By Danny Cox
Going into week 16, the New England Patriots had already clinched a first-round bye and divisional title, but that didn’t stop them from demolishing the Jets 41-3. The team excelled in all facets of the game. The Patriots are certainly a team firing on all cylinders and a danger to any opponent.
Tom Brady completed 17-of-27 passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns. He had no interceptions and the team as a whole had zero turnovers. He played three quarters before resting and observing the final quarter from the sideline, as the game was already out of reach for the Jets.
LeGarette Blount had 50 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Dion Lewis finished the day with 50 yards, as the Patriots had 325 yards of total offense on the day. New England’s offense was working with a short field most of the day, which means lower numbers in general. However, the team converted on 11-of-18 third downs, which is a great sign and stat as the playoffs approach.
The New York Jets were absolutely taunted and tortured by the Patriots’ defense on Saturday. The Jets racked up just 239 total yards while committing four turnovers, three of which were interceptions. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two picks, while Bryce Petty threw for one. Two of those interceptions landed in the hands of Malcolm Butler, who shut down the passing lanes for the Jets all day. The Patriots’ defense simply dominated the Jets’ offense.
Special Teams: B+
Stephen Gostkowski hit all five of his extra points and nailed both of his field goal attempts. Ryan Allen punted four times. He did a great job of pinning the Jets back each time and one punt landed them inside their own 20-yard line.
On the hand, the return team didn’t do much. There were no kick returns that resulted in any stats. A few punt returns brought about a little bit of yardage. Ultimately, Julian Edelman and Cyrus Jones did the most important thing, which was hanging onto the ball and not losing yardage for the offense.
This New England Patriots squad is strong in every aspect of the team. Bill Belichick knows what works and is making sure that his Patriots keep executing week in and week out. The team has done an excellent job of not overlooking any team. The Patriots are a well-disciplined and prepared unit, which starts with coaching.
The Patriots will travel to Miami to face the Dolphins in their regular season finale. Since the Oakland Raiders also won in week 16, the first seed in the AFC is still up for grabs. Look for the Patriots to continue their dominate play in week 17 to ensure the AFC road to the Super Bowl goes through New England.