Tom Brady, Patriots Destroy Jets, Take Control in AFC East

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Tom Brady, Patriots Destroy Jets, Take Control in AFC East

Final, Patriots 45-3: That was a shocking outcome after all of the buildup for this game. The Patriots now have a one-game lead in the AFC East, and they've got a tremendous opportunity to get a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the playoffs.

Fourth quarter, 5:49, Patriots 45-3: The Patriots stopped the Jets on fourth down inside the 10, and the New England secondary ran off the field with their arms spread out wide like jets. They're having a good time, and they're really enjoying themselves after Braylon Edwards did so much showboating in Week 2. Running back Fred Taylor is also entering the game, and he'll get his first carry since Week 3.

Fourth quarter, 9:20, Patriots 45-3: BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored from five yards out. He's got 18 rushes for 72 yards and two touchdowns in this one. Is this 2007?

Fourth quarter, 12:46, Patriots 38-3: Mark Sanchez threw a pass directly to James Sanders, which probably wasn't his intention since Sanders is a Patriot. Anyway, Sanchez has three interceptions in his second lousy performance at Gillette Stadium. Also, James Ihedigbo's injury was to his right ankle, not knee.

Fourth quarter, 14:57, Patriots 38-3: It's just too easy. Tom Brady threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Hernandez. Brady has four touchdowns and 319 yards on a 20-for-27 night. He's good at football, and the Jets, at least on this night, are not.

End of third quarter, Patriots 31-3: And it's only going to get worse for the Jets. The Pats have a first-and-goal from the 1-yard line after Danny Woodhead's 50-yard reception. I sense a Woodhead touchdown run coming.

Third quarter, 3:50, Patriots 31-3: Rookie Devin McCourty intercepted his sixth pass of the season, stealing a deep ball down the right sideline that was intended for Braylon Edwards. And Mark Sanchez's night just got even worse.

Third quarter, 4:40, Patriots 31-3: Tom Brady hit Wes Welker for an 18-yard touchdown to the left side. The Jets blitzed the house, and Welker beat Drew Coleman to the left sideline and then to the end zone. Coleman was left in a zone situation, but he did a poor job following Welker. In other news, Jets safety James Ihedigbo, a UMass alum, appears to have suffered a right knee injury.

Third quarter, 9:15, Patriots 24-3: Mark Sanchez's awful game continued, as he threw an interception right into the gut of Brandon Spikes. This came two plays after the Jets converted on fourth-and-1, and they wasted a trip inside the New England 10. By the way, it's simply amazing how much trash the Jets have been talking in this game while trailing by 14-21 points. They just don't know when to shut up.

Third quarter, 14:55, Patriots 24-3: Brad Smith returned the second-half kickoff to the New York 32, and the Jets will try to make a dent into this deficit.

Halftime, Patriots 24-3: Tedy Bruschi and the Patriots did this one right. Robert Kraft introduced Bruschi by saying he wants him to wear the No. 54 one more time and pulls out a Bruschi jersey. Bruschi shed his winter coat and suit coat, put on the jersey and brought down the house with a great speech, in which he thanked Bill Belichick and shouted out a number of former teammates before pointing to the Super Bowl banners. The crowd was going ballistic for him, and the ceremony ended with fireworks getting shot off at midfield. Nicely done.

Halftime, Patriots 24-3: The Patriots ran into the locker room to the tune of a standing ovation from the Gillette Stadium crowd, which witnessed a phenomenal effort from the home team. Tom Brady is 10-for-16 for 152 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, while Mark Sanchez is 8-for-18 for 77 yards, no touchdowns and no picks. Now, it's time for Tedy Bruschi's ceremony.

Second quarter, 1:03, Patriots 24-3: This game has slowed down a little bit. Tom Brady was sacked twice and threw an incompletion on third-and-19, which was surprising that that didn't run the ball to kill some more clock or force the Jets to use one of their last two timeouts. Anyway, the Patriots have one more series to finish off a nearly perfect first half, and the Jets have it at their own 17.

Second quarter, 2:19, Patriots 24-3: The Jets went three-and-out, and by exchanging punts on the last two series, the Patriots gained about 20 yards of field position.

Second quarter, 3:56, Patriots 24-3: The Patriots went three-and-out and punted for the first time, and the Jets take over at their own 12. Two crowd notes: First, the section below the press box started a chant of "J-E-T-S! Suck! Suck! Suck" And among the jerseys below the press box, some notable ones are former Patriots John Hannah, Steve Nelson, Robert Edwards, Richard Seymour and, of course, Tedy Bruschi.

Second quarter, 6:08, Patriots 24-3: The Patriots forced a punt after Mark Sanchez's third-and-1 pass was too wide for Braylon Edwards. Aside from Antonio Cromartie, Edwards is another Jet who has seen a major drop in performance from the game in Week 2.

Second quarter, 8:15, Patriots 24-3: And the rout is one. Tom Brady hit Brandon Tate for a four-yard touchdown pass, and that's a second touchdown surrendered by cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who must be wishing for Randy Moss. Nice job by Tate to get one foot and one hand down, and the officials appeared to make the right call after a lengthy discussion.

Second quarter, 12:14, Patriots 17-3: Nick Folk hit a 39-yard field goal to get the Jets on the board. Interestingly, despite the deficit, the Jets were able to move the ball with Shonn Greene and the running game, and the drive stalled out when Mark Sanchez started to throw more incompletions. With Sanchez's struggles, you've got to wonder about the Jets' chances of making a comeback. Also, nice job by Kyle Arrington to break up a third-down pass to Braylon Edwards, who did not celebrate the incompletion by doing "The Dougie."

