PATRIOTS REPORT CARD VS. JETS
PASSING OFFENSE: C -- Tom Brady looked sharp early on, but he struggled in the second half and threw a pair of interceptions as the offense began to drift from its short-yardage passing and focused more on the deep ball against the Jets' secondary. The bottom line is Brady threw for only 69 yards in the second half, which is not good enough to win anywhere, let alone on the road.
RUSHING OFFENSE: D -- Even without NT Kris Jenkins, the Jets shut the door on the Patriots' rushing game. Kevin Faulk led the team with a mere 22 yards before leaving with a foot injury. Sammy Morris and Fred Taylor didn't do much and BenJarvus Green-Ellis could barely get past the line of scrimmage. The run game was essentially non-existent.
PASS DEFENSE: D -- The secondary looked terrible for the second week in a row. Darius Butler was the target of choice again, allowing a touchdown pass and a two-point conversion. He also committed two costly penalties that led to another scoring drive. Mark Sanchez torched the Patriots for a career-high three touchdown passes. That says it all.
RUSH DEFENSE: C -- The Jets certainly didn't dominate here, but LaDainian Tomlinson did enough to make the Patriots respect the run. The veteran back averaged 6.9 yards per carry and finished with 76 yards, most of them coming on a big run to the outside in the second half that set up the go-ahead touchdown.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- Not much to write home about here, either. Stephen Gostkowski missed is only field-goal attempt, but Zoltan Mesko hit three booming punts that kept the field position respectable.
COACHING: C -- Bill Belichick and his staff failed miserably at making halftime adjustments. The Patriots gave up 21 unanswered points and got shut out in the second half. They also strayed from what works best, which is their short-yardage passing game. Too many bombs down the field left the offense bland and unpredictable.
JETS REPORT CARD VS. PATRIOTS
PASSING OFFENSE: A -- After averaging only 3.5 yards per pass attempt in the opener, Mark Sanchez averaged 7.3 against New England as he repeatedly found TE Dustin Keller (seven catches, 115 yards, one TD) roaming in the middle of New England's cover-two defense, exactly the read Sanchez should be making in those situations. WR Braylon Edwards (5-45) also got involved and had both a touchdown catch and a reception for a two-point conversion. However, Sanchez was sacked three times and has been dropped five times in two games.
RUSHING OFFENSE: B-plus -- LaDainian Tomlinson's renaissance continued, as he rushed for 76 yards on 11 carries, including a 31-yard ramble to the New England 4 to set up the go-ahead touchdown. On the play, Tomlinson broke on an attempted tackle by LB Rob Ninkovich near the line of scrimmage. Shonn Greene wasn't as productive with 52 yards on 15 attempts, but at least he held onto the ball after fumbling twice and being yanked from the opener.
PASS DEFENSE: B-plus -- For this game, the mid-term grade probably would have been a D, as Tom Brady had two TD passes and a 126.9 rating in the first half. But the tide turned in the second half despite the absence of cover corner Darrelle Revis (hamstring), as Antonio Cromartie took over covering Randy Moss and held him to no receptions. S Brodney Pool, seeing his first action of the season, also had a second-half pick as Brady went 7-for-16 with two interceptions in the final 30 minutes.
RUSH DEFENSE: A -- As they did against Baltimore after NT Kris Jenkins was lost with a season-ending knee injury, Sione Pouha, Shaun Ellis and Mike DeVito (two tackles for loss) controlled things up front, and got help from the linebackers and secondary in limiting New England's rushing attack to 2.6 yards per carry. The Patriots' longest run was an 8-yarder by Kevin Faulk, who was injured on the play.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- K Nick Folk continued his good work with field goals of 49 and 36 yards, and is 5-for-5 on FG attempts through two games. P Steve Weatherford had a 39.8-yard net average on four punts and it could have been better, but the Jets just missed downing one punt at the 1-yard-line before it hit the goal line. The Jets' return game went nowhere, but their coverage unit held in check New England's Brandon Tate, who returned a kickoff for a TD in Week One. His longest return Sunday was 31 yards.
COACHING: A -- Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer did a terrific job of helping Sanchez exploit New England's inexperienced defense, using play-action and naked bootlegs to buy more time for the QB. Getting Edwards more involved also was important. And Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine made the correct halftime adjustments with Revis sidelined, cutting down on the blitzes yet making Brady believe they were sending more pass-rushers than they actually did.
These report cards courtesy of The Sports Xchange
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