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Ups and Downs: Edelman, Defense Shine While Offense Struggles

By Matthew Geagan, CBSBoston
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Patriots receiver Julian Edelman. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Patriots receiver Julian Edelman. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – The Patriots’ 13-10 win over the Jets on Thursday night wasn’t a pretty football game to watch, but when it’s all said and done the Patriots are now 2-0 with a pair of division wins.

While the defense came up big once again, there wasn’t much that went right for the Patriots on offense. Tom Brady and his rookie receivers are not on the same page, and Brady’s emotions boiled over on the sidelines. Eight of the Patriots’ 16 possessions on offense lasted four plays or less, and the Jets had the ball for eight minutes longer than New England.

RECAP: Patriots Beat Jets 13-10 In Ugly Offensive Game

It’s amazing that the team won this game, but a win is a win. Here are the Ups and Downs from Thursday night’s win at Gillette:

Ups

Edelman Steps Up Big

If it wasn’t for Julian Edelman, the Patriots offense would have probably went backwards the entire game.

Like Danny Amendola did last week, Edelman came up with big catch after big catch, finishing with a career-high 13 receptions for 78 yards. Brady went his way on 18 of his 39 throws, and with Amendola potentially out up to six weeks, it’s good to know Brady has a go-to guy in Edelman until Amendola and Rob Gronkowski return.

Defensive Takeaways

The defense had four takeaways in this one, and stood tall once again late in the game.

Aqib Talib picked off two Geno Smith passes, Alfonzo Dennard added another, and Talib forced the first quarter fumble that led to a field goal by the Patriots.

All three of the interceptions came in the fourth quarter as the Patriots were clinging to a three point lead. Sure, a lot of it had to do with a rookie quarterback making risky, and poor, passes in bad conditions, but the defense came up again when they needed it.

Chandler Jones Comes To Play

Jones was all over the place, recording two sacks, three QB hits, two tackles for loss, and five total tackles.

He had a roughing the passer penalty on the drive the Jets scored their touchdown, but it was good to see Jones get aggressive.

Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones celebrates one of his two sacks against the Jets. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones celebrates one of his two sacks against the Jets. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Love it or hate it, it’s always good to see Chandler Jones dancing on the field.

Health

After losing Danny Amendola and Shane Vereen on Sunday, the Patriots walked away from this one relatively unscathed in the injury department. No easy task given the short week and conditions on the field in the second half.

Downs

3rd Downs

The Patriots offense went just 4-for-18 on third down. The nine first downs they managed are the fewest under Bill Belichick.

Rookie Receivers Struggle

And that is putting it nicely.

Aaron Dobson went from future Hall of Famer after catching a touchdown on his first NFL reception to being called “Aaron Dropson” in a matter of minutes.

Brady went Dobson’s way 10 times Thursday night, and the rookie could only catch three of them. He had numerous drops and missed routes, and clearly isn’t on the same page as Brady.

Things weren’t much better for Kenbrell Thompkins, who had just two receptions on seven targets.

That’s a grand total of five catches on 17 targets for the two rookies, which isn’t going to cut it with Brady and the Patriots.

But Belichick chalked it up as “one of those games,” and growing pains are to be expected with the youngsters. Now the test is bouncing back and fixing their mistakes with a few extra days to prepare for their Week 3 match up with the Buccaneers.

Angry Tom

Brady lost his cool on numerous occasions during the game, and it’s hard to blame him for that given all the drops. But Brady wasn’t at his best either, and he spoke at length during the preseason about being more patient with his young receivers.

That didn’t last long though, with Brady staring daggers at his rookies on the field and on the bench.

Tom Brady has this expression on his face numerous times Thursday night against the Jets. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Tom Brady has this expression on his face numerous times Thursday night against the Jets. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

It’s understandable for Brady to be upset, but he might want to calm down just a tad on the sidelines.

No Running Game

The Jets rush defense is pretty good, but you would expect the Patriots’ ground attack to rush for more than 54 yards on a soggy night where the passing game struggled.

Stevan Ridley ran for just 40 yards on 16 carries, and nearly fumbled on a pitch from Brady late in the game. But give him credit for being able to gather the toss and hold on to it.

Overall, Pats backs averaged just 2.3 yards per carry against the Jets.

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