Brady Uses Jets As A Stepping Stone

Tom Brady is making his case for league MVP by dismantling some of the best defenses in the NFL. New York was just one more step on the path to the playoffs for the Patriots, but it's another top 10 defense that gave up over 30 points to Brady and co.

The Patriots couldn't have scripted a better performance than the one they put together Monday night against the Jets -- and parts of their game plan probably were drawn out in advance.

In what was billed as the biggest regular-season game of the Robert Kraft era, the Patriots struck early and often, scoring on each of their first four possessions en route to a 45-3 win that gave New England sole possession of first place in the AFC East.

The Jets were supposed to present a more formidable challenge than this. They were supposed to be tough road dog considering the fact they were a perfect 5-0 away from home entering Monday. The Patriots weren't supposed to make it look this easy, but they did, and they can thank Tom Brady, who continued to make his MVP case, throwing four touchdown passes against a defense ranked among the best in the league.

The Patriots (10-2) are on track to snag the No. 1 postseason seed in the AFC, which would give them home-field advantage throughout the playoffs -- a scary thought for the rest of the league when you consider New England has yet to lose at home this year.

"I think the final score reflected that it was our most complete game of the year, closest to playing 60 minutes, so that was good," coach Bill Belichick said. "(We) took good care of the ball, won the turnover differential, weren't penalized, didn't have an inordinate amount of bad plays -- we had a few that definitely could have been better -- but when you have the advantage on turnovers and field position (and) penalties, that's a good start."

There have been doubts this year as to whether this is the best team in the NFL, namely because the defense is still ranked near the bottom of the league in most statistical categories, but after limiting the Jets to 301 total yards and holding them without a touchdown (in addition to intercepting Mark Sanchez three times), it's hard to argue otherwise.

The Patriots are now tied for the league's best record with the Falcons, who haven't been nearly as dominant as New England has in recent weeks. Plus, the Patriots' defense is beginning to establish itself as a legitimate playmaking unit; the defense forces turnovers, and Brady makes the opponent pay.

"It was great," Brady said. "I thought we executed pretty well at times. It was a big win. We're playing a damn good team, but it was one win. There are obviously many more big games for us here down the stretch (and) none bigger than Chicago this week, so I think we've got to move on pretty quick.

"I think we're way behind in preparation for them (after playing Monday night), and they definitely have a jump on us. It was a good job by us (Monday) to come in here and play well."

As Brady said, the next challenge is traveling to Chicago to face the 9-3 Bears, who have been one of the league's surprise teams. The Patriots can't afford any letdowns, otherwise that one-game lead in the division could evaporate in the same amount of time it took them to bury the Jets.

"We know it's going to be a big challenge for us on a short week for a team that we really don't know very well that has a lot of good players and is well-coached, very fundamentally sound and does a good job in every phase of the game," Belichick said, "so, (Tuesday) is going to be a big day for us, try and get things organized for the players coming in here (Wednesday) and then turn the corner very quickly and get on to Chicago."

NOTES

  • --The Patriots won their 14th consecutive regular-season home game Monday, and they have not lost a regular-season game in Foxboro since Nov. 30, 2008.
    New England's 14-game home winning streak is twice as long as the next longest current streak in the NFL (Atlanta with 7). The Patriots are one of just three teams (along with Atlanta and Kansas City) that have current streaks of more than four straight home wins. New England's 14 consecutive regular-season home wins are the second-longest such streak in team history, trailing only the team-record 18 straight home wins from December 2002 to September 2005.

  • --The Patriots' 45-3 win over the Jets tied the fifth-largest margin of victory in the franchise's 803-game history.
    The only victories in team history by a greater margin than Monday were a 59-0 win over Tennessee in October 2009, a 56-3 win over the Jets in September 1979, a 56-10 win at Buffalo in November 2007, and a 52-7 win over Washington in October 2007. New England also had a 45-3 win over the Houston Oilers in 1963.

  • -- Quarterback Tom Brady's four touchdown passes Monday raised his season total to 27. This is the sixth time in his career that he has had 25 or more touchdowns in a season.
    He is the sixth quarterback in NFL history to have 25 or more touchdown passes in at least six different seasons. Brady threw his 25th touchdown of the year on 4-yard pass to Brandon Tate in the second quarter.

    -- Brady ran his streak to 228 consecutive pass attempts without an interception, extending his team record. Brady eclipsed his old record of 183 consecutive pass attempts without an interception (set in 2009) on Thanksgiving at Detroit.

    -- Brady has thrown at least one touchdown pass in all 12 games this season after finishing with four touchdown tosses against the Jets. Brady also started the 2007 season by throwing at least one touchdown in the first 12 games.

  • --RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored his 10th rushing touchdown in 2010 on 1-yard run in the first quarter. He became the eighth player in Patriots history to record double-digit rushing touchdowns, and the first since Corey Dillon (13) in 2006. Green-Ellis added his 11th rushing TD in the fourth quarter.

  • --WR Wes Welker extended his streak to 75 consecutive regular-season games with at least one reception. He has caught at least one pass in each of his 61 games with the Patriots, including three postseason games.

  • --CB Devin McCourty intercepted a pass for the third game in a row. McCourty is the first Patriots player to intercept a pass in three consecutive games since Asante Samuel did it in 2007.


