Tom Brady has been near perfect for another week as the New England Patriots have dominated the New York Jets 24-3 with a nearly unstoppable offense in the first half.
The Patriots scored on their first four drives, including a fourth-and-one call that turned into a 25-yard touchdown pass from Brady to wide receiver Deion Branch. Brady added a touchdown pass to Brandon Tate, while BenJarvus Green-Ellis chipped in a 1-yard TD blast and Shayne Graham converted a knuckling 41-yard field goal to open the game.
Brady, who posted a perfect 158.3 passer rating in a win over the Detroit Lions on Nov. 25, has thrown for 152 yards with two touchdowns and a 133.3 QB rating.
The Jets defense has had little answer for the Patriots clicking offense and has especially felt the absence of veteran safety Jim Leonhard who suffered a season-ending leg injury in Friday’s practice.
His replacement Eric Smith is leading the team with six tackles and a sack, but was flagged for a 36-yard pass interference penalty on Rob Gronkowski midway through the first quarter that set up Green-Ellis’ touchdown run. He also showed a blitz too early to allow Branch to slip past on a quick slant and waltz into the endzone on the Patriots gutsy fourth down attempt on the
Branch leads the Patriots with three catches for 64 yards and a touchdown.
Mark Sanchez (7-17 for 67 yards) has failed to follow Brady’s lead. He’s had trouble syncing with receivers and has looked a little woozy after a shot he took early in the first quarter.
Nick Folk made a 39-yard field goal with 12:19 left in the second quarter to keep the Jets from a first half shutout, but horribly missed a 51-yard attempt on the Jets’ opening drive. He has now missed six of his last 11 field goal tries.