PHOTO: FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 24: David Givens #87 of the New England Patriots makes a catch against the New York Jets on October 24, 2004 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
BLACKJACK! Patriots beat Jets for 21 in a row
by Chris Timoney, Patriots Insider
The weather felt like late November, yet the atmosphere on the field was like mid-January as the Jets and Patriots faced off in an AFC East clash of the titans. With both teams sporting records of 5-0, first place in the division made the steaks high.
As has been the case since last September the Patriots came up victorious as they downed the New York Jets 13-7. The defensive battle in Foxboro left the scoreboard untouched in the second half as all the scoring took place in the first half. Regardless, the result leaves the Jets in second place and the Patriots with an NFL record 18 consecutive regular season wins. Its good to win, said coach Bill Belichick, the Jets got the second best record in the AFC.
The low scoring smash mouth style of this game took form from the get-go.
On the first play from scrimmage quarterback Tom Brady completed to linebacker Dan Klecko, who had reported as an eligible receiver, for 8 yards. The Klecko reception marked the first play of a game-opening scoring drive for the Patriots. With the Jets slowing down the run early in the game Brady took to the air. On the drive Brady completed to wide receiver David Givens on 3rd and 5 for 18 yards to the Jets 41 yard line. Two plays later on 2nd and 12 Brady again completed to Givens(5 catches for 107 yards) for 15 yards down to the Jets 28. The 28 yard line was as deep as New England could get as the Jets defense slowed the Patriots attack and only surrendered another 5 yards. After a five yard pass to Kevin Faulk left New England shy of a first down Belichick brought out Adam Vinatieri for the 41 yard field goal. The 3 point conversion by Mr. Automatic gave New England the early 3-0 lead and inched the Patriots closer to another NFL record.
The Jets took possession at their own 25 after the kickoff and began their responding drive. The drive began with an uncharacteristic Jets penalty, a false start, and was saved by an illegal contact call on Randall Gay on a 3rd and 6 sack of Jets quarterback Chad Pennington. The Jets came into the game leading the lead in fewest penalties.
Ten yards rushing by Curtis Martin and 39 yards in the air by Pennington(19 of 30 for 162 yards) brought the Jets to the New England 19 and set up, at least, a field goal attempt to tie the game. On third and one from the Patriots 19 Pennington threw complete to fullback Jerold Sowell who was then hit hard by linebacker Ted Johnson. The hit by Johnson jarred the ball loose from Sowell and defensive back Randall Gay recovered the ball at the 6 yard line, ending the Jets potential scoring drive.
On the ensuing drive the Patriots had their backs against the wall starting deep in their own territory, but much like over the last 13 months they managed to find a way. With the close of the first quarter in sight the Patriots eked their way out to the 19 yard line off a pass to Kevin Faulk for seven yards on a third and five play. After the quarter break Brady & Co. wasted little time starting their march.
Brady completed to tight end Daniel Graham for 15 yards to the 34 yard line on first down. Three Corey Dillon runs later the Patriots were forced to punt from near midfield. Yet, as has been the case for previous Patriot opponents penalties became part of the story. Josh Millers punt was nullified after the Jets were called for having too many men on the field. The penalty allowed the Patriots to keep possession from their own 48 yard line.
Offensive Coordinator Charlie Weiss wasted little time taking advantage of the extra plays as he called for Tom Brady to throw deep down field to David Givens on 2nd down. The deep pass was complete to Givens down the sideline to the Jets 10 yard line and set up a first and goal situation.
A one yard Dillon run and a two yard pass to Kevin Faulk was all that New England could muster before Brady was sacked by Sean Ellis on third down. The sack set up a 27 yard field goal by Vinatieri and put the Patriots up 6-0 with 9:31 remaining in the half.
In keeping pace with their 5-0 counterparts, the Jets began a march down field from their own 22 off the ensuing kickoff. A steady dose of Curtis Martin(20 rushes for 70 yards) moved the ball out to the 36 yard line. From there Pennington took over completing to Wayne Chrebet for 18 yards to the New England 46. The yardage propelled Chrebet to third all-time in receiving yards in Jets history behind Don Maynard and Wesley Walker.
The mix of offense kept the Patriots defense on their toes and allowed Pennington to find receivers open. Pennington would complete to Chris Baker, Santana Moss and Anthony Becht consecutively moving the ball down to the Patriots 18 yard line.
