Quick-hit thoughts after 3rd quarter
December, 6, 2010
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Quick-hit thoughts after the third quarter, with the Patriots leading 31-3:
Knockout in this fight. The Patriots are steamrolling the Jets. They are the better team tonight -- clearly.
Sanchez connects … with Spikes. Rookie linebacker Brandon Spikes recorded his first career interception on the Jets’ opening drive of the half, with Sanchez firing a ball right into his hands. Bad decision and throw by Sanchez, nice hands by Spikes to haul it in. This was the latest example of the Patriots’ defense giving up yards, but coming up with the big turnover/play to bail them out. The bend-but-don’t-break style suits them well. Sanchez was intercepted by Devin McCourty later in the quarter, with the rookie cornerback getting his sixth pick of the year with excellent coverage and solid technique to turn back for the ball.
Brady still playing interception-free football. Tom Brady entered the game having gone a franchise-record 199 pass attempts without an interception. That has continued tonight. Some of Brady’s best work has been eating the ball and taking sacks instead of forcing things when the Jets simply outnumbered them against certain calls. Brady is over 300 passing yards for the game.
Rookie tight ends showing up big. Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez delivered big catches in the quarter, as the Patriots got the tight ends involved with the passing game.
Woodhead hurts former team. Running back Danny Woodhead is having another big day. His 50-yard catch-and-run – which goes into the box score as a reception but was a glorified run – has the Patriots in position to up their lead to 38-3. Woodhead is over 100 yards receiving for the game.