Patriots Pick Off Jets 31-14 to Maintain Lead in AFC East

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November 22, 2009

Patriots Pick Off Jets 31-14 to Maintain Lead in AFC East The Jets won’t have much to talk about after Sunday’s performance. The Patriots got revenge for their loss to Rex Ryan‘s team earlier this season with a convincing 31-14 win over the Jets at Gillette Stadium.

The Patriots jumped out to a 24-0 lead in the first half and never really looked back in their dismantling of the Jets. And they got a little help from rookie Mark Sanchez as well.

Patriots 31, Jets 14
Nov. 22, 2009
Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.

Live Blog | Box Score | Recap

Headliner: Wes Welker might not get the attention of Randy Moss, and he might not produce as many flashy touchdowns, but Tom Brady‘s favorite target might be the most important piece of the Patriots offense. He certainly was against the Jets on Sunday. After missing the Patriots’ first meeting with the Jets this season, Welker had a career day on Sunday, catching 15 passes for 192 yards in the Patriots’ win. Welker broke the 100-yard receiving mark for the third time in eight games this season and made his second longest catch of the season with a 43-yard reception in the second quarter.

Game Ball: The Patriots defense held the Jets to just seven points and 226 total yards, limiting Gang Green to 12 first downs on the afternoon. A third-quarter touchdown pass was the only blemish on the Patriots defense, as the Jets’ other touchdown came on special teams with a blocked punt. Leigh Bodden picked off Mark Sanchez three times, and Brandon Meriweather intercepted the Jets rookie once as well, as the Patriots earned a season split with the Jets.

Also coming up big for the Patriots on Sunday was running back Laurence Maroney, who ran for 77 yards and two short touchdowns on 22 carries. He did fumble for the second straight game, however.

Better Luck Next Week: Rex Ryan’s defense could only do so much against the Patriots, considering they were barely able to catch their breath all game. But that was largely thanks to Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Sanchez threw four interceptions on Sunday, making ill-advised throws under pressure when there was no play to be made. He also fumbled the ball once, and completed just eight passes on 21 attempts for 136 yards.

Key Moment: After cutting into the Patriots’ 24-0 lead to make it 24-14, the Jets had three drives to make it a one-possession game. However the Jets punted and threw two interceptions on those three drives, and the Patriots eventually found the end zone again to increase their lead to 17 points. Following yet another turnover by the Jets with just over three minutes left in the game, the Patriots were able to put away their division rivals for good.

Scouting Report: With a two-game lead in the AFC East and just six weeks left in the regular season, the Patriots’ postseason ticket is ready to be punched.

But next week they will meet a very worthy opponent when they travel to New Orleans. After failing to complete their near-upset of the perfect Colts in Week 10, the Patriots will get another chance to end a perfect season in Week 12 against the Saints. The Patriots and the 10-0 Saints will meet on Monday Night Football next week for a highly anticipated matchup between two of the league’s elite teams.

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