There are plenty of reasons why football fans are thankful. Whether it is a big win or a huge play in a clutch situation, fans are always thankful for their team’s efforts. However, on this clash of rivals on Thanksgiving, Patriots and Jets fans were thankful for different reasons. New England fans were grateful for having their super-star quarterback Tom Brady lead their team to another crucial victory. For the Jets and their fans, they were thankful that the game ended.
Built up as a holiday-classic, the New England Patriots showed they are still the
AFC East’s elite team, as they annihilated the New York Jets 49-19. New England completely outperformed New York in all facets of the game, including special teams. The embarrassing performance by the Jets was led by five turnovers and a 52 second span where they surrendered 21 points to New England, followed by Jets fans turning off their televisions.
In the first quarter, the game was anything but laughable, as tough defense and lack of offensive execution contributed to a scoreless first quarter. The Jets and quarterback Mark Sanchez had one drive that reached New England’s red zone. However, the drive ended in disappointment for New York, as Patriots’ defensive back Stephen Gregory intercepted Sanchez’s pass, continuing the defensive battle. This turnover was just the beginning for New York.
Brady and his offense got into rhythm in the second quarter. The offense struck first when Brady found receiver Wes Welker wide open for a 3 yard touchdown, giving the Patriots a seven point advantage. Thisscore was just the beginning of a 35-point second quarter for New England.
In response to Brady’s score, the Jets attempted a fourth-down conversion in Patriot territory. On the attempt, Jets’ running back Shonn Greene fumbled the ball that was recovered by Stephen Gregory, killing all the Jets’ momentum. On the ensuing possession, Brady quickly increased the lead, connecting with running back Shane Vereen, who ran up the sideline untouched for an 83 yard touchdown. This score was his first touchdown reception of the season, and it gave New England an early 14-0 advantage.
Warning: For the rest of this article, Jets fans, read at your own risk.
Vereen’s touchdown was the start of a 52 second touchdown frenzy that ended both the game and most likely the Jets’ hopes for the post season. On the next offensive series, the Jets thought they were recording a NFL Football Follies episode, as Sanchez ran into his own lineman and fumbled the football. Patriots’ Gregory scooped the ball up and returned it for a 32 yard touchdown.
It only got worse for the Jets and their fans. On the ensuing kick return, the Patriots’ special teams stepped up, as they forced a fumble on Jets kick returner Joe McKnight. The fumble must have been an early Christmas gift, as the ball fell directly into the Patriots’ Julian Edelman’s hands, and he took it to the end zone for a touchdown in surreal fashion.
The Patriots weren’t done with their highlight reel, as later in the quarter, Brady found receiver Julian Edelman on a 56 yard bomb, his second touchdown of the game. The Jets could only respond with a field goal at the end of the quarter by kicker Nick Folk. The rout was on, as the Patriots were comfortable with a 35-3 halftime score.
As the third quarter kicked off, the Jets’ spirits were low, along with the number of fans in the stands. However, their defense capitalized on a rare mistake by New England, as a safety made the score 35-5. The offense could not take advantage of the opportunity, as they could not add points following their defensive effort. Later in the quarter, the Jets’ offense finally found the end zone, as running back Brandon Powell ran for a 4 yard touchdown, closing the gap with a score of 35-12.
In the fourth quarter, the Patriots halted the Jets’ feeble comeback attempt. On their opening drive of the quarter, Brady orchestrated a beautiful 17 play, 87 yard drive that was capped off by a 1 yard touchdown run by Brady. The drive killed both the clock and any chances of a Jets’ win.
The Patriots weren’t going to slow down because of their large lead. They continued to impress by scoring on a 9 yard run by running back Stevan Ridley his eighth of the season. In the closing seconds, Sanchez tried to get some support from his fans with a 1 yard touchdown pass to tight end Dustin Keller. Following this touchdown, the Jets and their fans were eager to leave the stadium, as the Patriots defeated them by a final of 49-19.
Whether the Jets had too much turkey before the game, or they just weren’t prepared, the NFL is impressed with the performance by New England. Their 108 points in the last two weeks is the most in a two-week span in franchise history. They also continue their undefeated streak in the second half of seasons, improving to 19-0 since 2010 in the seasons’ later months. The Patriots also handed the Jets their worst lost since the 1995 season opener. The victory on Thursday was led by another impressive performance by Tom Brady. He finished the game with 323 yards and 3 touchdowns. In his efforts, he eclipsed 3,000 yards passing on the season for the tenth time, becoming one of six players to accomplish this feat.
There were a lot of questions on whether or not the Patriots would struggle with New York because of some of their injuries. However, in their first game without superstar tight end Rob Gronkowski, New England had support from all their offensive weapons. In addition to another solid game from receiver Wes Welker, backup players such as Shane Vereen and Julian Edelman combined for over 100 yards receiving and two touchdowns. New England’s 152 yards rushing also helped contribute to the offense’s success in the absence of some of their injured players.
The game gives New England a three game lead in the AFC East, and has Jets fans chanting for quarterback Tim Tebow. The Patriots will look to build upon this victory, as they travel to Miami to play the Dolphins this Sunday. Patriots and fans are thankful for this win, and they hope that it gives them momentum heading into the playoffs.