By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
FINAL — Patriots 41, Jets 3
That was ugly, in the prettiest way. The Patriots improve to 13-2 with an absolute beat down of the Jets.
Tom Brady finished 17-of-27 for 214 yards and three touchdowns, as the defense forced four New York turnovers.
The Pats are a Raiders loss or a win over Miami next week away from clinching the top seed in the AFC.
4th Quarter, 1:50: Devin Smith had a fourth-down pass from Fitzpatrick in his hands, but it came out as the receiver hit the ground. The Pats will take over.
Take a few knees, Jimmy.
4th Quarter, 2:00: There are just two minutes left in this one. That’s really all you need to know about this “football game” at the moment.
4th Quarter, 4:10: Dion Lewis couldn’t move the chains on third-and-1, so the Patriots punt it away.
The Jets will take over at their own 23, hopefully with the thought of eating all 4:10 on the clock.
4th Quarter, 5:26: Michael Floyd has his first reception as a member of the Patriots, hauling in a second-and-7 throw from Jimmy Garoppolo for six yards.
4th Quarter, 6:16 — Patriots 41, Jets 3
No shutout for the Patriots today.
Devin Smith had a step on Eric Rowe in the end zone, but he couldn’t come down with Fitzpatrick’s touchdown bid. Rowe may have gotten a finger on the pass, but either way, the Jets could only get three points after driving to the New England 11.
They didn’t even think about going for it on fourth down, trailing 41-0. That’s so Jets.
4th Quarter, 7:40: The Jets just picked up another fourth down conversion, with Fitzpatrick hitting Charone Peake for 27 yards. It’s their biggest play of the afternoon.
4th Quarter, 10:18: Powell gets the two yards he needed and New York’s drive continues. If they keep running the ball, that’s A-OK with us.
4th Quarter, 10:57: Powell came up short on a third-and-1 run up the middle, with Vincent Valentine making the stop for New England. Here comes a fourth down attempt by the Jets, which should be adorable.
4th Quarter, 12:24 — Patriots 41, Jets 0
Make it 17 touchdowns for LeGarrette Blount on the season, as he punches in his second of the day.
He’s slowly climbing up the Patriots’ All-Time list for TDs in a season. He trails just Randy Moss’ 23 scores in 2007 and Curtis Martin’s 17 touchdowns in 1996.
All the fans who braved the rain earlier are starting to leave Gillette, and it’s hard to blame them. This one is ugly and just getting uglier. Get ready for a lot of run plays over the next 12 minutes.
4th Quarter, 13:27: Jimmy was a little too high for Michael Floyd in the end zone, but the Pats are bailed out by a holding on the Jets.
Another Blount touchdown is in the near future.
End 3rd Quarter — Patriots 34, Jets 0
Tom Brady’s day is done and Jimmy Garoppolo is in at quarterback as we head to the fourth quarter. I guess that’s one reason to keep watching this game.
3rd Quarter, 00:27: Another Jets turnover, another pick by Malcolm Butler.
Fitzpatrick’s pass for Enunwa was wayyyyyy too high, and after it grazed off the receivers hands it went right to Butler. He returned it 21 yards, and a facemask on the return has the Patriots set up at the New York 22.
3rd Quarter, 3:09: And now the Jets get flagged for a false start on “everyone but the center.”
The Jets really don’t want to be on the field right now, and it’s hard to blame them.
3rd Quarter, 3:17: After the Pats had to re-kick Gostkowski’s kickoff after an offsides flag, the Jets ending up losing yards when Marshall muffed the kick and was taken down at the 14.
3rd Quarter, 3:22 — Patriots 34, Jets 0
It took him a handful of tries, but Blount has his 16th rushing touchdown of the season.
James Develin had a nice block as Blount walked into the end zone.
Great drive by the Patriots, covering 63 yards on 13 plays over 7:40. We might be due for some Jimmy Time on the next drive.
3rd Quarter, 4:01: Brady was sacked by David Harris on third down, but Darrelle Revis was flagged for a hold in the end zone for essentially tackling Chris Hogan. New set of downs for the Pats.
