PATRIOTS REPORT CARD VS. JETS
PASSING OFFENSE: A-plus -- You can't ask for more from Tom Brady, who threw four touchdown passes (all to different receivers) in a rout of the rival Jets. Brady now has 27 touchdown passes and is on pace to finish with the second-highest single-season total of his career, trailing only the 50 touchdown passes he threw in 2007.
RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- The Patriots didn't need to establish the run as much as they have in past weeks, nor did they do a particularly smooth job of running out the clock in the end, but BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored another touchdown and averaged a steady 4.0 yards per carry. The 101-yard team total is indicative of the score, but certainly an impressive number against a defense ranked among the best in the league.
PASS DEFENSE: A -- This was the shutdown performance the team had been waiting for all year. The Patriots befuddled Mark Sanchez, limiting him to 164 yards and intercepting him three times. Sanchez never looked comfortable in the pocket and made several ill-advised throws against New England's secondary.
RUSH DEFENSE: B-minus -- LaDainian Tomlinson ran the ball fairly well early, averaging 4.7 yards per carry, but once the score got out of hand, the Jets predictably stopped trying to mix it up. Even Shonn Greene averaged 4.9 yards per carry. Had this game been close, the Jets might've had a chance behind their running game.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A -- The best thing the Patriots did was not let Brad Smith make an impact. Smith makes game-changing plays in the kicking game (see Thanksgiving against Cincinnati), but the Patriots limited the damage and also limited what the Jets could do in the punt-return game by not punting all that often. All in all, this was a solid night in every phase of the game for the Patriots.
COACHING: A -- Bill Belichick completely outcoached Rex Ryan. Every fourth-down call Belichick made worked, whereas every decision Ryan made blew up in his face. The Patriots had a flawless week of practice and the perfect game plan to take down the Jets. You can't script games much better than this.
JETS REPORT CARD VS. PATRIOTS
PASSING OFFENSE: F -- In two career games at Gillette Stadium, Mark Sanchez has committed eight turnovers, including three interceptions Monday night, all in the second half. His awful pick in the red zone on the Jets' first second-half possession was his first interception in that territory all season, and it sucked any momentum out of the Jets. The Pats kept Santonio Holmes in front of them (longest catch a 22-yarder) and Braylon Edwards dropped a third-down pass to stall a second-quarter drive.
RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- The numbers were actually quite good in this category, better than they have been in weeks. LaDainian Tomlinson topped 4 yards a carry for the first time since Oct. 11 against Minnesota, producing 47 yards on 10 attempts. Shonn Greene had 64 yards on 13 carries, including converting a fourth-and-1 in the first quarter. But the Jets' huge early deficit rendered the rushing game meaningless.
PASS DEFENSE: F -- Tom Brady didn't even bother to throw a pass Darrelle Revis' way, mainly because he had so many options elsewhere, such as shovel passes to former Jet Danny Woodhead (four catches for 104 yards) and slants and intermediate routes to Wes Welker (seven catches for 80 yards, one TD). CB Antonio Cromartie had his worst game since Miami's Brandon Marshall had 10 catches for 166 yards and a TD, mostly against him, in Week 3. Cromartie allowed touchdown grabs to both Deion Branch, who fooled him with a move at the line of scrimmage, and a leaping Brandon Tate.
RUSH DEFENSE: C -- The Jets had trouble containing BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who bruised them for 72 yards and two battering-ram touchdowns. And Brady's 3-yard sneak on third-and-2 in the second quarter was met with nothing but air from the Jets' out-of-position and seemingly surprised defense. The Patriots finished with 101 yards on the ground.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- The Jets contained the Patriots' return games, but that was about it for positives. Nick Folk was wide left on a 53-yard field-goal attempt in the first quarter, although he connected from 39 yards later. Folk has made only six of his last 12 field-goal tries. Steve Weatherford's 12-yard shank gave New England a short field for its second touchdown drive. Brad Smith had plenty of chances to return kickoffs but averaged only 20 yards on his seven returns, well below his average.
COACHING: F -- The lone bright spot was offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer using the no-huddle attack on the Jets' first drive to try to spark the lethargic offense. It didn't work. Coach Rex Ryan shouldn't have elected to try that long field goal, nor should he have wasted a challenge on a third-down spot when he then went for it on fourth down anyway. And Ryan and coordinator Mike Pettine were unable to shake Brady out of his comfort zone, as he recognized everything they threw at him. Why not try Revis on Welker a few times?