It may have been two tough wins that were ugly and messy, but they are two wins nevertheless. Thanks to a quick 10 points in the opening minutes and key stops on defense, the Patriots got past the New York Jets 13-10 to improve to 2-0.
“I’m just glad we won, but we just obviously have a lot of room for improvement. We need to try to get back to work and see if we can do better next week,” Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said.
After jumping out to a quick 10-0 lead with an Aaron Dobson touchdown and a field goal from Stephen Gostkowski in the first quarter, the Jets were able to respond with a field goal of their own with 4:01 left in the quarter.
The Pats were able to take a 13-3 lead into the half but Bilal Powell’s three yard rush for the Jets made it a three point game late in the third quarter.
With the offense struggling, the Patriots locked up the win with a strong defensive performance, ending three of the last five Jets' drives with interceptions.
The Pats will now enjoy a few extra days off before preparting for their matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 22.
Talib Steps Up and Clinches the Win
With two interceptions and a forced fumble, the Aqib Talib’s play came up big in low scoring affair.
With 10:17 to play in the first quarter, Jets QB Geno Smith found Stephen Hill at the Patriots’ 48 but Talib was able to knock the ball out of Hill's hands with Devin McCourty taking the loose ball down to the Jets' eight yard line. The turnover would result in a field goal for the Patriots with 9:20 left in the first.
Later in the fourth quarter, Kyle Arrington was able to tip a pass intended for Clyde Gates to Talib at the Patriots’ 10-yard line to stop another New York drive.
“I was just able to make a play on the ball but Talib made the play by actually catching the ball. He was huge for us. I can’t say enough great things about him,” Arrington said.
The cornerback came up big one last time during the Jets final drive, intercepting Smith again at the 42-yard line with seconds remaining in the game.
A postplay scuffle resulted in three penalties and moved the ball to the Jets' eight yard line for the kneel down to end the game.
Alonzo Dennard also came up with a key interception, tightly covering Gates with 4:23 left in the game.
Edelman Leads the Receivers
The veteran receiver was Brady’s preferred target tonight, catching 13 of the QB’s 19 completed passes for 78 yards. The 13 receptions were a career record for Edelman, breaking his previous record of 10 set against the Houston Texans in January, 2010.
"I thought he made a couple of though catches out there in the second half, had to take the ball away from his body in the rain and all that. He competed hard,” Belichick said.
Rookie Highs and Lows
Receiver Aaron Dobson picked up his first career catch and touchdown early in the first quarter by taking advantage of the Jets’ defense biting on a play-action early in the game. The fake set Dobson up for a 39-yard touchdown pass to give the Patriots an early 7-0 lead.
The catch was one of the few bright spots in a game of dropped balls and missed chances for Dobson and fellow first year player Kenbrell Thompkins. Late in the second quarter, Thompkins beat Dee Milliner to a 25-yard pass in the back of the end zone but further review showed Thompkins was unable to control the catch while diving for the ball.
During the game, Brady appeared frustrated with his receivers and the end results of many plays.
Getting to the Quarterback
If there is any reason for the lack of offensive production by the Jets in the second quarter, some of the credit can be given to the defensive linemen. Chandler Jones picked up a pair of sacks in the second down including an 11 yard loss on third down with 3:49 left in the half and a second hit on Jets QB Geno Smith again on third down late in the half.
“We got after the quarterback a little bit and hopefully we can do it some more next week,” Jones said.
Additional sacks were contributed by Tommy Kelly in the third quarter and Michael Buchanan in the second quarter.