Patriots Live Blog: Pats Roll Past Jets 37-16, Take Over Sole Possession of First Place in AFC East

Patriots Live Blog: Pats Roll Past Jets 37-16, Take Over Sole Possession of First Place in AFC EastFinal, Patriots 37-16: And that's it. The Pats close out the Jets by a 37-16 score to sweep the season series and move into sole possession of first place in the AFC East. The Pats will play host to the Kansas City Chiefs next Monday night.

Fourth quarter, 0:41, Patriots 37-16: Sanchez fires an incomplete pass and that'll all but do it. With a kneeldown, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will become the winningest quarterback/coach combo in NFL history.

Fourth quarter, 1:44, Patriots 37-16: Julian Edelman takes a page out of Troy Brown's book, entering the game as a defensive back and immediately making a play. He took down LaDainian Tomlinson, which even forced the running back to limp off the field — salt on the wound, at this point.

Fourth quarter, 2:24, Patriots 37-16: The Jets will likely toss around a few more passes here, but it looks like the Pats are well on their way to taking over sole possession of first place in the AFC East.

Fourth quarter, 5:00, Patriots 37-16: Andre Carter has set a new franchise record with 4.5 sacks in this game after two quarterback takedowns in the last series. They're going through the motions now.

Fourth quarter, 7:45, Patriots 37-16: That's that, folks. Rob Ninkovich steamrolled Dustin Keller at the line, realized he wasn't getting up very quickly and then hovered toward the middle of the field to intercept Mark Sanchez's pass for LaDainian Tomlinson. Ninkovich took it back 12 yards for the touchdown, and the building has cleared out.

Also, from the "you can't make this stuff up" department, moments after Deion Branch's touchdown dance, there was an ad for Fireman Ed's cheering app on the video boards.

Fourth quarter, 8:04, Patriots 30-16: The Patriots have put up 30 points on the Jets for the second time this season after Deion Branch caught a pass on an out-route, shook Kyle Wilson and strolled into the end zone. The fun didn't end there, as Branch followed it up by doing a Fireman Ed impression for his touchdown dance. That's some funny stuff.

And that's a big-time drive from New England's offense, which looked as smooth as it has all game. Tom Brady said he'd find out about this team's makeup this week (well, he's said that a couple weeks in a row now), and they showed some impressive character with a crucial touchdown drive after the defense allowed a score on the last possession.

Fourth quarter, 14:55, Patriots 23-16: So much for a confidence builder for the defense, which let the Jets breeze down the field for a touchdown that took less than five minutes. The pressure shifts back to New England's offense, which is more than likely going to need another score to come away with a win. Remember, the defense had two chances to win the game last week and couldn't do it.

Plaxico Burress easily beat Antwaun Molden to the back right corner of the end zone, and Mark Sanchez didn't even have to put much air under it. Bad decision to try covering a slant on Burress.

Not a good sign for Sergio Brown that Sterling Moore and Ross Ventrone have overtaken him on the depth chart, by the way.

End of third quarter, Patriots 23-9: The Jets are getting close to the end zone, and James Ihedigbo left the field after suffering an apparent neck or shoulder injury. He's had stingers before, and those can be tough to shake once you get one. The big play on the drive was a 29-yard pass to Dustin Keller, who raced up the right seam and wasn't picked up by anyone in the zone defense.

Third quarter, 4:44, Patriots 23-9: The Patriots have scored 10 straight points off turnovers, as Tom Brady hit Rob Gronkowski for a five-yard touchdown on third down. Gronkowski then spiked the ball about a foot away from Donald Strickland's face, which drew an appropriate 15-yard penalty.

Sebastian Vollmer was down for a little while after the touchdown, but he's back in the huddle with the offensive linemen on the sideline.

The Patriots ran a no-huddle offense on that series, and the Jets couldn't respond. The defense looked behind and a bit gassed after spending a good chunk of this quarter on the field. This could be a confidence-building drive for New England's defense.

Third quarter, 7:36, Patriots 16-9: The Jets' second straight turnover ruined a chance to answer the Patriots' 10-0 run. Shonn Greene couldn't catch an easy pass over the middle, and it deflected off his hands and then off Jerod Mayo's hands, and Rob Ninkovich hauled it in and returned it to the New England 43.