3rd Quarter, 4:29: The Patriots have driven all the way to the New York 8, where LeGarrette Blount had a massive collision with Sheldon Richardson. The Jets defensive end is now down after making the stop.
The Pats will face a third-and-goal at the New York 2 when play resumes.
3rd Quarter, 9:33: Tom Brady — mobile quarterback.
Facing a third-and-16, Brady felt some heavy pressure that forced him out of the pocket. But he hit the spin button to buy some more time, and hit Edelman for a 28-yard strike down field.
MVP chants have erupted at Gillette.
3rd Quarter, 10:45: Brady did however fumble on New England’s first play, the result of a Mo Wilkerson hit, but luckily was able to grab the ball as he was on the ground.
3rd Quarter, 11:02: Mock cheers go up as Jones fields the punt and returns it four yards, all without fumbling.
3rd Quarter, 11:12: Ryan Fitzpatrick is just 3-of-10, as the Jets go three-and-out to start the second half.
Cyrus Jones is back there to field the punt, so this could get interesting.
3rd Quarter, 12:07: A 10-yard penalty on David Andrews for Illegal Hands To The Face doomed the Pats’ first drive of the half. They couldn’t get anything going on first and second down — the incomplete to Edelman and a reception by White for no gain — and White’s 14-yard scamper on third down wasn’t enough.
Allen’s punt went 42 yards, and ended with a Jalin Marshall fair catch at the New York 18.
It’ll be Fitzpatrick the rest of the way for New York, as Petty will not return.
3rd Quarter, 13:19: Julian Edelman is not being very festive this afternoon. He’s had words with Jets assistants, Jets corners and, now, the officials.
He was upset when they ruled a low throw by Brady that Edelman “caught” as an incomplete. The tip of the ball clearly hit the ground, so Edelman doesn’t have much of a beef.
But it sets up a second-and-20 for the Patriots.
3rd Quarter, 15:00: The sun is now out at Gillette. That’s New England for you…
Halftime — Patriots 27, Jets 0
Can they just call this one now?
The Pats are dominating the Jets in this one, forcing three turnovers on defense and scoring easily on offense. New England has 218 yards, while the Jets have mustered just 89.
2nd Quarter, 00:25 — Patriots 27, Jets 0
Maybe that 17-point spread wasn’t high enough.
Brady hit James White with a 25-yard touchdown strike, and this one is turning into an even bigger laugher. Brady is up to 171 yards and three touchdowns on the afternoon.
2nd Quarter, 00:31: The Pats got the ball back thanks to a questionable Jets timeout on their possession, and New England is looking for an early dagger. Brady went looking for Malcolm Mitchell deep. The receiver couldn’t haul it in, thanks to a PI on the Jets.
2nd Quarter, 2:40 — Patriots 20, Jets 0
The Patriots made that look easy, turning another turnover into seven points. Matt Lengel (you know, Matt Lengel) hauled in an 18-yard touchdown from Brady, his first career catch. Not a bad gift on this Christmas Eve.
Lengel became the 64th different receiver to catch a touchdown pass from Brady in the regular season. You can get to know more about Lengel here.
Also on the drive, which took just four plays, Brady hit a wide open Julian Edelman for a 35-yard gain. The Jets are having some issues, to say the least.
The Pats have turned three Jets turnovers into 17 points today.
2nd Quarter, 4:47: Didn’t take the Patriots very long to get the ball back.
On his first throw of the drive, Fitzpatrick went looking for Brandon Marshall and instead found a leaping Eric Rowe. Great pick for Rowe, who was with Marshall every step of the way. It’s his first interception with the Patriots and second of his career. His first, fittingly, also came against the Jets last season.
The Pats take over at their own 46-yard line.
2nd Quarter, 5:02: Maybe it’s the rain, maybe it’s just a little Jets football rubbing off onto the Patriots. But James White dropped a perfect third down bid from Brady, and to make it worse he had a step on his defender. White would have had a nice 25-yard pickup on the wheel route had he been able to haul it in.
It’s one of those days at Gillette.
