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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