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Rapid Reaction: Patriots 31, Jets 14

11/22/2009

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan cried for his team this week. They had to jolt the New England Patriots again if they wanted to stay in the playoff hunt. Anything less than victory was unacceptable.

The Jets failed to come through.

The Patriots totally outclassed them on offense and defense, cruising to a 31-14 triumph Sunday in Gillette Stadium.

The Patriots bounced back from last week's debacle in Indianapolis to reassert their dominance in the AFC East. They're 7-3, two games ahead of the second-place Miami Dolphins and three ahead of the Jets.

The Jets have lost six of their past seven games, with their lone success against the woeful Oakland Raiders nearly a month ago.

Star cornerback Darrelle Revis won his showdown with Randy Moss, but that and a 103-yard rushing performance from Thomas Jones were about the only things that went well for the Jets. Moss made five receptions for 31 yards, but a couple plays were against other defenders. He did beat Revis on a timing play for a 4-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady minced the Jets' defense with Wes Welker instead. The slot receiver had the best yardage day of his career, catching 15 passes for 192 yards.

Patriots running back Laurence Maroney carried 22 times for 77 yards and two touchdowns.

New England has scored at least 27 points in five straight games.

The anti-star of Sunday's game was Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez. He committed five turnovers. Patriots cornerback Leigh Bodden snagged three of Sanchez's four interceptions and returned one of them 53 yards for the game's first score. Sanchez also lost a fourth-quarter fumble.

Sanchez did make a beautiful 29-yard pass to Jerricho Cotchery, who made an even prettier catch in the end zone. That was the Jets' lone offensive score. The other touchdown came on a blocked punt.