For the New York Jets, the day after Thanksgiving was Black and Blue Friday.
Hopefully they thought twice about going out to do their Christmas shopping, lest risk being beaten and bruised more thoroughly by ruffian bargain hunters…
…and let’s not even talk about food – the Jets’ were gracious hosts, feeding the Patriots hot, tasty turnovers, then got a Touchdown Sandwich shoved down their throats for their effort.
And in the spirit of the “Turducken”, a staple of Thanksgiving football broadcasts, the Patriots served up what can only be described as a Touchdown Club - 35 points in a 12 minute span sandwiched between will-killing, yard and clock chewing touchdown drives that began and ended the scoring.
Featuring a defensive attack that is becoming more brutal and violent as the season wears on, the New England Patriots caused five turnovers enroute to a 49-19 win that wasn’t even as close as the score would indicate. Sandwiched between long, clock eating drives, the Patriots’ defense delivered a series of horrible beatings to the Jets resulting in fumbles, interceptions and hurt feelings.
New England scored quickly on passes down the field, they scored slowly on long, clock eating drives. They scored on defense, they scored on special teams…and on the few occasions that the defense couldn’t get the ball into the end zone themselves, Brady made sure to finish the job.
In short, they scored. And they scored a lot.
For the second consecutive game, the Patriots produced touchdowns in all three phases of the game with fumble returns by the defense and special teams and two long scoring passes from Tom Brady – the entire blur served between two long soul-stealing drives.
Leading 7-0 with ten minutes remaining in the 2nd quarter, the Patriots defense stopped the Jets on a 4th and 1 on the Patriots 30, with linebacker Brandon Spikes causing Jets’ running back Shonn Green to fumble forward and safety Steve Gregory recovering at the Patriots 17. Brady tossed an easy spiral to a wide open Shane Vereen on the first play from scrimmage after the fumble, who raced 83 yards untouched to give New England a 14-0 advantage.
That’s when everything fell apart for New York.
Thirteen seconds after that touchdown, New England defensive tackle Vince Wilfork did his “Forklift” maneuver to Jet’s guard Brandon Moore, lifting him off the ground and shoving him backwards into quarterback Mark Sanchez, who was trying to scramble during a broken play. The force of the impact caused Sanchez to lose the football, Gregory scooping up the ball and sprinting into the end zone for a 21-0 New England lead.
Feeling shell-shocked but still in the game, the Jets received the kickoff and, after a brutal hit by safety Devin McCourty, kick returner Joe McKnight lost his grip on the ball, tipped it up in the air trying to gain possession again, but it was plucked out of the air by reciever and special teams ace Julian Edelman, who trotted into the end zone for a 28-0 Patriot advantage.
On the ensuing possession Sanchez was sacked by Patriots’ linebacker Jerod Mayo and the Jets were forced to punt. Three plays later, Brady found Edelman on a deep post and it was suddenly 35-0.
Scoring five touchdowns in a span of 12 minutes is pretty impressive, and scoring three in the space of 57 seconds is ridiculous, but while New England proved once again that they can score in a blink of the eye, perhaps the most impressive part of this lopsided victory were two drives that collectively drained nearly a full quarter off the clock.
On a drive that spanned the latter half of the 1st quarter and ending on the first play of the 2nd quarter, New England went no-huddle and the offensive line started flexing their muscles, physically re-establishing the line of scrimmage into the second level. All three of New England’s tough running backs found room to run, and with Brady mixing in timely throws, they went 84 yards on 15 plays to take a 7-0 lead.
Even more impressive was the drive that iced the game.
After New York had scored on a field goal, a safety and – finally – a touchdown in the third quarter, New England got the ball back on their own 13 and, primarily utilizing New England’s fine trio of running backs, Brady directed a drive that chewed up 87 yards in 17 plays culminating with a one yard quarterback sneak. The drive spanned 7:39 of game time and featured a physical manhandling of the Jets’ run defense by the Patriots’ offensive line.
For dessert, the Jets served up one last turnover, this one a fumble caused by rookie Alfonzo Dennard, which set New England up the New York 37. Two plays later running back Stevan Ridley carried the ball 9 yards through a worn out Jets’ defense to provide New England with it’s final points of the evening.
So physically dominated were the Jets by New England that Jets’ owner Woody Johnson couldn’t watch the game any longer – disappearing from his luxury suite, supposedly back to his office in the bowels of MetLife Stadium, where he is said to be pondering the future direction of his franchise…
…at least he didn’t have to make decisions on an empty stomach. The Touchdown Sandwich that the Patriots served up was enormous, plenty enough for Johnson to chew on while his defeated team plays out the string of a lost season…