It’s time to take a look at some numbers that stand out after the New England Patriots demolished the New York Jets 49-19 on Thanksgiving Day. The most important stat? 8-3. The Pats record, of course. According to PFR’s advanced statistic SRS (simple rating system, measures almost everything) the Pats have been the best team in the league with a 13.4 SRS.
1. 9. The number of yards allowed in pass coverage by Kyle Arrington, who had more passes defended (2) than catches allowed (1). He has played two terrific games back-to-back after totaling two tips against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 11. He’s no longer a liability, and I feel bad for being so rough on him earlier this year. But he definitely deserved it, because he was once allowing quarterbacks to have a rating over 150 when throwing it at him.
2. Speaking of quarterback rating, Tom Brady had an insane 139.4 QB Rating against the Jets, mainly because of an 11.5 yards per attempt average. That reflects a long pass to Julian Edelman, as well as that 83-yard TD to Shane Vereen that bloats his numbers. Nearly all of those yards came from Vereen, but Brady still deserves credit for another good day at the office. He missed some big throws he normally makes, but there is little to complain about when averaging over ten yards per attempt with no picks.
3. 1. The number of hits the Patriots offensive line allowed on Tom Brady, and that sack was called off due to intentional grounding.
4. Tom Brady was 2-8 when throwing it deep, and it should have been a 4-8 day for him on deep passes. His misses to Brandon Lloyd on both sides of the field were uncharacteristic, and Lloyd missed out on a long TD pass. Both players could have had even better statistical days, with Lloyd’s 3-26 line being a misleading one.
5. Steve Gregory may have led the team in turnovers with three in this game, but Brandon Spikes might have been the best player at making plays throughout the game. He had 11 tackles and seven successful plays in total in a huge game for him, but, of course, it would be foolish to take away from Gregory. I loved his pick of Mark Sanchez in the red zone. By the way, Jerod Mayo also had a pretty good game with 11 tackles to tie for the team lead. Both Mayo and Spikes deserve heavy consideration for a Pro Bowl vote and at least one of them needs to be on your ballot.
6. The Patriots averaged nearly five yards per carry (54 yards on 11 carries) when rushing it towards the right side of the offensive line, so credit needs to be given to second-year RT Marcus Cannon for filling in excellently in an emergency start for surprise inactive Sebastian Vollmer.
7. Tom Brady was an incredibly precise 15-19 on short and intermediate throws. Sanchez also had success in that region going 21 for 29, but the majority of those completions came in garbage time (there was a lot of it with the game in hand after just one half) when the Pats were clearly playing prevent defense and didn’t care what Sanchez did. That might have been the worst game I’ve ever seen from a QB who threw for over 300 yards. Sanchez was terrible and anyone who tells you otherwise was merely looking at the box score and did not expand upon it.
8. Jermaine Cunningham was extremely active in run defense with five tackles, while Jerod Mayo swallowed up the middle of the field with seven tackles in run D.
9. Wes Welker caught 70% of everything thrown at him, while quarterback Tom Brady finished with a 21.4 EPA that should end up leading all QBs for Week 12 when it’s all said and done. Besides Brady, Vereen was the most valuable player on offense thanks to some solid work in the running game and that huge 83-yard catch that fully showcased his speed and explosiveness in the open field. The Jets were clueless on that play, and they just can’t hang with Vereen.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.