Patriots Pile Up Nearly 500 Yards of Offense, Pull Away From Jets 27-13

Patriots get big games from Rob Gronkowski & Sony Michel to post third road win.

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Road games against the Jets are always an exercise in patience and persistence.

Sunday, it was Rob Gronkowski’s return and Sony Michel’s determination that helped the Patriots ensure a 27-13 victory over the Jets at MetLife Stadium. Gronkowski played in his first game since Oct. 21 and scored his first touchdown since Week 1 while Sony Michel had a career high 133 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. For a full box score, click here.

For Michel, who was bent backwards and had to leave the game briefly in the third quarter, it was his third 100-yard game of his rookie season. Gronkowski finished with three catches on seven targets for 56 yards and a 34-yard touchdown that accounted for New England’s first score. The game also marked the return of starting right guard Shaq Mason after a 2-game absence and the debut of former Grafton High School and UConn star Obi Melifonwu on special teams.

Tom Brady’s knee held up all game long and he was 20-of-31 passing for 283 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

The Patriots improve to 8-3 and host the Minnesota Vikings next Sunday at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots overcame 10 penalties for 95 yards and porous secondary coverage in spots.

Both teams converted first downs on their opening possessions of the game but were forced to punt.

Josh McCown, who had a big game against the Patriots at MetLife Stadium in 2017, reprised that performance the second time he got the ball. He was 5-for-6 for 56 yards, including a 16-yard strike to Jermaine Kearse on a crossing route for a touchdown that put the Jets on top, 7-0.

McCown was hitting up the Patriots defense with big chunk plays, including strikes of 17, 19, 19 and the 16-yard scoring strike in the first quarter alone.

Tom Brady responded with two big plays to begin the next drive. He connected with Josh Gordon over the middle, after getting outstanding protection to give him time for multiple reads. The 23-yarder to Gordon was followed immediately by a 20-yarder to an uncovered Chris Hogan down to the Jets 32. The Patriots faced a 3rd-and-2 at the Jets 24 when James White was called for offensive pass interference on a pick trying to set Julian Edelman free.

Instead of declining it for a fourth down, the Jets pushed the Patriots back to 34. Brady dropped back on the 3rd-and-12 and took a massive hit from defensive end Henry Anderson. But he was able to spot a streaking Rob Gronkowski on the post pattern and he went up “Mossed” defensive back Morris Claiborne, who was burned by Julian Edelman for 36 yards on New England’s first offensive play of the game. The Gronkowski touchdown was just his second of the season and the first since Week 1 against the Texans.

Sloppy football from the Patriots hindered their ability to assume control over a vastly inferior Jets team. The Patriots committed nine penalties in the first half alone – 7 accepted – for 75 yards.

The Patriots would manage to take a 10-7 lead on a Stephen Gostkowski 34-yard field goal with 2:27 left in the first half. But the Patriots again struggled badly to contain big plays from McCown in the passing game. McCown hit a wide open Quincy Enunwa for 41 yards down to the Patriots 41. But on the next play, Stephon Gilmore intercepted McCown, who was pressured and hit by Trey Flowers. The interception put the ball at the Patriots 2.

Tom Brady couldn’t move the ball 10 yards and appeared miffed at the run call for Sony Michel on third-and-4 at the 8. Michel gained only two yards and the Patriots were forced to punt. The Jets managed to get the ball to the Patriots 37 after a 16-yard completion to Kearse, setting the stage for a 55-yard field goal from Jason Myers that tied the game, 10-10, at the half.

The second half opened on a promising note for the Patriots when Sony Michel ran up the middle for 31 yards to the Jets 44. The Patriots would drive down to the Jets 8, converting a 4th-and-1 on a 2-yard run from Cordarrelle Patterson, one play after Michel was bent backwards on a third down run. But the Patriots couldn’t convert in a goal-to-go situation and the Patriots settled for a 32-yard Gostkowski field goal. Even on the field goal, which was initially a 27-yarder, the Patriots couldn’t execute cleanly, as Danny Shelton was flagged for a false start. Still, the drive was 61 yards in 15 plays, taking 6 minutes, 26 seconds off the clock.

The Jets came down the field and tied it again on a 38-yard Myers field goal.

But it only took four plays for the Patriots to march 75 yards on the ensuing drive to take their first touchdown lead of the day. Brady hit Chris Hogan over the middle for 27 yards. James White then ran away from Jets defenders down the right sideline for 27 yards. Following a White carry for no gain, Brady hit an uncovered Edelman at the 15-yard line and then he fought his way in for the 20-13 lead with 1:52 left in the third quarter.

The Patriots put the game out of reach for the woeful Jets (3-8) when Michel went in from one yard out with 8:54 remaining in the fourth quarter for the 27-13 lead.

In the game, Brady moved past Peyton Manning (79,279) for the most total passing yards in NFL history, including regular and postseason.

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