EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 22: Wide receiver Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots makes a catch for a touchdown as LaRon Landry #30 defends during the first quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium on November 22, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
We thought the Patriots did something when they scored 59 points against the Colts a week ago. Turns out, that was the warm-up act for what they were about to perpetrate on the unsuspecting Jets on Thanksgiving night. In what can best be described as complete annihilation, New England stomped New York in a game the Jets were thankful to have end. When it was over, the Pats rolled, 49-19 and we're not joking when we write it wasn't even that close.
New York's fate was as much a result of the football gods looking for a few good laughs as it was the bad football. New England scored 21 points in 52-second stretch during the second quarter thanks to a) a blown coverage that led to a Shane Vereen 83-yard touchdown reception, b) a Mark Sanchez fumble after running into one of his offensive lineman that was scooped up by Steve Gregory and returned for six, and c) a Jets fumble on the ensuing kickoff return that Julian Edelman returned to the house.
And just like that the Jets trailed 28-0. Some five minutes later, Edelman would catch a 56-yard pass from Tom Brady to make it 35-0. Mercifully, the Jets managed a field goal before the half to make it 35-3. It's not even respectable but it's something.
If you're looking for moral victories, New York outscored the Pats in the second half, 16-14. So there' that. Otherwise, it was one of the most embarrassing losses we can remember. Jets coach Rex Ryan called it "a nightmare," but Bill Belichick, as he's been known to do, downplayed his role in his 200th career win and happily heaped praise on his players.
"I thought our players really deserve a lot of credit on this one, turning it around so quickly," he said after the game. "Coming off of last week's game and then the preparation we had this week was just really, I thought outstanding by the players. … That was some of the best sessions we had all year and time was really short, they really put a lot into it. I think it showed up out there today. That's an awesome job by the players. ... I'm proud of the team, I'm proud of the way they responded after the Indianapolis game."
Gregory, who had two fumble recoveries in the game including the aforementioned touchdown, spoke about the atmosphere in the locker room.
"It was a great moment in here," Gregory said according to ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss, referring to owner Bob Kraft presenting Belichick with the game ball for his 200th win. "We're all in this together. We're like a family in here. So any time one of our guys gets to accomplish something amazing, it's good to be around him and we're excited for that person."
It seems to happen every year in New England but in different ways. This season is no different; the Pats are one of the best teams in the NFL, have a comfortable lead in the division, and now can begin positioning themselves for the playoffs.