The Patriots managed to win Thursday night’s game despite it being one of the worst statistical days for Tom Brady in a long time.
Whether or not that was Brady’s fault is a matter of discussion, but what we can tell you was …
Patriots Players With TD Catch
From Tom Brady (1st career game)
• Brady was 19-for-39, his 48.7 percent completion rate was his first game with a completion rate below 50 percent since Week 15 in 2009 against the Buffalo Bills, his first time doing so at home since Week 1 in 2006, also against the Bills.
• This was the lowest completion rate that Brady has had in a game against the Jets.
• The Patriots had four dropped passes, including three by Aaron Dobson (who also scored his first career touchdown), and had another play late in the second quarter in which Dobson and Brady had what our video-review crew deemed a route mixup.
• Brady did not target a tight end with a pass in this game, the first time Brady didn’t target a tight end since that 2009 Week 15 game against the Bills. He targeted receiver Julian Edelman 18 times, connecting on 12 of them, though for only 78 yards.
• The Patriots nine first downs are the fewest for the team in the Bill Belichick era. The previous low was 11 in 2002 Week 15 against the Tennessee Titans.
• Brady's 24.2 Total QBR is his worst in a game since 2011 Week 11 vs Chiefs (23.7).
• The Patriots won despite having more punts (11) than 1st downs (9).
It was the first such win for New England in the Bill Belichick era (since 2000).
On a positive note, Brady became the second quarterback to throw a touchdown pass in at least 50 consecutive games, joining Drew Brees, whose streak was 54 in a row from 2009 to 2012.
The Elias Sports Bureau notes that Brady is now 6-0 all-time on Thursday’s, the best record on that day of the week in NFL history.
The Patriots are 2-0 with their wins being by two points and three points. It’s only the second time in franchise history that they’ve started 2-0, with both wins being by three points or less. The other instance was in 1999, when they finished 8-8.
The Patriots have now won six straight games against the Jets. The only longer streak in team history was a seven-game run from 2003 to 2006.
Geno Smith comes back to earth
Geno Smith became the fifth rookie quarterback in as many tries to start and lose in New England against a Bill Belichick-coached Patriots team.
Rookie QBs at Patriots
Smith came the closest to winning, the first of those five to lose by single digits.
Smith had as many completions to Jets in the fourth quarter as he did interceptions (three).
Smith became the first Jets quarterback to throw at least three interceptions in the fourth quarter of a game since Ken O’Brien in 1992.
Mark Sanchez totaled three fourth-quarter interceptions in all of 2012.
Smith struggled accuracy-wise against standard pressure (four or fewer rushers), going 9-for-24 (for 161 yards) with four sacks. He was 19-for-29 for 201 yards with no sacks against standard pressure in Week 1.