Third quarter, 10:35, Patriots 16-9: Huge turn of events here. Rob Gronkowski was credited with a touchdown catch on third down, but it was overturned due to an illegal touching penalty because Gronkowski stepped out of bounds and was the first player to touch the ball after getting back inbounds. The play went to review, which seemed to make sense because Gronkowski made a tough catch on the turf, and it seemed easy to miss the penalty. Then the Patriots had to settle for a 27-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski.

And yes, those are the Patriots' first second-half points in a road game against Rex Ryan's Jets.

Third quarter, 11:25, Patriots 13-9: Big mistake by the Jets, as Joe McKnight muffed the punt and then everyone else in green and white played hot potato with the dangling ball, which was recovered by newly signed Niko Koutouvides. They'll take over at the Jets' 12.

Tom Brady was bad again on the possession, and his third-down pass for Danny Woodhead was off, causing Woodhead to shift his weight in the right flat and fall short of a first down by a yard.

Third quarter, 13:19, Patriots 13-9: The Patriots went three-and-out, which was almost predictable after seeing them sputter with that field position all game. Rob Gronkowski dropped a third-down back-shoulder pass on the left sideline while covered by Darrelle Revis.

Devin McCourty did not return to the sideline after the half, and that's typically an indication that a player's night is over. Big, big loss.

Third quarter, 14:54, Patriots 13-9: The Patriots start the second half at their 10-yard line after Phillip Adams' holding penalty during Danny Woodhead's kickoff return. New England's offense has been horrendous this deep in the field, and this isn't how they drew it up at halftime.

Halftime, Patriots 13-9: That was a huge drive for the Patriots after they fizzled out on their previous two possessions in the shadow of the goal line. Plus, things were getting away from them after Devin McCourty's injury, the safety and the 9-0 run. They desperately needed some momentum going into halftime.

McCourty's injury is the big story here. If he doesn't come out for the start of the half, it's almost always a sign that the player is done for the game. But this looked like a pretty severe shoulder injury, so the storyline surely won't end here.

Second quarter, 0:09, Patriots 13-9: The Patriots needed that drive in a bad way. Tom Brady recognized the Jets' offside flag and knew he had a free play, so what better use of it than throwing up a jump ball to Rob Gronkowski, who took a big hit to haul in a 16-yard touchdown.

The Patriots haven't scored a point in the second half in a road game againts the Jets under Rex Ryan, so let's see how they adjust in the second half.

Strange rule earlier in the drive: Gronkowski fumbled the ball on the original ruling, which was overturned by an official review. The clock stopped due to a change in possession, but when coming back from replay (which was overturned), there would have been an automatic 10-second runoff on the game clock unless the Patriots used a timeout, which they did. I don't see how that rule makes sense. I mean, I get the fact that the clock would have run if the officials got the original call right, but this seems like an instance where the clock should just start when the ball is spotted.

Second quarter, 1:20, Jets 9-6: In a span of four minutes, the Patriots have lost Devin McCourty, given up a safety and allowed nine points to surrender their lead. Then Vince Wilfork committed a stupid personal foul to give the Jets 15 extra yards on the kickoff.

I don't think it affected the Patriots, but Jerod Mayo had a hard time hearing the playcall from Matt Patricia during the timeout before third down, when Mark Sanchez ran for a two-yard touchdown.

On first-and-goal, the Patriots had Sterling Moore, Tracy White and Antwaun Molden on the left side of the defense. Sanchez stared over there for a few seconds before throwing an incompletion over the middle to Plaxico Burress.

Second quarter, 4:44, Patriots 6-2: Just another one of those 6-2 football games that you see so often. Tom Brady was called for intention grounding in the end zone, which resulted in a safety. Right tackle Sebastian Vollmer didn't block Jamaal Westerman, which is never a good thing when the quarterback receives the snap in the end zone, and he then trucked Danny Woodhead before Brady tried to salvage the play by throwing it lefty.

On the play before, Dan Connolly botched the snap for the second time in two games. He was pulled from the game after it happened last week, so let's see if he's on a short leash against the Jets.

Second quarter, 5:22, Patriots 6-0: Cornerback Devin McCourty went to the locker room with the medical staff after suffering a bad right shoulder injury. He was hit hard by Sterling Moore, who actually drew a bad penalty for hitting a defenseless receiver. McCourty hasn't been able to move his right shoulder, and at this point, the Patriots have to hope it's just a separation and not a torn labrum or anything of that nature.

