Patriots-Jets: Game Balls & Goats

The New England Patriots fell to the New York Jets 16-9 in a game that was close until the end. the Jets had enough answers for the Pats and Tom Brady was uncharacteristically rattles. We hand out our game balls and goat awards fro the the good and the bad on Sunday's game.

Each week after the game, our staff get together to decide who needs to be honored for a good game (given a game Ball) and who needs to be reminded their bad game (Goats). Awards can be handed out for anything from the play on the field to the condition of the turf, or even the broadcast crew's calls. Only three of each are handed out. Honorable and Dishonorable mentions included for the rest.

GAME BALLS:

WR Julian Edelman - Edelman stepped in for an injured Wes Welker and played well for a rookie. He lead the team in catches (8) and receiving yards (98). His ability to perform in the slot allowed the Patriots to move the ball even without their top wideout from last season. Unfortunately, Edelman is still a rookie and wasn't able to come up with a possible touchdown catch in the first half. His versatility also allowed for him to return a pair of kickoffs.

DL Mike Wright - With Richard Seymour in Oakland, the Patriots looked at Mike Wright as more than a backup. Wright's play on the team's first defensive snap - beating Alan Faneca to sack Mark Sanchez and force a fumble - could have been the game changer. Unfortunately Faneca recovered the ball. Still Wright finished the night with 4 tackles, 2 assists a sack and a forced fumble.

RB Fred Taylor - Taylor's contributions in the running game took pressure off of Tom Brady who was bombarded by Jets pressure. Taylor didn't have a gamechanger, but his 8 carries for 46 yards (5.8 avg.) was good enough to give New England an option if they wanted to run.

Honorable Mentions:
DL Ty Warren - as the team's leading end, Warren proved his value, recording 8 tackles (6 solo), and a sack.

K Stephen Gostkowski - after recovering the fumble that setup the Patriots win last week, Gostkowski nailed all three of his field goal attempts against the Jets to give New England the lead at the half. His first -- 45-yarder -- was crucial to get New England on the board instead of giving the Jets additional inspiration from stopping the Patriots.

Jets Defense - New York did a tremendous job of disrupting the Patriots passing attack. Their Red Zone defense was just a solid.

Jets Fans - That stadium was very loud. Obviously Jets fans had plenty to cheer about. They made the difference when the game was close.

GOATS:

Coaching - the lack of offensive play adjustments during the game was a glaring difference from Patriots teams of the past. The decision not to run the ball when Taylor was having success, was the most concerning. There may have been other factors involved, but it looked like the Jets knew what the Patriots were up to, and New England didn't try other things to defeat the pressure. Namely a screen play.

Short Yardage Blocking - New England has not been able to gain crucial first downs when they try to run the ball on third (or fourth) and short. It could be a combination of factors, including the back not hitting the hole fast enough, but it looks like the line is having trouble blocking at the point of attack. When the Patriots tried to run on a third-and-1 in the fourth quarter, trailing by 7, Fred Taylor was stuffed. It was a slow developing run the left, which the Jets sniffed out and buried. The Patriots had to punt with just under 4 minutes to play.

Penalties - 11 penalties? When was the last time the Patriots committed 11 penalties. Many of them came at the wrong time, wiping out first downs or putting the team in second or third and long. The back-to-back delay of game calls on Tom Brady killed a promising Patriots drive with the team only behind by 4.

Dishonorable Mentions:
QB Tom Brady - Brady doesn't deserve a goat for a bad day, he did amazingly well against a very aggressive defense. He did look uncomfortable under pressure, and had a few mental lapses. He also threw three balls he probably wished he had back; the Moss interception, he bomb to Joey Galloway that was behind and the pass wide to Edelman near the Jets goal line.

WR Joey Galloway - He still doesn't look like he understands the offense. His timing with Brady isn't what the team's No. 3 option should have issues with at this point.

S Kerry Rhodes - Jets defender has to learn how not to use his mouth and force his teammates to back him up.

Rex Ryan - Sending out three former Patriots as your team captains makes a mockery out of the times former players or soldiers, firemen and rescue workers are honored. Ryan obviously made his point. The move seemed a bit amateurish

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