End of first quarter, Patriots 17-0: This is going well for the Patriots, who have dominated the game the way the score indicates. Rex Ryan has made some coaching mistakes, and Mark Sanchez looks lousy, while Deion Branch is winning his one-on-one matchup with Antonio Cromartie. And that's how you do that.

First quarter, 1:01, Patriots 17-0: Well, this place is going absolutely bonkers. Tom Brady hit Deion Branch on a quick slant to the left side, and Branch broke through Antonio Cromartie for a 25-yard touchdown on fourth-and-3. Brady hit Branch for 19 yards on the previous play, a third-and-22, to set up the Patriots for an opportunity to go for it on fourth down. I wonder if Cris Carter is watching this game.

First quarter, 2:31, Patriots 10-0: Mark Sanchez has been awful, just awful, to start the game. He's 2 of 7 for 13 yards, and his throws have been very erratic. And then Steve Weatherford shanked a punt for 12 yards to set up the Patriots at the New York 32.

First quarter, 4:02, Patriots 10-0: BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran through Darrelle Revis for a one-yard touchdown, and the Patriots took advantage of Eric Smith's blatant 36-yard pass interference penalty in the end zone on Rob Gronkowski. Smith is starting at safety in place of Jim Leonhard, who was placed on injured reserve after breaking his leg in Friday's practice.

First quarter, 6:50, Patriots 3-0: Tedy Bruschi met with the media a few minutes ago, and Mike Hurley will have a story coming shortly on NESN.com. Bruschi said he was excited, and the halftime ceremony is an honor for him. He's also happy that Mother Nature gave him a few flurries after he requested them last week.

First quarter, 6:50, Patriots 3-0: Two very curious coaching decisions from Rex Ryan on the Jets' opening drive. First, Ryan lost a challenge on the spot of the ball after Mark Sanchez's quarterback sneak on third-and-1, and then Ryan sent out Nick Folk for a 53-yard field goal, which Folk missed badly. Now, the Patriots take over at their own 43. A punt would have made more sense in this game, especially with the way the wind will likely limit each team's ability to score.

First quarter, 8:35, Patriots 3-0: Interesting defensive subs for the Patriots to start the game. They sent out a 3-4 package with Dane Fletcher at right outside linebacker, but after the Jets subbed, the Patriots used a 2-4-5 formation, replacing Fletcher and defensive lineman Ron Brace with Tully Banta-Cain and Jermaine Cunningham and using Darius Butler as the nickel corner. Brandon Meriweather and James Sanders started at safety.

First quarter, 10:49, Patriots 3-0: Brad Smith returned the kickoff to the New York 26, and both coverage units have held the explosive kick returners in check so far.

First quarter, 10:57, Patriots 3-0: Shayne Graham beat the wind and hit a 41-yard field goal to cap the Patriots' initial drive of the game. Graham was kicking into the open end of the stadium, which gave him some issues in warmups due to the wind, and the ball was trying to turn wide of the goal posts. There are no style points Monday night, though.

First quarter, 11:06, 0-0: The Patriots have moved the ball into Jets territory, but the Jets' defensive strategy so far has been to line up Antonio Cromartie on Deion Branch and move Darrelle Revis around. Revis has lined up on Wes Welker for about half the plays so far.

8:39 p.m.: Rene Rancourt, of Bruins fame, sang the national anthem while wearing a Tedy Bruschi home jersey. Nice touch.

8:35 p.m.: The Jets called tails and won the toss, and they elected to kick off to start the game.

8:31 p.m.: The game time temperature is 27 degrees with wind gusts up to 24 mph, and the wind chill is 15 degrees. There are also flurries in the forecast. Oh, and Jets kicker Nick Folk is wearing sweatpants over his uniform. Commence with the jokes.

8:20 p.m.: Sick of the hype? Well, kickoff is in 20 minutes, so you've got that going for you, which is nice.

8:01 p.m.: Here are some more details on the inactive list. So, it's also insanely cold here, and the video board operator has a real sense of humor, putting up a shot of a fireplace.

7:04 p.m.: Cornerback Jonathan Wilhite (hip), defensive lineman Mike Wright (concussion) and defensive lineman Myron Pryor (back) are inactive Monday night. The Patriots' other five inactives are wide receiver Taylor Price, offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger, tackle Mark LeVoir, running back Thomas Clayton and defensive lineman Eric Moore. More details will follow.

6:37 p.m.: There have been a couple dozen Jets stretching out on the field for a solid half hour, and a good chunk of them stopped what they were doing to go greet Danny Woodhead, who just emerged from the locker room.

6:00 p.m.: Want 10 reasons to be hyped for this game? Check out the NESN.com 10-day series that focused on some key elements that could decide the Pats-Jets outcome.

5:19 p.m.: Just to set the scene here, it took an hour and a half to drive into Gillette (an hour longer than usual) due to the traffic, and it's downright freezing outside. The wind is painful, just brutally painful.

9 a.m.: Eleven days of hype can be a bit overwhelming for one game, but this one was worth it. But finally, after all of the buildup, the Patriots and Jets can settle this one on the field.

The world will be watching Monday night, when the division rivals settle the score for the AFC East lead. Stick with NESN.com's live blog, and we'll keep you up to date throughout the most important game of the NFL season.

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