Pats @ Jets First half Thoughts
As the New England Patriots head into halftime of their Week 6 divisional showdown with the new York Jets tied at 14, lets see how the teams got there:
Embarrassing Opening Drive- It was an embarrassing opening drive for the new England defense, as the Jets took the ball 88 yards down the field on 13 plays to start the game. On the drive, New York was perfect on third down going 4-4 for 70 yards on, including a score. Their lack of a presence on third down has been an issue all season long for the Pats and was much too noticeable on the opening drive.
Turning The Ball Over- The Pats offense did not look good throughout the first half, turning the ball over twice. The first turnover, a fumble by running back Mike Gillislee, was extremely costly, as the Jets immediately took the ball 78 yards back down the field for their second touchdown of the day. Tom Brady also turned the ball over, throwing a pick on a deep ball in the second quarter. Brady should have been picked twice, as well, as he got away with a sure pick earlier in the second quarter.
After All That, It's Tied- The Pats couldn't have played worse for most of that first half and they still enter the break tied, which must be a killer for New York. New England was essentially peeing down their legs through the first quarter and a half and the Jets were doing everything right, but the teams sit at 14 apiece through two quarters. Right now, the pats have all of the momentum, after scoring at the end of the half and entering the second half with the ball.
Weird Play Calls- The Pats opened the game 4-4 on third down on their opening drive, but have gone 2-6 since. Part of that and the reason why they are now tied with New England can be attributed to some weird and even a bit bizarre play call decisions late in the half. On multiple occasions, the Jets were in third and short situations and moving the ball. Instead of exploiting New England's inexperience in the secondary, they went with run plays that were blown up by the Pats front seven. Those calls cost New York multiple conversion opportunities and kept giving the Pats chances to even things up.
A Big Momentum Switch- After being beaten badly on New York's second touchdown of the game, Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler redeemed himself with what might be the biggest momentum shift of the first half. With the Jets moving the ball and prepared to at least kick a field goal to go into the break with a 10-point lead, Butler jumped a route and picked off Jets quarterback Josh McCown. That interception gave the Pats the ball with two timeouts and good field position. One huge hook up between Brady and Brandin Cooks later and the Pats had the game tied up.