Second quarter, 6:55, Patriots 6-0: Logan Mankins was penalized yet again, and his holding penalty on second-and-5 negated a seven-yard run for a first down from BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The Pats went three-and-out, and the Jets take over at their own 35 after a block in the back penalty.

Second quarter, 9:12, Patriots 6-0: The Jets beat the Patriots in a couple of poor zone looks early in that drive, but they put in their pass-rushing front four to put more heat on Mark Sanchez and it worked, as he got called for grounding and was then pushed from the pocket and taken down by Mark Anderson on third down.

Again, the Patriots are daring the Jets to run with that line, and the Jets aren't doing it. It's a good thing the front four is playing well, too, because there have been some very soft spots behind the linebackers in their zone looks in this one.

Second quarter, 12:59, Patriots 6-0: Tom Brady missed two open receivers, including Wes Welker on a fake end-around (first time they've run that play) in the left flat. Then Brady had one of those "screw it" moments and chucked it up to Deion Branch in the end zone for what would have been a 41-yard touchdown. Only problem was Branch was surrounded by three Jets, and Antonio Cromartie dropped what should have been an easy interception. After Zoltan Mesko's punt, the Jets take over at their own 8.

Second quarter, 13:53, Patriots 6-0: The Patriots forced another punt, and the big play turned into Andre Carter's second sack. It looked like the Patriots' pre-snap miscommunication actually worked in their favor on the play, as Tracy White and Jerod Mayo scrambled to switch positions. White lined up to the left behind Devin McCourty on a stacked formation, and Mark Sanchez looked to that side to expose a potential breakdown in coverage. But Mayo blitzed on the defensive right side, and the offensive line wasn't in position to block three guys with two players (center Nick Mangold should have slid to his left, so put that on Sanchez for missing the call), and Carter easily took down Sanchez quickly.

The Jets converted a third-and-14, but Plaxico Burress was called for a pretty bad pass interference on the play. Not a good call.

First quarter, 2:31, Patriots 6-0: This has been a problem for the Patriots in this building. They settled for another field goal, a 36-yarder from Stephen Gostkowski.

Chad Ochocinco caught a 53-yard pass on that possession to give him two catches for 65 yards in the game. But each time, the Jets have just forgotten to cover him. There was some serious miscommunication on the big play, as Darrelle Revis was calling for Antonio Cromartie to line up on the left side of the defense over the Patriots' trips formation. I couldn't tell if it was Cromartie or Revis who was supposed to cover Ochocinco, but neither did. The huge breakdown helped the Patriots double their lead.

First quarter, 5:34, Patriots 3-0: The Patriots have used an interesting approach on the defensive line, starting Mark Anderson at left defensive end and Brandon Deaderick at right defensive tackle. Andre Carter is at right defensive end, and Vince Wilfork is at left defensive tackle. This gives the Patriots a little more of a pass-rushing ability, but it also makes them more susceptible to the run. It's almost as if they're daring the Jets to run on them.

Anyway, it worked on the last series, as Carter raced around left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson to get a sack on third down.

Brian Waters is back at right guard.

First quarter, 8:10, Patriots 3-0: Stephen Gostkowski capped off the Patriots' first drive with a 50-yard field goal one play after Tom Brady's third-down pass for Deion Branch hit cornerback Kyle Wilson in the chest and bounced to the turf.

The Patriots used a couple interesting formations there, lining up Aaron Hernandez and Wes Welker in the fullback position to see if they could create a matchup problem for the Jets. The Hernandez strategy worked, as he caught a 12-yard pass on the opening play.

Chad Ochocinco ended his three-game stretch without a catch after getting wide open and hauling in a 12-yard catch, but he stepped out of bounds with no one near him and cost the team some field position.

Right guard Brian Waters, who has been the team's best offensive lineman by a wide margin, left the game with a left knee injury, and he was replaced by Ryan Wendell. I think Waters will go back in, though, because the medical staff put a brace back on his knee, and he's hovering over the offense on the bench right now.

First quarter, 11:34, 0-0: Wow, well, the Jets just wasted a big opportunity on the first possession of the game. They flew all the way to the New England 6-yard line before they even had a third down, but Mark Sanchez therw two straight incompletions, and Nick Folk badly pulled a 24-yard field goal to keep the game scoreless.

