FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Last January, the Patriots were stunned by the New York Jets in a playoff game at home.
The Jets deployed extra defensive backs in that contest, and New England’s vaunted passing game, with Tom Brady at the controls, was unable to make the necessary adjustments.
New York visited Gillette Stadium again Sunday. And the Jets threw out extra defensive backs in an effort to befuddle Brady once more. This time, though, the Patriots ran the ball more often, and with success, no small reason they emerged with a 30-21 triumph.
Ben-Jarvus Green-Ellis rushed for 136 yards. He scored a pair of touchdowns on short runs, and when New England needed to control the clock at the end of the game, Ellis was a workhorse in a 13-play, 69-yard drive that culminated in the clinching field goal.
“We have to run the ball,” said Brady, who still found a way to complete 24 of 33 passes for 321 yards and a touchdown.
“If they have a lot of DBs out there then we have to run it. If they put big guys in, we still have to run it. You just can’t throw the ball every single down against these guys. They make it too tough. You hand it off sometimes and it works. If it doesn’t work, you have to make adjustments. (Green-Ellis) ran great. He always does. He’ a tough runner, a real smart runner. He’s patient. He sees the holes. I thought we were balanced (offensively),” said Brady.
But Brady is rarely satisfied, and he wasn’t totally thrilled with the offense’s performance overall.
“We could have thrown it better,” said Brady. “We could have done a lot of things better on offense and we’re going to need to.”
Here are a few notable Brady numbers from Sunday:
* With his 321 yards passing today, Brady increased his season total to 1,874 through five games. That puts him on pace for 5,997 for the season, which would break Dan Marino’s NFL record (5,804 in 1984). Even if he doesn’t pass Marino, he’s still a good bet to go over 5,000 yards, which is a mark only Marino and Drew Brees (5,069 in 2008) have surpassed.
* Brady extended his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 21, but saw his run of consecutive games with at least two scoring strikes come to an end at 13. That streak is an NFL record, shared with Peyton Manning (2004).