Final

Patriots 37

(6-3, 3-2 away)

Jets 16

(5-4, 4-1 home)

Coverage: NBC

8:20 PM ET, November 13, 2011

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ 

1 2 3 4 T
NE 6 7 10 1437
NYJ 0 9 0 716

Top Performers

Passing: T. Brady (NE) - 329 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: S. Greene (NYJ) - 13 CAR, 61 YDS

Receiving: R. Gronkowski (NE) - 8 REC, 113 YDS, 2 TD

Pats rebound, seize 1st in East after Tom Brady shreds Jets

ESPN.com news services

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A few classic drives. An impressive rout. Total control of the division.

Struggling no more, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots sent a clear message Sunday night: They're still the team to beat in the AFC East. Not the Buffalo Bills. And certainly not the New York Jets.

Brady threw three touchdown passes, including two to Rob Gronkowski, and the Patriots assumed sole possession of first place in the division with a convincing 37-16 victory over the Jets on Sunday night.

"It's very sweet," Brady said, "getting this win."

Especially after two consecutive losses had some wondering if the Patriots (6-3) were no longer the powerhouse they've been for years. Well, not so fast.

"Losing two straight, you have 14 days of just feeling crappy," Brady said. "Every day of practice is harder. It's hard to build on losses. It feels really good to win this one."

After the Jets got within a score at 23-16 early in the fourth quarter, Brady coolly led the Patriots down the field on an 84-yard drive that was capped by an 8-yard touchdown catch by Deion Branch.

New England linebacker Rob Ninkovich then sealed the victory -- which snapped a two-game skid -- on the Jets' next possession with a 12-yard interception return for a touchdown midway through the final quarter.

"One game won't win you much," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said, "but it's a good win and we're certainly happy to have it."

The game was a showdown for the top spot in the division, but it was no contest as the Patriots took over sole possession by snapping the Jets' three-game winning streak and sweeping the regular-season series.

"It looks doubtful right now," Jets coach Rex Ryan said of his team's chances of winning the division. "Maybe I should guarantee we're out of it. The last time I did we made it.

"Yeah, we got no chance."

Buffalo entered the day tied with New England and New York, but the Bills were blown out by the Dallas Cowboys 44-7.

It was also the first home loss for the Jets (5-4) after opening 4-0, but they can't dwell on it because they play again at Denver on Thursday night.

"You're not going to beat many teams when you make the mistakes that we made," Ryan said. "We've been down this road before. I apologize to our fans."

Ryan insisted his team was greatly improved since a 30-21 loss at New England on Oct. 9 and declared it a must-win if New York wanted to get some home playoff games. Turns out, the Jets still have plenty of work to do if they expect to dethrone the Patriots.

"It just wasn't our night," Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez said. "We earned what we got tonight."

New England was coming off consecutive losses to Pittsburgh and the Giants, but said there was no concern in its locker room. It certainly showed as the Patriots avoided their first three-game losing streak since 2002.

Brady finished 26 of 39 for 329 yards, the 40th time he reached the 300-yard mark in a regular-season game, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Joe Montana for eighth on the NFL's list. He also joined New Orleans' Drew Brees as the only players to throw for 3,000 yards in their team's first nine games. Brees also accomplished the feat this season.

Brady and Belichick broke a tie with Miami's Dan Marino and Don Shula as the winningest quarterback-coach duo since 1966 with 117 victories.

"The good teams keep getting better this time of year," Brady said. "That's what we need to do."

Gronkowski finished with eight catches for 113 yards and the two scores, and Stephen Gostkowski kicked three field goals. Andre Carter had a team-record 4½ sacks as the Patriots' defense -- ranked last in the league coming in -- harassed Sanchez all night.

Sanchez was 20 of 39 for 306 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted twice and sacked five times.

LaDainian Tomlinson passed Hall of Famer Barry Sanders for fifth place on the NFL's career list for yards from scrimmage, but left the game with an injured left leg which was tightly wrapped in the locker room. He told ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini that he would have an MRI on Monday.

The Jets appeared to get back in it when Plaxico Burress caught a 7-yard fade pass over Antwaun Molden in the right corner of the end zone for a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter, making it 23-16.

But Brady went right back to work, leading the Patriots on a typically-efficient drive, going 84 yards on 13 plays using a no-huddle offense that kept the Jets' defense off balance. Mixing in some solid runs by Danny Woodhead, Brady calmly spread the ball around to his receivers before connecting with Branch with 8:04 remaining.

The score sent many in the crowd at MetLife Stadium heading for the exits. Many of those who remained didn't stick around much longer once Ninkovich returned an errant pass by Sanchez 12 yards to make it 37-16 with 7:45 left.

"Bill challenged us last week," nose tackle Vince Wilfork said. "We took his challenge and it showed tonight."