  • For more Patriots news follow us via Twitter: @PatriotsInsider
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    The Patriots couldn't have scripted a better performance than the one they put together Monday night against the Jets -- and parts of their game plan probably were drawn out in advance.

    In what was billed as the biggest regular-season game of the Robert Kraft era, the Patriots struck early and often, scoring on each of their first four possessions en route to a 45-3 win that gave New England sole possession of first place in the AFC East.

    The Jets were supposed to present a more formidable challenge than this. They were supposed to be tough road dog considering the fact they were a perfect 5-0 away from home entering Monday. The Patriots weren't supposed to make it look this easy, but they did, and they can thank Tom Brady, who continued to make his MVP case, throwing four touchdown passes against a defense ranked among the best in the league.

    The Patriots (10-2) are on track to snag the No. 1 postseason seed in the AFC, which would give them home-field advantage throughout the playoffs -- a scary thought for the rest of the league when you consider New England has yet to lose at home this year.

    \"I think the final score reflected that it was our most complete game of the year, closest to playing 60 minutes, so that was good,\" coach Bill Belichick said. \"(We) took good care of the ball, won the turnover differential, weren't penalized, didn't have an inordinate amount of bad plays -- we had a few that definitely could have been better -- but when you have the advantage on turnovers and field position (and) penalties, that's a good start.\"

    There have been doubts this year as to whether this is the best team in the NFL, namely because the defense is still ranked near the bottom of the league in most statistical categories, but after limiting the Jets to 301 total yards and holding them without a touchdown (in addition to intercepting Mark Sanchez three times), it's hard to argue otherwise.

    The Patriots are now tied for the league's best record with the Falcons, who haven't been nearly as dominant as New England has in recent weeks. Plus, the Patriots' defense is beginning to establish itself as a legitimate playmaking unit; the defense forces turnovers, and Brady makes the opponent pay.

    \"It was great,\" Brady said. \"I thought we executed pretty well at times. It was a big win. We're playing a damn good team, but it was one win. There are obviously many more big games for us here down the stretch (and) none bigger than Chicago this week, so I think we've got to move on pretty quick.

    \"I think we're way behind in preparation for them (after playing Monday night), and they definitely have a jump on us. It was a good job by us (Monday) to come in here and play well.\"

    As Brady said, the next challenge is traveling to Chicago to face the 9-3 Bears, who have been one of the league's surprise teams. The Patriots can't afford any letdowns, otherwise that one-game lead in the division could evaporate in the same amount of time it took them to bury the Jets.

    \"We know it's going to be a big challenge for us on a short week for a team that we really don't know very well that has a lot of good players and is well-coached, very fundamentally sound and does a good job in every phase of the game,\" Belichick said, \"so, (Tuesday) is going to be a big day for us, try and get things organized for the players coming in here (Wednesday) and then turn the corner very quickly and get on to Chicago.\"

  • --The Patriots won their 14th consecutive regular-season home game Monday, and they have not lost a regular-season game in Foxboro since Nov. 30, 2008.
    New England's 14-game home winning streak is twice as long as the next longest current streak in the NFL (Atlanta with 7). The Patriots are one of just three teams (along with Atlanta and Kansas City) that have current streaks of more than four straight home wins. New England's 14 consecutive regular-season home wins are the second-longest such streak in team history, trailing only the team-record 18 straight home wins from December 2002 to September 2005.

  • --The Patriots' 45-3 win over the Jets tied the fifth-largest margin of victory in the franchise's 803-game history.
    The only victories in team history by a greater margin than Monday were a 59-0 win over Tennessee in October 2009, a 56-3 win over the Jets in September 1979, a 56-10 win at Buffalo in November 2007, and a 52-7 win over Washington in October 2007. New England also had a 45-3 win over the Houston Oilers in 1963.

  • -- Quarterback Tom Brady's four touchdown passes Monday raised his season total to 27. This is the sixth time in his career that he has had 25 or more touchdowns in a season.
    He is the sixth quarterback in NFL history to have 25 or more touchdown passes in at least six different seasons. Brady threw his 25th touchdown of the year on 4-yard pass to Brandon Tate in the second quarter.

    -- Brady ran his streak to 228 consecutive pass attempts without an interception, extending his team record. Brady eclipsed his old record of 183 consecutive pass attempts without an interception (set in 2009) on Thanksgiving at Detroit.

    -- Brady has thrown at least one touchdown pass in all 12 games this season after finishing with four touchdown tosses against the Jets. Brady also started the 2007 season by throwing at least one touchdown in the first 12 games.

  • --RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored his 10th rushing touchdown in 2010 on 1-yard run in the first quarter. He became the eighth player in Patriots history to record double-digit rushing touchdowns, and the first since Corey Dillon (13) in 2006. Green-Ellis added his 11th rushing TD in the fourth quarter.

  • --WR Wes Welker extended his streak to 75 consecutive regular-season games with at least one reception. He has caught at least one pass in each of his 61 games with the Patriots, including three postseason games.

  • --CB Devin McCourty intercepted a pass for the third game in a row. McCourty is the first Patriots player to intercept a pass in three consecutive games since Asante Samuel did it in 2007.

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