2nd Quarter, 5:56 — Patriots 13, Jets 0
Fitzpatrick’s end zone bid for Austin Sefarian-Jenkins went through the tight end’s hands (Patrick Chung may have helped) and Nick Folk missed a 34-yard field goal to keep the Jets scoreless.
That string of events is so 2016 Jets it hurts.
2nd Quarter, 11:13 — Patriots 13, Jets 0
The Pats settle for another field goal after stalling again in the red zone. Brady missed on two goal-line bids for Hogan and Edelman, with Justin Burris playing some phenomenal D on third-and-goal to make sure Edelman didn’t come down with a touchdown grab. Stephen Gostkowski kicked the easy 22-yard field goal to add three more points to New England’s lead.
Ryan Fitzpatrick will be under center for New York when play resumes. Petty, who still doesn’t have a completion on the afternoon, is questionable to return with a shoulder injury.
2nd Quarter, 12:15: Bryce Petty is heading to the New York locker room, as the Patriots are driving toward the end zone.
2nd Quarter, 13:55: It didn’t take long for the Patriots to get the football back. Elandon Roberts delivered a huge hit on Khiry Robinson, who coughed up the football. Butler was right there to pick it up and the Pats will take over at the New York 28.
Petty appears to have hurt his left arm on the play.
2nd Quarter, 14:01: Brady felt some actual pressure on third-and-5, and had to rush a throw to Hogan down the sideline. His bid was too high, meaning Ryan Allen got to make his first boot of the game.
The Jets only returned his 51-yard punt for four yards, and New York will start things off at their own 34.
End 1st Quarter — Patriots 10, Jets 0
Just about everything is going New England’s way as we hit the end of a speedy first quarter.
1st Quarter, 00:30: The Jets actually picked up a first down on that drive, and Bilal Powerll made Kyle Van Noy miss badly with a nice duck move. But that’s about all that happened, as Shea McClellin applied the pressure on Petty on a third-and-4 and the QB couldn’t get enough mustard on his throw. It fell harmlessly incomplete to Quincy Enunwa, as Petty is now 0-of-3 on the afternoon.
The Jets have just 15 yards after their first 11 plays.
1st Quarter, 3:02 — Patriots , Jets 0
The Patriots turn Butler’s interception into a touchdown.
Tom Brady went to Martellus Bennett in the back of the end zone on third-and-goal, focusing on his tight end the entire way, and the big man came down with his sixth touchdown of the season to give the Patriots a 10-0 lead. That ties a career-high for touchdowns in a season for Bennett.
The score capped off an eight-play drive that covered 47 yards in 4:17. Brady is now 6-of-8 for 70 yards on this rainy Christmas Eve. He has 23 touchdown passes on the season now, and only two interceptions. That’s wild.
1st Quarter, 6:25: The offensive line is giving Tom Brady a lot of time to work this afternoon, and the QB is taking advantage. He hit Chris Hogan for a 22-yard catch-and-run on third-and-4 to move the chains.
1st Quarter, 7:19: Michael Floyd has made his debut, as Brady went his way on first down. Floyd made the grab, but came down out of bounds.
1st Quarter, 7:26: Another three-and-out for the New England defense, though this one didn’t end with a Jets punt. Instead, Malcolm Butler tipped Petty’s bid for Robby Anderson and stuck with it for the interception.
The Pats take over on the New York 45.
1st Quarter, 8:16 — Patriots 3, Jets 0
Tom Brady had a wide open Julian Edelman in the corner of the end zone, but didn’t see him and ended up throwing it away on a third-and-6 after the Pats drove down the field with relative ease.
So instead, they settle for an early 3-0 lead off a 29-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski.
Brady completed three of his four passes (this after missing on his first six throws last week in Denver), with Malcolm Mitchell (16 yards on a second-and-8), Edelman (eight yards on second-and-11) and Martellus Bennett (14 yards on third-and-3) on the receiving end.
1st Quarter, 12:47: The Patriots forced a quick 3-and-out to start this one.
After a pair of running plays went nowhere, Chris Long swallowed up Bryce Petty for a sack.