New England's defense looked bad there, and they've been depleted with injuries. Sterling Moore, who was originally signed as a cornerback, started at safety next to James Ihedigbo, who collided with Devin McCourty on one play that led to a 27-yard gain for Santonio Holmes. Jeff Tarpinian started at inside linebacker, but he was replaced by Tracy White.

First quarter, 14:00, 0-0: Sorry for a brief delay there, but the Internet crashed for a few minutes. The Patriots called heads, won the toss and elected to kick off. Joe McKnight had a nice return to the Jets' 33, and they're across midfield right now.

8:20 p.m.: The Patriots' specialists emerged from the locker room to a loud chorus of boos. Then the video boards showed Fireman Ed, and the place went wild. Some things, you just need to see for yourself.

8:03 p.m.: With the Bills getting blown out by the Cowboys eariler in the day, this Patriots-Jets matchup is for sole possession of first place in the AFC East. The winner will also have an AFC-low three losses, so there's quite a bit at stake here in early November.

7:13 p.m.: With the news of the inactives comes the news of the actives. Jermaine Cunningham is back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the last two weeks, while Kevin Faulk (knee) and Shaun Ellis (rib) are also back in the lineup. Nate Solder will suit up after suffering a concussion this week.

7:00 p.m.: Patrick Chung will not play against the Jets due to a foot injury that was clearly hampering him during a pregame workout. Taylor Price, Brandon Spikes, Dane Fletcher, Shane Vereen, Donald Thomas and Ryan Mallett are the other inactive players. More details to follow.

6:27 p.m.: Shaun Ellis is on the field in game pants, so it looks like he's a go for this one. After a couple strong performances from Brandon Deaderick, I'm curious to see who gets more reps between the pair. I personally think Deaderick has played better and deserves the playing time, but there's probably a little sentimentality for Ellis to play againt his former team.

Sebastian Vollmer and Ryan Wendell are also stretching on the field. They're both wearing shorts, so there's no indication about their availability just yet.

6:20 p.m.: Patrick Chung finished his workout with the medical staff, and there were as many as seven people watching him at one time. He didn't look great, which isn't a good sign because it's usually pretty difficult to figure out how a player looks in these situations. The inactive list should be announced in about 20 minutes, and I'm not as convinced that he'll be in the lineup as I was about 15 minutes ago. I still think he'll play, but the certainty is my belief has disappeared.

6:10 p.m.: Add James Ihedigbo, Gary Guyton, Donald Thomas and Sterling Moore to the list of players who have made an appearance on the field.

6:06 p.m.: Patrick Chung is stretching with a member of the medical staff, which is an indication that he's a game-time decision with a foot injury. I'd be surprised if Chung didn't play, but he'll be fighting through some real pain. His mobility will be crucial in this one.

6:00 p.m.: Wes Welker is working out on the field in game pants, which is a sign he'll play. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead, Julian Edelman, Brian Hoyer, Kevin Faulk, Ross Ventrone, Jeff Tarpinian, Chad Ochocinco, Aaron Hernandez and Stevan Ridley are also warming up on the field.

5:52 p.m.: Interestingly, the Patriots will wear their home blue jerseys for this game, so the Jets have elected to wear white.

5:45 p.m. I've arrived at MetLife Stadium, and it's a nice night here in East Rutherford, N.J. Here is my view from the press box.

Tackle Nate Solder just completed a workout with the medical staff. He's a game-time decision after suffering a concussion this week.

Solder conducted the workout in full uniform, which is rare for someone who is a game-time decision. It's actually the only time I can remember seeing that happen.

I do think it's a good sign, though, because Solder lined up against Brandon Deaderick and did some one-on-one drills involving some collisions. Obviously, Solder has been cleared for contact, so that's a good thing for the Patriots. How Solder handles the next few minutes should determine his availability for the game.

The Patriots didn't sign a tackle prior to the game, so I would assume that means Sebastian Vollmer is good to go.

8:00 a.m. ET: It's that time again. The Patriots and Jets are getting ready to square off Sunday night at the New Meadowlands on national television, and the division lead is on the line.

The Pats, Jets and Bills enter the day with identical 5-3 records, and they've all got one loss in the division. In just a few hours, the power of the AFC East will be a little more well-defined.

The Patriots are trying to avoid their first three-game losing streak since 2002, and they're going to have to beat Jets head coach Rex Ryan on the road for the first time to avoid that.

Stay with NESN.com's live blog throughout the day, as we'll keep you apprised of everything that unfolds from this divisional clash.

Yardbarker

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