I liked New England’s aggressive approach to the start of this game. It began with their uncharacteristic choice to receive the ball after winning the coin toss. Normally, Bill Belichick likes to defer his choice to the second half, to allow for a potential opportunity to score on consecutive possessions on either side of intermission. However, it was clear that the Patriots wanted to jump out to an early lead and not look back, in an effort perhaps to manage the playing time of certain key players.
…OC Josh McDaniels approached the game’s opening drive nicely, mixing in runs and passes liberally, while the offensive line – which had maybe its best game of the season a week ago – blocked well again in both areas.
…New England’s choice to eschew a 40-yard field goal attempt in favor of going for the 1st down on 4th-and-2 from the Jets’ 22-yard line also Customized Baseball Jerseys demonstrated how the Patriots wanted to control this game by quickly building a lead and sitting on it.
WR Danny Amendola, lined up in the slot left, easily got open on a slant for QB Tom Brady (who was in the shotgun). Amendola’s opening was created when the cornerback originally guarding him tightly in man-to-man coverage at the line of scrimmage, Buster Skrine, passed him off to a teammate. This happened because New England’s outside receiver to Amendola’s left, Brandin Cooks, motioned toward the formation and the cornerback guarding him, Justin Burris, followed, but drifted behind his defensive teammate at the line of scrimmage.
Skrine then signaled that he would take Cooks, while Burris should pick up Amendola, but Burris was already at a disadvantage by conceding such a large cushion (about 5 yards) and didn’t take a great angle to close down Amendola over the middle.
…Just like last week, when RB Dion Lewis kept an eventual scoring drive alive by reaching out with the football on a 4th-down rush, he did so again to put New England on the scoreboard first. Lewis has played the best, most confident football of his career these past Customized Jerseys two weeks, and that was on display throughout this game, but particularly on the opening drive as he made several Jets miss him in the open field and gave extra effort on runs like this one for the first touchdown of the day.
…A guy who’s had a quietly good year is DT Lawrence Guy. He’s been solid all
season since joining the squad as a veteran free agent, and he made his presence known on the Jets’ first play when he stuffed RB Bilal Powell for a 1-yard gain. Guy and the d-line had a great day against the run, holding New York to just 40 yards.
…Cooks started off with a pair of catches on the first two balls thrown to him, and while he only hauled in three of the next nine sent his way by Brady, Cooks made a positive impact on this game, as we saw later when he drew penalties against the defenders marking him to keep New England’s possessions alive. The first time this happened came on the third throw of the day to Cooks, when Skrine was flagged for grabbing Cooks during his well-run route. The ball sailed ahead of Cooks and fell to the turf, but the Patriots kept the ball and gained an extra five yards. It wound up being for naught, as New England later punted on the drive, but Cooks has been doing this more frequently as the year unfolded. He’s finding a way to be an asset even when he doesn’t complete a catch.