Tom Brady and the offense will start at their own 47-yard line after Edelman returned a bad Jets punt eight yards.
Pregame — 1:00 p.m.: The Patriots won the coin toss (the Jets called tails and it failed) and elected to defer. New York will receive to open the game, and the Pats will start the second half with the football.
Pregame — 12:21 p.m.: Patriots head coach Bill Belichick discussed Michael Floyd with Scott Zolak on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s pregame show, and said the receiver looked good in practice this week. Floyd has some familiarity with the New England offense from his days with Charlie Weis at Notre Dame, but Belichick wouldn’t say how much the receiver will see the field.
“I think there has been a lot of progress made in practice and meetings,” said Belichick. “Hopefully he gets a chance to play today and we’ll see how it goes.”
Belichick said ball security will be at a premium with the weather conditions this afternoon.
“It’s the type of day where ball security may override everything,” he said.
Pregame — 12:04 p.m.: Julian Edelman, Patrick Chung and Cyrus Jones are on the field returning punts in pregame warmups.
It’s raining pretty heavily, so those guys will have their work cut out for them today.
Pregame — 11:30 a.m.: The Patriots’ inactives have been released, and there are a few notable names on the list:
The Pats will be without Dont’a Hightower, who has been a big part of the defense’s success over the last few weeks. Hightower missed practice on Thursday with a knee injury, and with a soggy afternoon being forecast the Pats probably don’t want to risk making the injury worse this late in the season.
Special teams captain Matthew Slater is also out for this one as he deals with a foot injury. Not seen on the list is rookie Cyrus Jones, who could be back to returning kicks — in the rain. Yikes!
Quarterback Jacoby Brissett, activated off the IR earlier this week, is also inactive. That means only Jimmy Garoppolo will be backing up Brady, who did not practice much this week as he deals with a thigh injury. If the Patriots get out to a big lead early, we could see some Jimmy Time.
Michael Floyd is active, as was reported throughout the morning, so he appears set to make his New England debut.
Running back Matt Forte is inactive for New York:
Pregame — 11:15 a.m.: The New England Patriots look to inch closer to the No. 1 seed in the AFC this afternoon, as they host the New York Jets in a Christmas Eve tilt at Gillette Stadium.
The Patriots and their fans will get an early Christmas present tonight if the Pats win and the Oakland Raiders lose to the Indianapolis Colts later this afternoon (kickoff is at 4:05 p.m.), as the road to Super Bowl LI will go through Foxboro if that how’s this Christmas Eve plays out. If both the Pats and Raiders win today, then the Patriots can clinch the top seed next weekend with a win in Miami.
While the Pats and Jets usually play pretty tight games, with each of their last seven decided by just one possession, the Patriots are 17 point favorites heading into this one.
Tom Brady will look to bounce back after a tough game last week against a very good defense in Denver (he threw for just 188 yards and no touchdowns), and should be able to do what he wants against a bad Jets secondary. Brady is 22-6 all-time against the Jets in the regular season, and today, it sounds like he’ll have a new red zone target in Michael Floyd.
The newly claimed receiver is expected to make his debut this afternoon according to several reports (we’ll know for sure when the inactives come out at 11:30 a.m.), though he isn’t expected to have a major role in the New England offense. Floyd participated in three full practices this week after the Patriots claimed him on December 15 following his release from the Cardinals. We’ll hopefully get a glimpse of what he can bring to the field and how much he’s grasped the playbook.
It’s raining at Gillette, and is expected to do so throughout the first half of the game. That could place a premium on the two team’s run game, an area the Patriots’ defense has thrived as of late. Over their last three contests, the Pats’ D has allowed just over 45 rush yards per game. The Jets defense has been the exact opposite, allowing 134.5 rushing yards per game since Week 9. So we should see a lot of LeGarrette Blount this afternoon.
Grab some egg nog, munch on a candy cane and stick with CBS Boston throughout the afternoon for all the updates from the game. You can catch Pats-Jets on WBZ-TV or 98.5 The Sports Hub — the flagship stations of the New England Patriots — with full postgame reaction and analysis when the clock hits zero!