Patriots - Jets Quick Hits

The New England Patriots rolled over their AFC East rival the New York Jets on Sunday 37-16. The game was closer than the final score indicated until the fourth quarter when New England did what it always does, turn up the postseason heat on their opponent. Here are some quick hits from the game.

Notes

Home Field Advantage - The Patriots improved 9-1 (.900) all-time at home in the playoffs. The streak of nine straight playoff wins tied the Buffalo Bills for the second longest playoff win streak in NFL history. Buffalo's wins came from 1988-95. The Green Bay Packers hold the best record of 13 consecutive homefield wins from 1939-2001.

End Zone Production - Running back Corey Dillon's first quarter touchdown was the third of his playoff career as a Patriot. He now ranks second on the Patriots all-time playoff list trailing Curtis Martin who had 5.

Ground Game Success - Laurence Maroney and Corey Dillon led a Patriots rushing attack that piled up 158 yards on 38 carries. It was the fifth-best rushing total in team playoff history and the best playoff performance since a 210 yard 39 carry outing against the Indianapolis Colts in the 2004 AFC Division Playoffs. It was the third time the Patriots ran for over 158 yards during the 2006 season.

Shutting Them Down Early - In the Bill Belichick run defenses in New England, the Patriots have not allowed an opponent to score on an opening drive in the playoffs. Over the past 12 games, including the win over the Jets, New England's opponents have punted the ball 10 times and thrown 2 interceptions to end their opening drives. The Jets were forced to punt on their opening drive last Sunday.

Brady's Postseason Prowess - Tom Brady improved his career playoff record to 11-1 (.917), and did not throw an interception in his 34 attempts, improving his NFL-record low playoff interception percentage to .012 (five interceptions in 401 attempts). Additionally, Brady improved his career marks to:

19-2 in games played on Christmas or later in the NFL season
39-7 on in games played on Thanksgiving or later in the NFL season
23-1 on artificial turf (including 2-0 in the playoffs)
62-2 when leading at half-time (including 9-0 in the playoffs)
30-8 against AFC East teams (including 1-0 in the playoffs

New England Patriots linebacker Rosevelt Colvin (59) leans over New York Jets quarterback Chad Pennington (10) after Colvin knocked Pennington down in the fourth quarter of their AFC wildcard playoff football game in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Jan. 7, 2007. The Patriots defeated the Jets 37-16. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

They Said It

"I have seen him play a bunch of other quarterbacks this year and he is one of the best in the league. We have our work cut out for us. I don't think we know a whole lot about this team besides LaDainian (Tomlinson) and Merriman. They have a bunch of great players so we have our hands full." - Tom Brady on facing the Shawne Merriman and the Chargers this week.

"Do you want to talk about the game? I'm not going to get into a post-game analysis here. Really, I've had enough of that. There were 80 people between me and Eric. I'm just trying to coach the team, that's all. I'm just trying to coach the team." - Bill Belichick responding to questions about his post-game hug with Jets Head Coach Eric Mangini.

Player Notes

--SS Rodney Harrison missed the game, as expected, with the MCL injury he suffered in his right knee in the season finale in Tennessee.

--TE Benjamin Watson was active for the Patriots, suiting up for his first game since a knee injury suffered Dec. 10 in a loss at Miami.

--NT Vince Wilfork returned to the starting lineup against the Jets after missing three straight games to end the regular season with an ankle injury. Wilfork played a big role in the win, turning the momentum in the third quarter with a fumble recovery and 31-yard return to set up a Patriots field goal and extend New England's lead.

--LB Tully Banta-Cain opened the game for the New England defense with a 2-yard sack of Chad Pennington. He added a second sack, a 12-yarder in the fourth quarter.

--QB Tom Brady extended his postseason record to 11-1 with an efficient performance in the win over New York, going an efficient 22-of-34 for 212 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 101.6 passer rating.

--RB Corey Dillon had an up-and-down day against the Jets. Dillon recorded his first career postseason fumble in the first quarter, setting up a New York field goal. Dillon also scored a 1-yard touchdown, finishing the home win with 10 carries for 56 yards.

--WR Jabar Gaffney had impressive day in his first career postseason game. The first-year Patriot had game highs with eight receptions for 104 yards.

--CB Asante Samuel continued his impressive season with a fourth-quarter interception of Chad Pennington that he returned 36 yards to close the door on the 37-16 win over the Jets. It was Samuel's third career postseason interception and comes on the heels of a regular season in which the free-agent-to-be tied Champ Bailey for the NFL lead with 10 interceptions.


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