Producing a mere three points and 146 yards in six first-half possessions against the team that came in ranked as the NFL's worst defense is unacceptable for a unit that was averaging 24 points per game and had proved of late that it can put points in the board when the game was up for grabs. They began with the no-huddle approach to see if it could help end their trend of starting slowly, but not even that bit of strategy could snap them out of their funk. They converted only 3 of 12 third downs in the first half and kept handing the ball back to the Patriots' offense. Mark Sanchez, picked off three times overall, threw two red-zone interceptions, backbreaking plays that could've at least given the Jets a bit of momentum.
Tom Brady carved the Jets up. They yielded 326 passing yards and four touchdowns to the Patriots quarterback, who was 21-for-29, including a 50-yarder to Jets castoff Danny Woodhead. They gave Brady way too much time to pick them apart in the secondary, the thing they could ill afford to do since they were just three days removed from seeing starting safety Jim Leonhard go down with a season-ending broken leg in practice. New England gained 405 yards and averaged 7 yards per play.
Nick Folk's misadventures continued and the concerns about the placekicker's ability to get it done grows with each miss. Although it might not have been the most prudent decision to send him out considering the windy conditions, Folk badly hooked the 53-yard attempt on the Jets' initial drive that could've tied the score at 3. Folk did make a 39-yarder in the second quarter, but it was the fourth straight game he's missed at least one kick. Even the normally steady Steve Weatherford had a a bad night, shanking a punt 12 yards on the Jets' side of the field with the wind at his back. Weatherford's gaffe led to a 25-yard touchdown toss from Brady to Deion Branch four plays later, handing the Patriots a 17-0 lead.
The Jets were shaky from the start and virtually everyone admitted they were outcoached. Rex Ryan's decision to challenge the spot on Sanchez's quarterback sneak on third-and-1 from their own 46-yard line on their first drive seemed even more curious after he elected to go for it on fourth down anyway. They picked up the first down on Shonn Greene's 2-yard run, but the failed challenge cost them a timeout, which ultimately was a factor at the end of the first half when they started a drive with 1:03 left and stalled at New England's 37. Folk's try for that 53-yarder also was a questionable move. They also weren't aggressive enough trying to attack New England's defense, which came in ranked last in the league, and ultimately that has to fall on the staff.