- Mike Rodak, ESPN Staff Writer
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Taking a look at the television copy of Sunday's game against the Jets and offering some third quarter observations:
1) While Patriots DT Kyle Love made some plays early in the game against single blockers, he had trouble throughout holding his ground against double teams. On a second-and-6 early in the third quarter, Love was driven off the line of scrimmage 3-4 yards by RG Brandon Moore and RT Wayne Hunter, while fellow DT Vince Wilfork drove C Nick Mangold and LG Matt Slauson into the backfield but away from the run by RB Shonn Greene. The double teams up the middle left LBs Brandon Spikes and Rob Ninkovich free, but Ninkovich, whose hole Greene hit, got run over to allow the first down.
2) The touchdown catch by WR Jeremy Kerley came on a well-designed play from the Jets that began with all the makings of a run. At the snap, the offensive line took a hard step to their left, with WR Santonio Holmes also motioning behind the line as if to block. Meanwhile, QB Mark Sanchez faked a handoff to RB LaDainian Tomlinson to the right side, away from the blocking, which was enough to draw blitzing SS James Ihedigbo into the fake. In the far slot was Kerley, who was uncovered off the snap after CB Kyle Arrington also came on an edge blitz and was drawn into the run action. This left FS Patrick Chung to chase Kerley across the field on a crossing pattern, trailing by two steps as Sanchez rolled to his right off the fake and threw.
3) On their first third down of the third quarter, the Jets returned to the shotgun, spread offense that gave them some success late in the first half. Sanchez found the matchup he wanted -- Kerley against Spikes (in a zone) in the right slot -- and threw to Kerley, but this time, Ihedigbo was playing closer to the line of scrimmage, lined up about 10 yards off Kerley in the seam. He came up to quickly take Kerley down after the catch, preventing a first down.
4) Often used as a blitzer in previous matchups, one of the few times that Jets S Jim Leonhard came in on a blitz was on a third-and-9 in the third quarter. While the Jets rushed seven, the Patriots were in a seven-man protection; however, RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis had to pick up an inside blitz by S Eric Smith, leaving Leonhard free off the edge. Brady quickly diagnosed the pressure coming off his left and got off a hurried throw, falling away from his intended receiver, TE Aaron Hernandez. It feel slightly short and wide, reminiscent of what the Jets had been able to do against the Patriots in the recent past.
5) Side note: Patriots DE Andre Carter had another solid game, proving to be a steady contributor on the edge for the defense. He shows good leverage in the running game, as well as tenacity and technique and the passing game, pressuring the quarterback perhaps more than any Patriots rusher. Carter has made very few negative plays through the first five games of the season and is rarely caught out of position. An impressive start for the veteran.