The New England Patriots and New York Jets held a scoreless draw following the first quarter, and it looked like it would be another hard-fought game between the two, bitter AFC East rivals. Even as the Patriots were right around the Jets goal-line, it seemed like the Pats were in for another pretty close one against the Jets. The haunting, narrow overtime victory over the Jets just a month ago was still fresh in the Patriots minds, but the second quarter told a different story.
The Patriots blew the game- and the Jets- out in one of the greatest second quarters you will ever see a team play. It started with a three-yard touchdown pass to Wes Welker right off the bat that got the ball rolling. Then, the magic was set up.
Bill Belichick couldn’t have been happier with how his 200th win came about. The Patriots were in New York, blew out a bitter rival, and they did so on Thanksgiving Day in total annihilation. Not only did the Patriots score a whopping 35 points in the second quarter to take a 35-3 lead into the half, but it was the way in which they did it that makes it special. This is a Thanksgiving game that I will never forgot.
In 52 seconds, the New England Patriots put 21 points on the board, and Rex Ryan looked like he was about to barf, crap himself, and cry at the same time. If you didn’t see his face, then you should have. It was even more priceless than the butt fumble. Anyway, let’s run through each of the three beautiful touchdowns.
1. Shane Vereen, 83-yard touchdown pass
Pretty much all of those yards came from Vereen and his ridiculous speed. He caught the screen pass and just blew by absolutely everyone on the Jets, and that defense looked about fifty gears too slow for Vereen. Bart Scott looked like he was frozen in time, the way Clark Kent froze everyone in Smallville. Vereen is just so explosive, and he showed it by making the Jets defense look utterly foolish. I know that’s not hard to do, but what is hard to do is run so fast for 83-yards that somebody watching on TV will miss that player score if they turn for even a split second.
2. Steve Gregory, 32-yard fumble return
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. It’s really hard to scoop up a bouncing football while running, but Steve Gregory’s path to the end zone was threat. No, no, the credit for the butt fumble touchdown goes to Vince Wilfork; Mark Sanchez had no idea what hit him. Then, he realized, it was his own guard Brandon Moore. So Sanchez tries to scramble, and he ends up falling a little bit and smashes his helmet right into Brandon Moore’s butt (I feel for him). Part of the reason why this play happened is because Wilfork was strong enough to push Moore backwards into Sanchez’s direction. At the end of the play, Wilfork just pushed Moore to the ground.
3. Julian Edelman, 22 yard fumble return
Ah, another miscue from the Jets. Joe McKnight returned the kick-off and was promptly clocked by Devin McCourty on what was a terrific play by the Pats star safety on special teams. Julian Edelman scooped the ball up and ran it into the end zone to cap off the 21 points in 52 seconds.
The final touchdown of the half from the New England Patriots is also notable, and it was also notched by Julian Edelman. The current free agent wide receiver took advantage of some shoddy coverage by the Jets, and he got past the last man in the Jets secondary deep down the middle of the field. Tom Brady hit him up with a pinpoint pass (who said he can’t throw it deep?), and it ended up in a beautiful 56-yard touchdown pass that was probably my favorite touchdown of them all. I’m a huge fan of good ol’ offensive execution.
Speaking of execution, the Jets probably felt like a Thanksgiving Day turkey in that game. Heck, even Tom Brady got into the act with a fourth quarter rushing touchdown. The Jets tried to rack up some garbage yards in the passing game, but the damage was already done in 52 seconds. 49-19 was the final score, but the game was over with 8:51 left in the second quarter when Julian Edelman crossed the end zone for the first time that game.
Was this the best game the Pats played last year, or was it that blowout win on Monday Night Football over the Houston Texans?
The Patriots “Look Back” series strives to look back on the most notable (good or bad) moments of the 2012 NFL season. This is mostly based on viewer input, and today’s moment was provided by Foxboro Blog writer @vaidyeah33 via Twitter. You can send in your suggestions in the comments section, via email, on Facebook, or you can reach me on Twitter.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.