By Sports XChange | Box Score
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady threw for three touchdown passes in less than three quarters, LeGarrette Blount ran for two touchdowns and Stephen Gostkowski kicked the 300th field goal of his NFL career, leading the New England Patriots to a 41-3 blowout of the woeful New York Jets on Saturday.
The win, their sixth straight, moved the Patriots (13-2) closer to securing home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. It reduced their magic number to one, meaning a New England win at Miami next Sunday or an Oakland Raiders loss either later Saturday or next week and the Patriots are home for two possible playoff games.
Brady tossed touchdown passes to tight ends Martellus Bennett and Matt Lengel — the first catch of Lengel’s NFL career — and running back James White in the first half as New England led 27-0 at the end of a rainy first half and cruised home in better weather after halftime, completing the series sweep of the Jets.
Blount scored his 16th and 17th touchdowns, tying him with Curtis Martin for the third-best total in club history. Gostkowski kicked a pair of first-half field goals, becoming the 30th kicker ever to hit 300. He added his 301st.
It was Bill Belichick’s 200th regular-season victory with New England, making him the fifth coach with at least 200.
Brady left the game with 27 seconds left in the third quarter, finishing 17 of 27 for 214 yards and, again, no interceptions. He has just one pick in the 11 games since coming back from his four-game Deflategate suspension — and the 214 yards left him 53 yards shy of passing Dan Marino for fourth place on the all-time list.
It was Brady’s 50th career game with at least three touchdowns and no interceptions. Five of his completions went to Julian Edelman for 89 yards.
Malcolm Butler intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble to lead a defense that was untested by New York.
The Jets (4-11), who avoided the shutout on a 29-yard Nick Folk field goal with 6:16 left, fell to 4-11 while guilty of the following: four turnovers, two dropped touchdown passes, defensive holding on a sack that led to a New England touchdown and missing a 34-yard field goal (after the dropped touchdown). They had another defensive hold that turned a field goal into a touchdown.
On one play in the third quarter, referee Gene Steratore announced a “false start, offense, everyone but the center.”
Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (shoulder) and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (hamstring) both left the game after suffering first-half injuries, while defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson and several others left in the second half with injuries.
Petty was 0 of 3 with an interception and Seferian-Jenkins dropped a touchdown pass. Ryan Fitzpatrick was 8 of 21 for 136 yards and two interceptions.
The loss was the worst for the Jets since a 49-9 defeat at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2013.
NOTES: Jets coach Todd Bowles got out of the hospital, made his way to New England in the morning and was on the sideline after dealing with kidney stones and gall bladder issues. … The old AFL teams met for the 116th time, the Patriots owning a 61-54-1 record. In the first meeting, on Sept. 12, 1960, the Boston Patriots defeated the New York Titans 28-24 at Boston University. … Patriots QB Tom Brady improved to 70-18 against the AFC East. … WR Michael Floyd, signed by New England after his release from the Arizona Cardinals after his DUI arrest, was active and caught a pass in the fourth quarter. … Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower (knee) and special teams captain Matthew Slater (foot) were inactive, while the Jets were without RB Matt Forte (knee, shoulder). … While the Patriots visit Miami next Sunday before sitting out the bye in the first round of the playoffs, the Jets finish their season at home against Buffalo.