Patriots vs Jets: Report Card

<p>Wondering what this guy is doing on the Front Page? Well you'd like to think it has something to do with the Patriots. It does, and it's pretty interesting. Get inside for this week's report card from the Insiders and to read this guys comments on the Pats.</p>

PHOTO: Head coach of the San Diego Chargers, Marty Schottenheimer yells out instructions to his team. Schottenheimer is the former head coach of the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs and the Washington Redskins.

"Schottenheimer, 58, has led his teams to the playoffs 11 times, more than any other active NFL coach. Since 1960, only four coaches have done it more; Don Shula (19), Tom Landry (18), Chuck Noll (12) and Bud Grant (12). All four have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame." See the Bio or Marty Schottenheimer.

After the San Diego Chargers won their game over the Carolina Panters by a score of 17 - 6, Schottenheimer was asked about the team, the players, and the league. He had THIS to say about the team SDBoltReport Report.

In regard to the League, Schottenheimer went on to talk about the parity that exists in the league. When asked about the Patriots current winning streak: “I am in awe. That to me is remarkable.”

Read on for the Insiders perspective on how the Patriots fared in their game against the New York Jets, which they won by a score of 13 to 7 to advance to a record of 6-0 and take sole possession of the AFC East.




The numbers were decent, and when quarterback Tom Brady finishes with a 100 or higher passer rating as he did Sunday (104.1), the Patriots usually win. Brady completed an efficient 20-of-29 passes for 230 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. In this game, the fact that he took care of the football was critical because it evolved into a field position game where one big mistake could have swayed the outcome. Brady was sacked three times and completed only 6-of-12 second half passes but he made the plays he needed to make. He found David Givens on a beautifully thrown 42-yard pass that set up a field goal, but he also missed on a couple of deep opportunities when he underthrew his receiver. Givens finished with five catches for 107 yards to carry the passing attack while Brady used running back Kevin Faulk (6 catches) effectively as well. It was a solid effort, but we've seen better.


Corey Dillon says he's just playing ball. But he's playing it pretty darn well. Dillon had his third 100-yard effort of the season Sunday when he carried 22 times for 115 yards, including a huge 44-yard run out of the goal line's shadow in the third quarter that gave New England a crucial field position advantage even though the run didn't result in points. He also churned out a first down with three runs on the Patriots' final possession that allowed Brady to take a knee to win the game. The offensive line did a solid job against a good front and after a slow start that saw Dillon carry 7 times for 13 yards in the first quarter, it picked it up and he wore down the Jets defense. At the half, Dillon had 11 carries for 23 yards, but his four third quarter rushes netted 68 yards. If he gets the ball enough, he will hit a defense for a big play.


This was a tale of two halves. New England had no answer for Chad Pennington in the first half as he completed 12-of-14 passes for 104 yards while guiding a pair of extended drives. In the second half, the highly accurate Pennington, who completes 70 percent of his passes, struggled as the Patriots tried to contest more throws with tighter coverage on the short and intermediate passes. He connected on only 7-of-16 second half passes for 58 yards. Justin McCareins finished with six receptions for 83 yards, but no other Jets receiver had more than 3 catches or more than 26 receiving yards. The Patriots made the big plays in the second half when needed, especially on the Jets' final fourth down play when Pennington tried to go down the middle to Wayne Chrebet, who was well covered by Randall Gay and Rodney Harrison. The Patriots pass rush was a non-factor in the game, mostly because of Pennington's ability to get rid of the ball quickly.


When you limit the NFL's leading rusher to 70 yards on 20 carries, that's a good job. Ted Johnson, Rodney Harrison and Tedy Bruschi stepped up and made life difficult for Curtis Martin, who gained his yards with his elusiveness and quick cutting ability. But those three defenders combined to make 30 tackles and with rookie Vince Wilfork facing off against arguably the game's best center in Kevin Mawae, the Patriots had to be pleased with the effort. New England played good team defense and Martin's longest run was a 9-yarder. Defensive lineman Richard Seymour had one of the more active days of his season, finishing with five tackles while plugging up the right side of the defense.


Since allowing a kickoff return for a touchdown against Buffalo, the Patriots coverage teams have been nothing short of impressive. On Sunday, they held the Jets to one 5-yard punt return and four kickoff returns that averaged only 16.5 yards. The Jets' average drive start following a kickoff was the 26 and anything inside the 30 is solid. The Patriots' average drive start was their 31, and while Bethel Johnson averaged just 23 yards on his two returns, his 27-yarder before the half gave New England the ball at its 38, which was a nice starting point for a two-minute touchdown drive that proved to be the game winner. Adam Vinatieri connected on two field goals - from 41 and 27 yards -- while punter Josh Miller pinned the Jets inside the 20 on all three of his punts. Kevin Faulk was quiet, returning two punts for 3 yards, but had an 11-yard return called back by a Matt Chatham holding penalty.


The Patriots were up for a division battle of unbeatens that staked an early claim for division supremacy. New England made excellent in-game defensive adjustments and relied heavily on Corey Dillon to protect a lead - a formula that could become old over the course of the season. The Patriots managed the clock well at the end of each half and it resulted in the game-winning touchdown and the game-clinching first down. The game changed from an offensive show to a slug-it-out defensive battle and that's exactly how the Patriots wanted to play it. New England likes to play a physical football game and make the opponent match it in that area, and the Patriots usually prevail under those circumstances. Twenty-one wins in a row? Belichick might get a few votes for president from the New England states.

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