EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A scoreless first quarter turned into a comedy of errors in the second as the Patriots scored three times in less than a minute -- including twice on Jets fumbles.
The Jets looked completely hapless as their visiting rivals scored five touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 35-3 halftime lead.
Brandon Moore’s backside delivered a hit on his quarterback Mark Sanchez to force the first Jets fumble with nine minutes left in the second quarter. The Patriots’ Steve Gregory recovered and scored, and Joe McKnight fumbled the kickoff return on the next possession. Julian Edelman gets credit for that recovery and touchdown to put the Patriots up 28-0. Edelman later scored on a 56-yard pass from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
The Jets turned the ball over three times. Not exactly a team that will be known for protecting the ball, as Sanchez had said earlier.
Brady's breeze: The Pats are down two starters on their offensive line. RT Sebastian Vollmer was declared inactive before the game, added to a missing LG Logan Mankins. But Brady had plenty of time to throw on his first touchdown of the game, a 3-yard pass to Wes Welker, lightly covered by Jets CB Ellis Lankster in the end zone. On the first play of the game, Brady was knocked down and called for intentional grounding, but he wasn’t sacked.
No Gronk, but Hern: TE Aaron Hernandez was back for the first time since the last time the Jets played the Patriots in New England. Hernandez had a 28-yard catch in the first quarter.
Slow start, quick finish: The Patriots didn’t score at all in the first quarter, but then got going on the Welker touchdown and quickly followed it up with a 83-yard touchdown pass to Shane Vereen. The Jets' lack of speed in the secondary was evident as Vereen blazed a path to the end zone.
Fireworks: When the Jets finally got on the board, a field goal with two seconds left in the half, a single golden firework erupted over MetLife Stadium.