The Patriots rebounded from last Monday night's stunning loss to the Miami Dolphins with a dominating 23-7 win over the New York Jets. The game was not even as close as the final score would indicate, as the Patriots manhandled their division rival. Miami did not reach the Patriots 30-yard line until the fourth quarter, and did not score until there were less than 10 minutes to play.
You can read game reviews by Nick Cafardoof The Boston Globe, Michael Felgerof The Boston Herald, Tom Pedullaof USA Today, Tom Curran of The Providence Journal, Alan Greenbergof The Hartford Courant, Mike Reissof The MetroWest Daily News, and Michael Parenteof The Woonsocket Call.
All were eager to see how Tom Brady would rebound from his dismal, four-interception performance against the Dolphins. Brady, who came into the game 6-0 after games in which he threw at least two picks, turned in another stellar game, throwing for 264 yards and two scores. Bob Ryanof the Globe, Jim Donaldsonof The Providence Journal, and Greenberg of the Courant feature the resurgence.
Other big news emerging from yesterday's win surrounds who else but Corey Dillon. The punishing running back in his first year in New England surpassed Curtis Martin's franchise record for yards in a season as Martin ran futilely for the Jets against a dominating Pats defense. Dillon now has 1,519 yards on the year, eclipsing Martin's mark of 1,487, set back in 1995. Dillon rushed for 89 yards yesterday, while Martin, the NFL's leading rusher, was held to 33. Rich Thompsonof the Herald and Parente of the Call examine the record-setting day for Dillon.
One key to yesterday's win was the variety of production from the wide receiver position. Six different receivers caught passes, and as Elio Velezof the Globe and Dennis Gormanof the Herald point out, they were a hard bunch to stop, despite difficult conditions.
On the defensive side of the ball, all eyes were once again on the patchwork secondary, as much-maligned cornerback Earthwind Moreland got a start, and Ty Law remained sidelined with a broken foot. As Kevin Mannixof the Herald and Curran of the Journal agree, the unit held its own against the Jets passing attack.
Ron Borges of the Globe looks at Jets QB Chad Pennington, who made things much harder for himself last week, by challenging the New York media. He certainly picked the wrong week to do it, as he was held in check by a New England defense that picked him off twice, and held the Jets offense scoreless for the first 50 minutes of the game.
In his notebook, Felger tries to make sense of the Richard Seymour injury. Seymour went down with a leg injury in the third quarter, and did not return. It would be devastating news were he to be lost for any significant amount of time.
Also in the Herald, Thompson spotlights the play of Tedy Bruschi, who responded to his Pro-Bowl snub by intercepting Pennington on the Jets first possession.
In the Journal, Donaldson lauds the play of linebacker-safety Don Davis, whom he states was just the latest Pat to step up and make a significant, if somewhat unexpected contribution.
Mike Lowe of The Portland Press Herald extols the virtues of yesterday's victory, as the win secured the Pats a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Finally, in his notebook, Ian Clark of The Union Leader reviews the game, highlights records for Dillon and Adam Vinatieri, and hands out MVP honors to Brady.