|New England is #1...in the AFC East at least|
But last night marked a return to form for Brady and his bunch, who beat the Jets (in New York this time) for the second time this year to reinforce their 30-21 triumph at Gillette during Columbus Day weekend. In front of scores of veterans Tom was terrific once again, needing only 26 completions to total 329 yards and a trio of touchdowns. Rob Gronkowski, who leads all NFL tight ends in six-pointers since the start of last season, hauled in two of them (Branch snagged the other) while Ochocinco contributed 65 yards on just two catches. Stephen Gostkowski banged home three field goals, including a beautiful 50 yarder to get the scoring started in the first.
New England only led 13-9 at the half, but proceeded to pour it on after the break. They started pulling away in the third by tacking ten points onto their lead while the defense held Mark Sanchez (306 yards, 20/39, one TD and two picks) and the Jets scoreless. New York trimmed the lead to seven early in the fourth on a Sanchez-Plaxico Burress connection, but the Pats responded with two touchdowns of their own to put the game away. The defense does deserve some credit for keeping New York off the board in the first and third quarters, whereas New England scored in all four.
The 37-16 win vaulted New England (6-3) into first place in the AFC East and proved they, not the Jets nor Bills (both 5-4), are still the top-dog in the division. The Pats return home for their Week 11 Monday night tilt with a thoroughly mediocre Chiefs squad (4-5) in their last game before Turkey Day.