The second quarter started off under the hood with a review of the New York Jets last play which was ultimately confirmed to be short of the first down. The New England Patriots then had the replay assistant back to work with a potential fumble by Julian Edelman which was correctly reversed and called incomplete. A false start and an incompletion killed slowed the drive. On third and long, a conversion on a screen to Edelman was called back due to a hold. Then, a draw to Leon Washington got nothing but a yard and forced a punt. The Jets had no one back, and the Patriots special teamer Marquice Cole made a mistake downing it immediately rather than letting it roll down further inside the twenty yard line.
The Jets converted a first down on their screen pass to Bilal Powell, and Chris Ivory was back to rumble for five more solid yards. The Jets did the Patriots a favor running Bilal Powell who was stopped short for a third and two. The Jets fullback dive just barely got the first down.
The Jets have turned momentum. There is no pressure on Geno Smith and receivers sitting open in the middle of the field. On first and fifteen, Smith sat comfortably in the pocket and waited for Stephon Hill to sit down at the first down marker. As soon as that happened, the Patriots had two chances to get a turnover and cornerback Alfonzo Dennard missed an interception when Geno Smith made a Mark Sanchez toss far behind the receiver and skipped off his hands. Then, on the next play, Chris Ivory put the ball on the ground after a big hit by Patriots middle linebacker Jerod Mayo while wrapped up by Rob Ninkovich. Unfortunately, no one for New England seemed to realize that the ball was loose and the Jets were able to recover. On third down, the Jets went deep and a bad pass allowed Kyle Arrington to break it up and force another punt.
With 8:07 to go until the half, the Patriots took over and Stevan Ridley was mobbed by the Jets defensive line for a big loss of four. Then on second down, Brady made a nice pass to Aaron Dobson that went through his hands on the sideline. On third and long, Dobson got open deep and straight up dropped a catchable ball. Patriots quarterback Brady made two perfect passes and Aaron Dobson dropped them both, ending a frustrating drive for New England.
After the punt-a-thon continued, the Jets took over at the 34 yard line. With Geno Smith looking more comfortable as the game went on, Rob Ninkovich finally got into the backfield with pressure and caused a throw away by Smith. Kellen Winslow jumped before the snap to make it second and fifteen, and again the Patriots got pressure up the gut with three rushers forcing Smith to the sidelines and throwing the ball out of bounds again. On third and fifteen, there was a rumbling from the crowd as Smith finally went down with Michael Buchanan inexplicably and unlikely as the first sack for New England.
On first down the Patriots went deep to Kenbrell Thompkins for a huge completion of 38 yards. Two quick passes to Edelman made it third and five and another miscommunication between Brady and rookie Aaron Dobson led to a field goal. Brady was visibly upset on the sidelines with his young receivers not being on the same page with him. The young wideouts are clearly learning on the job and Tom Brady is not used to having to deal with the disconnect with the receivers.
The Jets received the kickoff and took over with 5:05 to go before the half at the twenty after another touchback. Nice tackle by Steve Gregory on tight end Kellen Winslow to keep the gain short on first down. Another fullback dive (is it 1926 or something?) set up third and five. Chandler Jones FINALLY got the quarterback taking down Geno Smith to force a punt. Despite punt catch interference, the referees swallowed their flags.
With three minutes to go, the Jets stuffed Patriots running back Stevan Ridley on first down. After a Jets timeout to escape a twelve man on the field penalty, Julian Edelman ran a Wes Welker slant for nine yards. On third and one, Aaron Dobson got open deep AGAIN and turned inside out trying to find the ball and force a punt by Ryan Allen. Ryan booted a beauty that New England downed at the five yard line with the Jets needing to go 95 yards in less than two minutes.
Dobson is clearly not in sync with Brady, which, considering the time missed is understandable, but is hurting the team short term. He obviously has physical gifts and excellent skills, but is still working on getting it all together. If the Patriots win, then it is a good learning experience; if New England loses, then it is a poor decision.
The Jets brought Bilal Powell back at running back as they rushed for three yards on first down.Running the clock down saw Chandler Jones getting Geno Smith down again and set up a third down and twelve with a minute and fourteen seconds. Chandler Jones was in the backfield again hitting Smith as he lobbed it to the fifty into double coverage and was almost picked off by Aqib Talib. A punt by the Jets saw Edelman run it back inside the Jets forty yard line with 53 seconds to go to the half and a timeout.
Running back Stevan Ridley rumbled for seven yards on first down and then Aaron Dobson made a sweet reach behind to get a first down. Brady went deep to Kenbrell Thompkins who made a diving catch that went to the booth yet again to see if he had control and maintained it going to the ground. The call on the field was a touchdown, but announcer Mike Mayock was convinced it was coming back. He was right.
That incompletion made it second and ten with nineteen seconds left to play in the first half. Brady had nowhere to go and had to heave it away to save field position. On third and ten, Brady centered the ball and let kicker Stephen Gostkowski attempt a long field goal of forty-three yards. On his third attempt, the field goal attempt was missed wide left. With the replay overturning the touchdown, it was 13 to 3 at the half rather than 20 to 3, a big difference with the Jets getting the ball to start the second half.
Tom Brady was plagued by drops and finished the first half eleven for twenty-four passing for 124 yards and a touchdown. While Aaron Dobson caught his first touchdown, there were a number of missed connections. Julian Edelman caught seven passes for forty-two yards. The running game went in spurts and was inconsistent. Stevan Ridley rushed eight times for only 27 yards. The Jets were plagued by the Stephen Hill turnover and the Patriots pass rush picked up before the half and got some hits on young Geno Smith.