Entering with the league’s 32nd-ranked defense, the Patriots rose to the challenge against the struggling Jets offense.
While Mark Sanchez managed to post a 101.6 passer rating, the team came up with big stops when it mattered and moved the ball well against the Jets defense.
Tom Brady had another efficient game, going 24 of 33 for 321 yards and a touchdown, tying Vinny Testaverde for eight on the all-time leaderboard.
Meanwhile, without Jerod Mayo, the defense limited the Jets to 97 yards on the ground despite a solid effort by Shonne Greene.
With a 4-1 record, the Patriots look poised to be one of the top contenders in the AFC.
1. BenJarvus Green-Ellis: After rushing for 75 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders, The Law Firm saved his career performance for Sunday. The top-scoring running back since 2010 carried the rock 27 times for 136 yards (5.0 average) and scored two goal-line touchdowns. BJGE was particularly effective late in the game, piling up 71 yards in the second half as the Pats iced the game.
2. Wes Welker: While much of the pregame hype surrounded the Revis/Welker matchup, Welker emerged on top. The league’s leading receiver proved too much for the Jets to handle, racking up 124 yards on only five catches. His top play of the day was a beautiful 73-yard bomb where he got past Revis and safety Eric Smith (Revis ran him down). Welker has become more of a vertical threat this year, which has been necessitated by Chad Ochocinco’s poor performance.
3. Third-down defense: Even without a great pass rush, the Pats still managed to hold the Jets to just three of 11 on third-down. Andre Carter, Vince Wilfork and Mark Anderson got some solid pressure on Sanchez, although Albert Haynesworth didn’t have much impact. Pat Chung and James Ihedigbo played much better than Sergio Brown and Josh Barrett in the past weeks.
1. Pass protection: Through the first four games, Brady had been sacked four times. The story was different on Sunday when the Jets took him down four times and hit him five more. Tackle/tight end Thomas Welch was badly beaten by Jets linebacker Jamaal Westerman and David Harris added a sack along with nine tackles. While some of the pass rush comes from good coverage by the Jets, keeping Brady upright will certainly be an issue of concern as the Pats face some excellent defensive fronts in the Cowboys, Giants and Steelers.
2. Special teams: The team had two holding penalties by Jermaine Cunningham and Dane Fletcher on returns and surrendered an 88-yard return to Joe McKnight which resulted in an easy drive for a touchdown by the Jets. Stevan Ridley also didn’t impress on kick returns.