Three Jets bobbled a muffed punt by Joe McKnight to set up Gostkowski's short field goal for a 16-9 lead.

A few minutes later, Ninkovich returned a twice-tipped interception as Sanchez's throw went off the hands of running back Shonn Greene, then was deflected by linebacker Jerod Mayo to Ninkovich.

The Jets got on the scoreboard when they got some rare pressure on Brady. Jamaal Westerman got to the Patriots quarterback in the end zone, and Brady threw the ball away left-handed and was called for intentional grounding and a safety.

New York took the free kick and moved 65 yards on seven plays, and Sanchez ran in from the 2 on a quarterback draw for a 9-6 lead. But the Jets quarterback made a mistake on the play right before his score, calling a timeout with 1:24 left in the half. Ryan was so angry, he told NBC at halftime that the timeout was the "stupidest play in NFL history."

Adding to the frustration was New York not opting to try a pooch kickoff following a 15-yard penalty on New England's Wilfork, and Nick Folk kicked the ball through the end zone. Brady hit five passes on an 80-yard drive, with Gronkowski getting open over the middle for the 18-yard score with 9 seconds left in the half that made it 13-9.

Game notes


The Patriots lost CB Devin McCourty to an injured right shoulder midway through the second quarter after he collided with teammate Sterling Moore. ... Jets WR Patrick Turner had his first catch of the season, but later left with what the team called "a kidney injury." ... Patriots WR Chad Ochocinco had two catches for 65 yards, his first receptions since the last time these teams played, on Oct. 9.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
NE
NYJ
1st Downs2122
Passing 1st downs
1713
Rushing 1st downs
38
1st downs from penalties
11
3rd down efficiency
4-135-13
4th down efficiency
0-10-2
Total Plays6769
Total Yards389378
Yards per play5.85.5
Total Drives1213
Passing329268
Comp-Att
26-3920-39
Yards per pass
8.46.1
Interceptions thrown
02
Sacks-Yards Lost
0-05-38
Rushing60110
Rushing Attempts
2825
Yards per rush
2.14.4
Red Zone (Made-Att)3-52-4
Penalties9-805-56
Turnovers03
Fumbles lost
01
Interceptions thrown
02
Defensive / Special Teams TDs10
Possession30:0729:53

Passing Leaders

NEC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Brady26/393298.4300-0
NYJC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Sanchez20/393067.8125-38

Rushing Leaders

NECARYDSAVGTDLG
Woodhead7385.409
Faulk581.606
NYJCARYDSAVGTDLG
Greene13614.708
Tomlinson7385.4015

Receiving Leaders

NERECYDSAVGTDLG
Gronkowski811314.1223
Johnson26532.5053
NYJRECYDSAVGTDLG
Holmes69315.5027
Kerley47919.8038

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERNENYJ
neFG8:14Stephen Gostkowski 50 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 48 yds, 3:24
30
neFG2:36Stephen Gostkowski 36 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 55 yds, 3:03
60
SECOND QUARTERNENYJ
nyjSF4:48Penalty on Tom Brady, Intentional Grounding In Own End Zone
Drive info: 3 plays, -8 yds, 0:38
62
nyjTD1:24Mark Sanchez 2 Yard Run (Nick Folk Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 65 yds, 3:24
69
neTD0:17Rob Gronkowski 18 Yard Pass From Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 80 yds, 1:11
139
THIRD QUARTERNENYJ
neFG10:34Stephen Gostkowski 27 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 4 yds, 1:30
169
neTD4:47Rob Gronkowski 5 Yard Pass From Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 57 yds, 2:52
239
FOURTH QUARTERNENYJ
nyjTD15:00Plaxico Burress 7 Yard Pass From Mark Sanchez (Nick Folk Kick is Good)
Drive info: 10 plays, 71 yds, 4:49
2316
neTD8:10Deion Branch 8 Yard Pass From Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 13 plays, 84 yds, 6:51
3016
neTD7:52Rob Ninkovich 12 Yard Interception Return (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 2 plays, -10 yds, 0:19
3716

Research Notes

NEXT LEVEL: Patriots defensive lineman Andre Carter posted 4.5 sacks Sunday night. All of the sacks came when the Patriots had six or fewer men in the box.
  [+]

BradyIn years past, Rex Ryan's blitzes have left Tom Brady befuddled, but on Sunday night the Patriots QB figured out the Jets' extra pressure.

  [+]
NEXT LEVEL: The Jets defense could not stop the Patriots no huddle plays. Tom Brady completed 5-of-5 for 65 yards and a touchdown in no huddle offense as the Patriots totaled for 106 yards in 15 such plays.
NEXT LEVEL: Tom Brady was much more efficient in the second half against the Jets Sunday, especially on throws of ten yard or less, completing 12-of-14 for 106 yards and two touchdowns.
  [+]

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