarter when he leaked out of the backfield and caught a swing pass for an easy 9-yard touchdown rumble. New England forgot to cover Ivory as he jogged in for an easy touchdown.

Head coach Todd Bowles has had a successful start in New York, but made some questionable clock management decisions late in the fourth quarter. Trailing by three points and armed with all three of his timeouts, Bowles gave Tom Brady and Co. at least 60 seconds of free time by not using his timeouts. Brady iced the game, hitting a wide open Rob Gronkowski for a 15-yard touchdown with just 1:13 to go. New York was able to make a last ditch effort by recovering an on-sides kick, but a false start by Marshall ended the game.

• Nick Mangold suffered a scary neck injury late in the fourth quarter. Mangold was able to walk off under his own power, but left the stadium wearing a neck brace and will undergo X-Rays.

New England Patriots

The Patriots offense didn't even bother to test the Jets defensive line in the running game. Danny Amendola, Rob Gronkowski, and Julian Edelman made a lot of tough catches and took punishment after the catch to move the offense. Tom Brady had to earn everything and wasn't flawless, but did enough to beat a top defense and still put 30 points on the board.

New York Jets

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, 72 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 39 - 295 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 5 - 29 - 0
Given the circumstances, Ryan Fitzpatrick played a solid game under tough conditions. Chris Ivory re-injured his balky hamstring on New York’s first play, putting more pressure on Fitzpatrick to make plays. Feeling the effects of additional pressure, Fitzpatrick lost a fumble on New York’s second play, which led to three points for New England. Fitzpatrick, however, was able to re-group and threw multiple touchdown passes for the fifth time in six starts. Early in the second quarter, Fitzpatrick hit Jeremy Kerley on a quick slant route for a 5-yard touchdown. Late in the third quarter, Fitzpatrick found Chris Ivory wide open on a wheel route for an easy 9-yard touchdown. The touchdown passes to these two unlikely recipients were a microcosm of New York’s gameplan. New England rolled its coverage to Brandon Marshall, forcing Fitzpatrick to lean on his other targets. In addition to Kerley and Ivory, Eric Decker came up big, hauling in four, chain-moving opportunities on third down. Late in the fourth quarter, New York recovered an on-sides kick and had just ten seconds to score a touchdown to tie the game. New York, unfortunately, did not have any timeouts and Fitzpatrick made a mistake to throw the ball over the middle of thefield. Decker was able to haul in a reception for a 12-yard gain, but it was a poor decision when Fitzpatrick should have thrown a ‘Hail Mary’ into the end zone. Fitzpatrick was able to spike the ball with one second remaining, but a false start by Marshall ended the game.

RB Chris Ivory, 37 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 41 - 0, Rec: 2 - 12 - 1 (2 targets)
Chris Ivory re-injured his balky hamstring on New York’s first play, but battled through the ailment throughout the game. Ivory made several trips to the trainer’s table, but kept fought his way back onto the field. Ivory lacked his trademark toughness and explosiveness on inside runs and resorted to lunging for extra yardage instead of running through defenders. Ivory was able to salvage a frustrating game by hitting paydirt in the third quarter. Ivory leaked out of the backfield for an easy 9-yard catch and run. New England forgot to cover Ivory, so credit a bit of good fortune.

RB Zac Stacy, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 19 - 0, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (1 targets)
Bilal Powell was inactive, so Zac Stacy was inserted as Chris Ivory’s backup. Ivory re-injured his balky hamstring on the game’s first play, giving Stacy an opportunity to play additional snaps. Ivory battled his way through the game, so Stacy was only asked to spell him on occasion. Stacy had trouble finding running room, so expect Powell take back his role once he gets healthy.

WR Eric Decker, 68 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 94 - 0 (12 targets)
Bill Belichick rolled his coverage to Brandon Marshall, giving Decker multiple opportunities to make plays. Decker received a team-high 12 targets and covered his catches into four key third-down conversions. He battled Super Bowl hero, Malcolm Butler throughout the game, but an obvious size mismatch favored Decker. Decker beat Butler in man coverage and found room to run on deep drag routes. Decker caught the game’s final pass, a deep drag across the middle of the field, but was tackled and New York was unable to finish off the comeback.

WR Brandon Marshall, 72 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 67 - 0 (7 targets)
Brandon Marshall turned in his worst performance to date as a member of the New York Jets. Marshall was the focal point of New England’s defense effort, but still hadopportunities to make game-changing plays. New England opted to rotate his corners against Marshall, but always provided safety help over the top. Early in the fourth quarter, Marshall dropped an easy 12-yard touchdown pass that would have given New York an eight point lead. Instead, New York settled for a field goal as New England rallied to win the game. Late in the fourth quarter, New York recovered an on-sides kick and had an opportunity to tie the game. Marshall committed a boneheaded false start penalty, effectively ending the game. After the game, Marshall told reporters that he should walk home after making critical mistakes. Marshall typically bounces back, so expect him to respond next week in Oakland.

