Patriots roll past Jets 49-19 with big 2nd quarter

Tom Brady couldn’t believe what happened. Neither could Bill

Belichick, nor the rest of the New England Patriots, for that

matter.

They were up 7-0 on the New York Jets one minute, and 28-0 the

next. Literally.

Three touchdowns in 52 seconds. That was all it took to send the

high-scoring Patriots to a 49-19 victory Thursday night – and put

the bumbling Jets on the verge of seeing their season slip

away.

”It all happened so fast,” Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo

said. ”I’ve never been part of anything like that, but I’m glad

that we were on the right side of it.”

Brady threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score as the

Patriots (8-3) took advantage of five turnovers and used a 35-point

second quarter – including the three TDs in less than a minute – to

cruise past the Jets (4-7).

”That was quick,” Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich said.

”They were some of the quickest scores I’ve ever seen on any

level.”

New England’s 35 second-quarter points tied for the fourth-most

in a quarter in NFL history. After a scoreless opening period, the

Patriots then went on a touchdown spree despite holding the ball

for only 2:14 as the Jets kept giving the ball away.

”I was unfortunately on the other side of that in a Pro Bowl

where they scored on a fumble, then an interception,” Belichick

said. ”It doesn’t take a lot to score like that – defensive

touchdowns, special teams, they can add up in a hurry.

”Nothing surprises me in the NFL.”

The Patriots jumped on a poor decision by Mark Sanchez, who

ruined a nice drive by keying in on Jeremy Kerley on second-and-6

from the 23. Steve Gregory read the play the whole way for an easy

interception.

Brady then led the Patriots on a 15-play, 84-yard drive that was

capped by Wes Welker’s 3-yard touchdown catch on the first play of

the second quarter.

Things got out of hand in a hurry a few minutes later.

After New England recovered a fumble by Shonn Greene, Brady

threw a swing pass on first down to Shane Vereen, who zipped down

the left sideline untouched for an 83-yard touchdown that made it

14-0 with 9:43 remaining in the opening half.

The Patriots were back in the end zone moments later after

Sanchez fumbled on second down as he fell when he slammed into

right guard Brandon Moore’s backside. Gregory picked up the ball

and ran it 32 yards for a score to put New England up 21-0 with 9

minutes left.

And, the Patriots weren’t done.

Joe McKnight, one of the league’s top returners, fumbled the

ensuing kickoff on a hit by Devin McCourty. Julian Edelman grabbed

the ball out of the air and scooted 22 yards for yet another score,

making it 28-0 with 8:51 remaining in the half.

”That was crazy,” Sanchez said. ”I’ve never seen anything

like that. This is a team you can’t turn the ball over against

because they make you pay. That was a great display of that

today.”

Disgusted Jets fans were chanting for Tim Tebow to play before

the second quarter of this Thanksgiving showdown was over, and

booing as the team left the MetLife Stadium field at halftime.

”Shoot, I don’t blame them for booing,” Jets coach Rex Ryan

said.

New England, which beat Indianapolis 59-24 on Sunday, scored

four touchdowns in just over 6 minutes, helping Belichick become

the eighth coach in NFL history with 200 career victories,

including the playoffs.

”There’s no coach I’d ever want to play for than him,” Brady

said.

Edelman also caught a 56-yard pass for a score before leaving

with a head injury, and Stevan Ridley ran for a touchdown as New

England set a franchise record with 108 points in a two-game

stretch.

The Patriots improved to 19-0 in the second half of the season

since 2010. They were 8-0 that year and last year, and are 3-0 this

season after the midway point.

Meanwhile, the Jets allowed their most points since giving up 52

to Miami in the 1995 season opener, and will likely have to win

their remaining five games to even have an outside chance at the

postseason.

”Discouraged? Of course,” Ryan said. ”I’ll put it to you this

way: We’re about as wounded as you possibly can be, but we’re not

dead.”

New England was without star tight end Rob Gronkowski, out a few

weeks after breaking his left forearm against Indianapolis. It

didn’t need him – not with the Jets fumbling and stumbling

around.

Brady finished 18 of 28 for 323 yards before leaving with 2

minutes left in the game. He reached 3,000 yards passing for the

10th time, becoming one of six players to accomplish the feat. He

also passed Dan Fouts for 10th place on the career passing

list.

Tight end Aaron Hernandez returned after missing three games

with a sprained ankle and had two catches for 36 yards.

Sanchez was 26 of 36 for 301 yards with a touchdown and an

interception. Tebow didn’t play at all – revealing after the game

that he has two broken ribs – and stood on the sideline with a cap

on throughout despite the occasional chants for him to get some

snaps.

It looked as though this one might be a close as both teams

missed opportunities to score in the opening quarter, including

Stephen Gostkowski going wide left on a 39-yard field goal attempt

for New England. The Jets were hoping to boost their playoff hopes

and keep some momentum going after a 27-13 victory at St. Louis on

Sunday that snapped a three-game skid.

The Patriots had other plans, sweeping their AFC East rivals for

the second straight season.

”We did a good job,” Vereen said, ”of putting the hammer down

when they were down.”

NOTES: Edelman left the game early in the third quarter on a

helmet-to-helmet hit by LaRon Landry on an end-around during which

he fumbled. Belichick would say only ”we’ll see,” when asked

about the injury. … Jets WR Clyde Gates also left with a head

injury in the second quarter after a hard hit from Kyle Arrington.

… Jets WR Chaz Schilens didn’t speak to the media after the game,

saying he had also suffered a head injury. … Ridley was called

for a chop block in the end zone midway through the third quarter,

giving the Jets a safety.

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