Game Balls & Goats: Patriots-Jets

Do you think the Patriots had a good game, or a bad one? Even with the win, our staff hand out our grades on who did well and who needs to review some more film.


1 - Matt Cassel: Has there ever been this much attention on one quarterback for New England? Maybe the Drew Bledso scenario, but regardless, the fourth year QB did enough to win. Congrats to Cassel. He finished 16 of 23 for 165 with no TDs, but more importantly, No interceptions.

2 Adalius Thomas: He whiffed on a couple of possible sacks and tackles for a loss before turning in a huge play. With 5 minutes to go, he sacked Brett Favre for a 20-yard loss on 2nd-3. It basically sealed the win.

3 LaMont Jordan: 11 carries for 62 yards. Looked better than Sammy Morris hitting the hole with speed, and ran with a lot more power than Maroney. He just made a statement game to claim more playing time.

Honorable Mentions:
Kevin Faulk: One week after his pot suspension, Faulk did enough to show why he'll remain the team's third down back all season. Reliable hands, solid punt returns and a good sense of where to run with the ball are all the reasons to keep Faulk around.

Jerod Mayo: 7 tackles to lead the team, but more importantly, he was around the ball constantly. Mayo continues to prove he was worth the 10th pick in the Draft.

Bill Belichick: for deciding to for for it on 4th and 1 late in the game to seal it.

Wes Welker: for being Mr. Reliable.


1 Eric Mangini: Just because... Mangini has a reputation around the league for ridign on Belichck's coattails. After three years, that's not really fair to say. But his decision to dump Pennington and replace him with Favre looks more like an act of desperation than a shrewd move. If Mangini can't win with a Hall of Fame QB and the Patraiots can win with a guy who hasn't started sice high school, the coach of the losing team deserves a goat.

2 Third Down Defense: This continues to be a serious problem. If it's not fixed, this team is toast. The Jets managed 6 of 12 third downs (50%) today, giving up a couple of BIG third down alnd long conversions. New England could have put the game out of reach early if they were just average (40%) on third downs. Unfortunately they weren't.

3 Offensive line: It was bad. That's all you need to know. It was bad early, and it was bad late. This team misses Stephen Neal.

Dishonorable mentions
Randy Moss:
Are we starting to see why teams gave up on Moss? He failed to run routes when he was not the target. He dropped pass deep. Is he missing Brady, or is it the old rep coming out?

Josh McDaniels: When Cassel was getting creamed, it took far too long for McDaniels to dial up the screens and the Draw plays to take pressure off the QB. Sorry Josh, you almost deserved a Goat. At least you didn't call a dumb reverse this week

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