Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe writes that Bill Belichick was cautious in his assessment of his team's offensive play with Corey Dillon and Kevin Faulk in the lineup for Sunday's 16-3 win over the Jets. Dillon missed three games and was limited by injuries in at least two others, and Faulk was out for eight games because of a broken foot. The duo helped New England to its top rushing performance of the season against the Jets (146 yards). ''It's good to have them there, but again, I think it comes down to a function of how the whole team operates. It's not about one guy, it's about how the team performs as a unit and I thought, offensively, we had a pretty good balance," said Belichick.
Michael Felger of the Boston Herald offers his Patriots report card. Felger awards his highest grades of the season for a solid defensive performance against the Jets. Felger grades the defensive line with an A-, linebackers with a B and even the secondardy received a high passing grade with a B.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal writes that Bill Belichick offered his comments on Tom Brady being named Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year. "It's certainly a well-deserved honor and . . . I would just add, maybe, person of the year because I think Tom, what he does, goes beyond sports. As a person, his makeup, his character and the way he carries himself on and off the field, in and out of football, is, I think, exemplary in all phases. Not just as an athlete and not just on the football field, but as it extends to pretty much everything he does in his life," said Belichick.
Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe writes that Sunday's win was about as ugly as it gets, in terms of the aesthetics of the sport, as the Patriots easily put down a Jets team that apparently is not interested in (or capable of) winning any more games this year. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Patriots' 16-3 win was one of only 12 NFL games this season (out of 192) in which only one touchdown was scored. Sunday's handling of the Jets, highlighted perhaps by a 397-164 advantage in total yards and a 16-minute edge in time of possession, marked the first time since a 30-20 season-opening win over Oakland that the Patriots did what was expected against a lesser opponent.
John Tomase of the Boston Herald writes that it was hard to watch Sunday's 16-3 victory over the Jets and not be struck by how much better the Patriots' offense is when Corey Dillon, Kevin Faulk and David Givens are a part of it. Though none stood out statistically, they made their presences felt in one of the most subtly dominating offensive performances of the season. Subtle dominance? That's what you call a 17-minute time of possession advantage, as well as three drives of 10 or more plays. The Patriots controlled the pace of the game, ate clock and made New York play on their terms. The final score didn't begin to convey the ease of victory.
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald writes that defensive lineman Richard Seymour ripped the quiet Gillette Stadium crowd for the lack of cheering during Sunday's win over the Jets. Seymour claimed "the loudest (the fans) got was when there was a Victoria's Secret model on the scoreboard."
John Tomase of the Boston Herald writes that the Patriots could clinch a division title before the Colts. Despite their troubles, the Pats (7-5) can secure the AFC East Sunday with a victory at Buffalo and a Miami (5-7) loss in San Diego. Though the unbeaten Colts have clinched a playoff spot and are 75 percent of the way to the first 16-0 season in history, they still haven't clinched the AFC South.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal writes that the Patriots finally ended their problems scoring in the second quarter and giving up explosive plays. New England held the Jets to exactly one run of more than 10 yards (a 12-yard Brooks Bollinger scramble) and no 20-plus passes.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his analysis of Sunday's 16-3 win over the New York Jets.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes and commentary.