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Week 12 Game Recap: New England Patriots 27, New York Jets 13


What you need to know

New England Patriots

-The Patriots have potential shootouts in 2 of the next 3 weeks as they play the Vikings and Steelers. Those will be interesting tests against tough teams.

-Rex Burkhead was activated off I.R., but this is still likely Sony Michel's backfield with a few touches here and there going to Burkhead.

-The o-line continues to be up and down, as does the defense.

New York Jets

The Jets playcalling continues to be baffling, as they threw the ball 45 times with backup Josh McCown, and only ran it a dozen times even though they were tied in the third and down just a touchdown heading into the fourth. The Jets seem intent on making things as hard as possible for themselves, which makes any fantasy impact unpredictable and negligible.

New England Patriots

QB Tom Brady, 70 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 31 - 283 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0
Continuing the up and down season for the Pats offense, and in particular the o-line, Tom Brady held up reasonably well on most snaps and had time to execute his offense. There weren't many close calls, though Brady's deep ball is still noticeably weaker than it was last year. That said, there were still several chunk plays against the Jets, including Rob Gronkowski's sweet deep touchdown catch. Brady threw the ball to Gronk about 35 or 40 yards in the air, and Gronk grabbed the ball while being pasted by a defender. It was great to see Gronk make the catch given his recent injuries and lack of touchdowns. However, Brady did try to force a few passes to Gronk, particularly in the end zone, and the ball should have gone elsewhere. Brady's second touchdown was a catch and run by Julian Edelman, who had about 15 yards YAC, including smashing into a couple defenders near the goal line. Brady was also aided by a strong run game performance. Outside of a few questionable drives, the bye week clearly helped.

RB Sony Michel, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 21 - 133 - 1, Rec: 2 - 12 - 0 (2 targets)
Though he came out of the game briefly with an injury, Sony Michel ran wild over the Jets defense, ripping off several big gains, including a tackle-shedding 30+ yard run as the highlight of the day. The run blocking was well above average, so major credit goes to the o-line as well. Michel's touchdown came from 1 yard out after getting barely stuffed on the prior play. It is notable that on some of his longer runs, Michel tried to barrel over defenders as opposed to use more elusive moves, especially in 1 on 1 situations. Still, tough to complain about his day.

RB James White, 37 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 73 - 0, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (5 targets)
As Sony Michel did, James White did too, with a hefty yards per carry pace on his 9 carries. His big run was through a big hole outside right tackle. He wasn't needed much in the passing game, however, as Brady truly spread the wealth on only 20 completions.

WR Josh Gordon, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 70 - 0 (5 targets)
Though he didn't reach the end zone, Gordon did have a few scripted passes thrown his way. It was also notable that Tom Brady looked his way twice eventually on plays where the Jets covered all receivers well, indicating rapport with his QB continues to improve.

WR Julian Edelman, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 84 - 1 (5 targets)
Though he only caught 4 passes, Edelman certainly made them count, as they included a touchdown and a couple chunk gains. His touchdown was a catch and run where he simply barreled over defenders near the end zone, while his long catch saw him wide open in a soft zone spot. He was upended in a scary tackle on the play, but got up no worse for wear. Edelman will continue to be a high value receiver moving forward.

TE Rob Gronkowski, 69 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 56 - 1 (7 targets)
The big news of the day was another Gronk spike after a multi-week back injury. On the play, Gronk split two defenders up the seam, and caught the ball while getting hit by a defender. Tom Brady also looked Gronk's way on several other end zone targets, though those were much more questionable decisions, including one where Gronk had to play "defense" and bat at a ball heading towards a defender. Still, the hope is he came out of the week healthy.


New York Jets

QB Josh McCown, 64 offensive snaps, Pass: 26 - 45 - 276 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 25 - 0
McCown is a game manager, which is a role he generally executes well. Despite his one interception, an ugly and unnecessary throw to the goal line, which was short ó McCown made several nice throws to his receivers, including a 16-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse on a slant. When he has a wide open receiver and some time, he can hit the receiver, but under pressure he struggles. The touchdown was a nice example of the former, while the pick was a perfect example of the latter. It didnít help that the Jets forced McCown to throw 45 times, despite never trailing by more than a touchdown through the first three quarters, which isnít a recipe for success with all but a few quarterbacks, certainly not McCown and absolutely not with the receivers he has to work with, who dropped more than one pass.

RB Isaiah Crowell, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 30 - 0, Rec: 3 - 30 - 0 (4 targets)
Crowell saw the field less than Elijah McGuire, but caught the ball more for more yards. The Jets, while not trailing by an enormous amount until the fourth quarter, rarely ran the ball even though Crowell was averaging 5 yards a carry.

RB Elijah McGuire, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 19 - 0, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (3 targets)
While McGuire looked like the better back on the roster before the bye, he didnít do much with minimal carries after it. The Jets chose to throw the ball 45 times, which left little time for running plays, and on Sunday Isaiah Crowell was more effective as well as more effective receiving. On the other hand, McGuire was on the field for nine more offensive snaps than Crowell. McGuire has upside, but the Jets gameplan didnít give either back much space to succeed.

RB Trenton Cannon, 9 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - -3 - 0 (1 targets)
With Elijah McGuire back and Isaiah Crowell healthy, Cannon is relegated to occasional mop-up duty or special teams action. On Sunday he saw no carries and only one target which he caught behind the line of scrimmage where he was tackled for a loss.

WR Jermaine Kearse, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 66 - 1 (12 targets)
Kearse saw a season high twelve targets, catching six, the second most heís snagged all season. His yardage total was the second highest of the year as well. He was also the target on quarterback josh McCownís only touchdown pass, as he was hit on an inside slant with a lot of wide-open green in front of him on the way to the end zone. He had some issues hauling in the ball on occasion though, and at least one drop, contributing to his 50 percent catch rate.

WR Quincy Enunwa, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 73 - 0 (4 targets)
Enunwa did a lot of his damage from the slot, catching all four of his targets and leading the team in yards. However, the minimal targets are surprising considering how shallow the receiving depth is, how often he was on the field (60 of 64 offensive snaps) and how often the Jets chose to throw.

WR Robby Anderson, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 22 - 0 (5 targets)
Anderson was on the field for more offensive snaps than anyone besides Quincy Enunwa, Chris Herndon and josh McCown, but like Enunwa, he saw only one-third the amount of targets Jermaine Kearse received. The Jets didnít make use of his trademark speed and vertical game, and did not try to stretch the field with McCown under center.

TE Chris Herndon, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 57 - 0 (8 targets)
Herndon saw an uptick in targets (8 compared to 4, 4 and 2 the previous three weeks before the bye) and caught all but one of them. The big tight end is proving to be the lone bright spot on the offense this season, and mixes in some good blocking with his pass-catching ability, which gets him on the field more than any other tight end and most other offensive players not on the offensive line.

TE Jordan Leggett, 17 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 24 - 0 (4 targets)
Leggett did a nice job hauling in a pair of long catches, but isnít on the field much, showing up on just 17 of the Jetsí 64 offensive snaps. As Chris Herndon has proven himself as a blocker, the other tight ends are seeing less field time.