Foxborough, MA - Tom Brady went 17-of-27 for 214 yards and three touchdowns while LeGarrette Blount rushed for 50 yards and two touchdowns as the New England Patriots dismantle the New York Jets on Christmas Eve by the score of 41-3. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Bryce Petty combined for 8-of-24 for 136 yards and three interceptions.
"It's inexcusable, we can't turn the ball over, whether it's [Bryce Petty] or whether it's [Ryan Fitzpatrick]," said head coach Todd Bowles about his teams four turnovers.
The Jets started off the game struggling in the rain. Petty has never played in the rain before and it clearly showed as he was sacked on 3rd down on the drive. On the next drive, Brady went 3-of-4 for 38 yards bring the Patriots in the red zone. They would settle for a Stephen Gostkowski 29-yard field goal to go up 3-0 early. Petty gets sacked to open the teams second drive of the day. Two plays later, Petty goes deep to Robby Anderson and is picked off by Malcolm Butler on a tipped pass.
Brady would then go to work at the Jets 47-yard line. He would hit Chris Hogan for 22-yards deep to put them in the red zone. A few plays later, Brady would hit Martellus Bennett for a five yard touchdown to go up 10-0. Bennett would finish the day with two catches for 19 yards. On the ensuing Jets drive, Bilal Powell would touch the ball four times for 21 yards. The Jets ended up punting. Dion Lewis ran the ball for a six yard gain to close out the 1st quarter. The Patriots ended up punting on the drive. The next play for the Jets, Khiry Robinson rushed up the middle and fumbled the ball. Butler recovered the ball and Petty made the tackle to prevent a possible touchdown. He injured his left shoulder on the play and was replaced by Fitzpatrick. The Jets forced the Patriots to settle for a 22-yard field goal.
"Whether it's mental mistakes, whether it's turnovers, whether it's lack of making plays, we're not doing anything right," said Bowles postgame on the Jets performance as of late.
The Jets responded with driving down the field on the next drive. Fitzpatrick went 2-of-3 for 23 yards on the drive with a three yard run while Powell had three carries for 26 yards. He finished the day with 60 yards on 15 carries and two catches for 14 yards. The one Fitzpatrick incompletion was in the end zone to Austin Seferian-Jenkins, which was broken up. The Jets settled for a field goal, but Nick Folk missed the 34-yard try just right. After another Patriots punt, Fitzpatrick was picked off by Eric Rowe in single coverage against Brandon Marshall. Marshall had another quiet day, only having two catches for 28 yards.
After finding Julian Edelman for 35 yards to put his team in the red zone, Brady would find Matt Lengel 18 yards over the middle for the touchdown. That would be Lengel's first career catch and put the Patriots up 20-0. Fitzpatrick threw four straight incompletions on the next drive and the Jets were forced to punt again. Brady threw deep for Malcolm Mitchell deep with the pass falling incomplete, but a flag would be thrown against Doug Middleton for pass interference. The ball would be placed on the Jets 25 yard line, where Brady would find James White in the corner of the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown to close out the half.
"If you're hurt, you have no choice but to evaluate the young guys," said Bowles. "Some of them gained valuable experience from playing good, some of them gained valuable experience from playing not so good."
A pair of punts opened up the 3rd quarter. Following, the Patriots had the ball for almost eight minutes ending in a Blount 1-yard touchdown, his 16th on the season. The struggles continued on the next drive as Fitzpatrick was picked off for the 2nd time after the ball went through the hands of Quincy Enunwa. It was Butler's second pick of the game. Jimmy Garoppolo entered the game for the Patriots on the next drive. Starting from the Jets 22 yard line, Blount would eventually bring it from the one yard line for his now 17th of the season.
On the brink of being shutout, the Jets would move the ball down the field. The Jets converted on two straight 4th downs in order to get into the red zone. Devin Smith was targeted twice on the drive, pulling a 20 yard catch for his first on the year. Later in the drive, he was looked at deep but couldn't hold on to the ball in the end zone. This time around, Folk connected on the 29-yard field goal.
After forcing the Patriots to punt, the Jets had one more chance to score. Driving down all the way to the New England 33 yard line, the Jets would be unable to convert on the 4th down. The Patriots would take a knee with 1:50 left in the game to call it a day.
In the game, the Jets went 1-of-11 on 3rd down while the Patriots went 11-of-18. The Patriots also out gained the Jets 325-239.
Bryce Petty - Left Shoulder
Austin Seferian-Jenkins - Pulled hamstring
Brandon Marshall - Hipnull