WR Jeremy Kerley, 29 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 27 - 1 (4 targets)
Given the suspension to Quincy Enunwa, New York took Jeremy Kerley off ice and he responded with a big effort. Inserted as New York’s slot receiver, Kerley beat up on rookie cornerback, Justin Coleman. Early in the second quarter, Kerley ran a quick slant route, easily won inside position against Coleman, and hauled in a dart from Fitzpatrick for a 5-yard touchdown. When given opportunities, Kerley made plays and likely earned himself more snaps in future weeks.

WR Chris Owusu, 32 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 25 - 0 (4 targets)
Chris Owusu and Jeremy Kerley alternated snaps, filling in for the suspended Quincy Enunwa. Owusu was able to get open on a few quick slants and drag routes, but was unable to generate yards after the catch. Kerley was much more impressive in limited action.

WR Devin Smith, 17 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (2 targets)
Devin Smith has been banished to the bench and saw limited snaps against New England. Smith was able to make one grab a crossing route, but is definitely having trouble in his rookie season.

TE Jeff Cumberland, 22 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 16 - 0 (3 targets)
For the first time in weeks, Cumberland made a reception and received an end zone target. Early in the first quarter, Cumberland was targeted on a corner route, but was unable to secure the target. Safety Patrick Chung grabbed Cumberland’s arm, but Cumberland did not get a flag.


New England Patriots

QB Tom Brady, 67 offensive snaps, Pass: 34 - 54 - 355 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 15 - 1
#1 defense against #1 offense? Try #1 defense versus a Madden-like gameplan. The Patriots completely ignored the run and threw the entire offensive load on Tom Brady against the Jets, who as usual, responded like he was the greatest quarterback in history. In fact, for the first time in his career, Brady led the Patriots in rushing with a whopping 15 yards. Patriots running backs ran the ball 5 times, while Brady threw it 54 times, including during clock-chewing mode, something you'll almost never see. Brady's first touchdown was a quarterback sneak that saw Brady display his hops. However, it was set up by an 11 yard scramble on 3rd and 10 from the man himself, who wisely took off when no one was open and pressure was bearing down on him. Touchdown #2 was a stunning catch by Danny Amendola, who jumped in the air while being covered to secure the score. #3 came on an all-out blitz by the Jets, who left Rob Gronkowski uncovered as a result. Whoops. Brady was also plagued by receiver drops, as the telecast counted 10 of them, including 6 from a very rusty Brandon LaFell. Had he not suffered these drops, his totals would have been even gaudier. Regardless, another week, another stellar performance from the league's best.

RB James White, 43 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 4 - 0, Rec: 3 - 26 - 0 (5 targets)
White played a very limited role in place of Dion Lewis. While he ran a few of the same routes as Lewis and made catches, White didn't add anything after the catch. He's not threatening for more playing time when Lewis returns.

RB LeGarrette Blount, 8 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - -3 - 0
Blount was a complete non-factor against the Jets as the Patriots went pure pass-happy throughout the game.

WR Danny Amendola, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 86 - 1 (9 targets)
Your receiving star of the day was Danny Amendola, who made multiple critical catches and was Tom Brady's preferred target in crucial spots. Amendola had two big highlights. One was his touchdown catch that saw him leap in the air and secure a score while a defender was draped on him. His second was a 13 yard catch that again saw him leap and spear a high catch, a catch someone of his stature had no business making. Though he will be up and down this season, it's clear that when healthy, Amendola has the ability to make a difference.

WR Julian Edelman, 66 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 54 - 0 (9 targets)
Partially because of Darrelle Revis shadowing him and partially after-effects of his pinky injury and some big hits, Julian Edelman was not the primary focus of the offense, which is rare. He did have a couple drops, including a bad one that should have been an easy touchdown catch on 3rd down. However, he did make up for it with a stellar 3rd and 17 conversion that saw an improvised in-cut against a zone defense. Edelman will have better days, especially as he puts his licks behind him.

WR Brandon LaFell, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 25 - 0 (8 targets)
Ugly, ugly, ugly. Brandon LaFell committed 6 drops against the Jets in his first game of the 2015 season, as his rust was on full display. Some of the passes would have been tough catches, but some of them were stone clankers right off his hands. On the plus side for him, LaFell could have had a deep touchdown, but was overthrown on the play. LaFell should get better as the season goes on, but the rust may take a couple more weeks to shake.

TE Rob Gronkowski, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 11 - 108 - 1 (16 targets)
You can't stop him. You can only hope to contain him. That was the theme of the day against the Jets, a day which saw Gronk repeatedly catching balls and dragging defenders behind him like ragdolls. Gronk could have had a much bigger day if not for an overthrown deep ball, but luckily he still got his spike in. On the play, the Jets did an all-out blitz of Tom Brady, leaving Gronk uncovered. This allowed the big guy who almost walk in for a 15 yard score, and chances are he won't see many touchdowns that easy in his career.

TE Scott Chandler, 7 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 34 - 0 (2 targets)
Chandler did have a big catch of 26 yards in 1 on 1 coverage, but beyond that, he only played a handful of snaps.