Three plays later on third and five former Patriot running back Curtis Martin made his own move up the NFL ranks. Martins 5 yard run for a first down moved him past Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown for seventh place on the all-time rushing rushing list with 12,382 yards.
As important for New York, it set up a first and goal situation, one the Jets would take advantage of. Pennington hit Chris Baker on a pass at the goal line on first down. The completion set the stage for the Jets first and only score of the day. On second and goal from the 1 Pennington scrambled out of the pocket. After finding nobody to throw to he deciding to keep it himself and ran to the corner of the goal line for the touchdown. The extra point gave the Jets the late first half 7-6 lead.
With just under two minutes to go in the half just about everyone in Foxboro knew that there was plenty of time for the Patriots to counter. And counter they did. Bethel Johnson put New England in good field position with a 27 yard run back out to the New England 38.
From there the Patriots settled in to their two-minute offense. Out of the shotgun, Brady completed to Johnson for 14 yards on first down. Brady then found Kevin Faulk(21 yards rushing, 44 yards receiving) wide open up the middle for 24 yards down to the New York 24 with a minute-and-a-half remaining before half-time. A false start would move the Pats back six yards on first down from the 24, but new England would recover with a 5 yard Kevin Faulk run and a completion to David Patten for eleven yards down to the 14.
The Jets would again shoot themselves in the foot and aide New England when on 2nd and 9 and Brady throwing incomplete, Dwayne Robertson was called for roughing the passer. New England was awarded yardage and first and goal from the seven yard line. Two plays later Brady stepped up in the pocket to find David Patten in the back of the endzone for the touchdown and a 13-7 lead with just five seconds left in the half.
That two minute drill, Brady said of the drive, is something were working on 2 or 3 times a week.
The second half was turned over to the defense on both sides of the field. The Jets first tow possessions resulted in three-and-out situations. The Patriots fared slightly better as they were able to move the ball near midfield before punting on their first possession of the second half.
New >England also went three-and-out midway through the third quarter. New England regained possession just before the fourth quarter and moved the ball well. Starting out on their own 9 yard line the Patriots would rely on Corey Dillon(22 rushes for 115 yards) to get them out of the hole.
Dillon came through for his teammates when on 1st and 10 from the 15 Dillon broke free for 44 yards into Jet territory. Corey, we really didnt get going early, but it shows you what he can do up the middle, Brady said of his teammates run.
After the Dillon gain New England looked poised to put up some more points but the Jets defense, which has played a big role in getting them to 5-0, would intervene. On 2nd an ten from the Jet 36 Brady threw a dump pass to Dan Klecko. Klecko fumbled upon being hit by John Abraham and the Jets recovered immediately. New York ended up punting on the series, but later had a chance to drive for a go ahead score.
With eight minutes left in the game New York took possession deep in their own end of the field, on the 14. A mix of Pennington passes and runs by Martin and Lamont Jordan brought New York to the New England 27 yard line with 3:37 left to play.
A pass attempt to Justin McCareins in the endzone was broken up by Asante Samuel and Eugene Wilson, setting up a third and five scenario from the 27. On third down Curtis Martin was stuffed by Willie McGinest and Richard Seymour for a three yard loss.
Needing a touchdown Jets coach Herman Edward made the choice to go for it on fourth down. Although a wise decision, the result was not what Edwards had hoped for. Penningtons pass intended for Wayne Chrebet was broken up by Rodney Harrison and the Patriots winning streak looked in good shape with just over two minutes remaining in the game.
A few Dillon runs later, including a key 3rd and two run behind Richard Seymour who was in at full back, sealed the Patriots 21st consecutive win. Of the fourth down attempt coach Edwards said, Were not kicking a field goal. Youre not going to get lucky and beat the champs. We were in four down territory the whole way. Coach was right and the Patriots won...again.
The game marked the first time since the merger that two teams starting the season with 5 or more wins faced each other since 1973. All 24 receptions by David Givens this season have been for first downs. Tom Brady has thrown a touchdown pass in 12 consecutive games. The Jets and Patriots entered the game tied for third in turnover ratio. The Jets entered the game first in the league for fewest penalties against, both teams were flagged six times in the game. New England and Philadelphia are the only two teams who remain undefeated this season.
Chris Timoney provides is a site contributor for the Patriots Insider. You can find him in the forums under the name: jakbrown. You can also find archives of his columns on the Insiders by using the search feature on this site.
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