Sunday, January 16, 2011
Halftime notes from Jets-Patriots III
By Tim Graham
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Halftime observations from Gillette Stadium, where the New York Jets lead the New England Patriots 14-3:
- The Jets have taken it to the Patriots so far. Tom Brady has been under pressure, and even when he has time he's misfiring. The Patriots might be starting to come unglued. Pro Bowl left guard Logan Mankins was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct right before halftime for shoving a Jets player.
- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick benched receiver Wes Welker for the first offensive series. We can only assume it was because because Welker made 11 foot-related comments in a nine-minute news conference Thursday. Welker beat cornerback Darrelle Revis for a 10-yard gain early on the fourth play of the second drive.
- Brady's attempts streak without an interception technically still is intact and will resume when the Patriots open the 2011 regular season. But on his fifth pass, Jets linebacker David Harris returned an interception 58 yards to the Patriots' 12-yard line.
- That interception should have given the Jets an even larger lead. But their offense lost 8 yards on the next two plays and were forced to try a field goal. Nick Folk's 30-yard attempt was wide left, preventing the Jets from taking a 3-0 lead.
- The Jets put together a drive that must have felt mentally satisfying and took a 7-3 lead with 10:24 left in the second quarter. Braylon Edwards made another great sideline catch for a 37-yard gain to the Patriots' 8-yard line. Two plays later, LaDainian Tomlinson made a difficult catch and ran into the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown.
- Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has been creative. Option quarterback Brad Smith was deactivated because of a leg injury, but that didn't stop the Jets from trying to dazzle the Patriots. They ran a reverse with Joe McKnight. Backup guard Robert Turner reported as an eligible receiver and on one play went in motion and actually ran a route. Tomlinson has been in the Wildcat.
- The Jets have sacked Brady three times. Defensive end Shaun Ellis collected a pair on the Patriots' second drive, including one on third down deep in Jets territory to force a Shayne Graham field goal. Defensive back Drew Coleman was untouched on another third-down sack in the second quarter.