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Live blog: Jets vs. Patriots, AFC divisional game

The Patriots and the Jets at the line

The Patriots and the Jets at the line of scrimmage during the fourth quarter of New England's 45-3 win in Foxboro, Mass. (Dec. 6, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

Follow along as we update you on the Jets-Patriots AFC divisional playoff game.

That's the end of game, as the Jets defeat the Patriots, 28-21, to advance to the AFC Championship Game for the second straight season. They'll travel to Pittsburgh for a 6:30 p.m. start next Sunday. The Jets earned a 22-17 win in Pittsburgh in Week 15.

Jets: 13-5 (8-2 road)

Patriots: 14-3 (8-1 home) ... for the second straight season, New England's only home loss came in the playoffs.

Scores by quarter for the Jets: 0, 14, 0, 14

Scores by quarter for the Pats: 3, 0, 8, 10

Jets' third scoring drive: 5 plays, 75 yards, 2:13

Scoring play: Holmes 4-yard pass from Sanchez (Folk kick) ... it was Holmes' seventh TD catch of the season and the fourth of his career in the postseason. It was Sanchez's career-high third touchdown pass in a postseason game. 

Key play: Cotchery 58-yard catch-and-run over the middle from Sanchez on the first play of the quarter, a second-and-6 from their own 29.

Patriots' third scoring drive: 7 plays, 26 yards, 1:32

Scoring play: Graham 35-yard FG ... it was his second made kick of the day. He has made all 14 of his attempts on the season.

Key play: Julian Edelman returned Weatherford's 44-yard punt 41 yards to the Jets' 43. 

Jets' fourth scoring drive: 2 plays, 20 yards, 0:16

Scoring play: Greene 16-yard run (Folk kick) ... it was his third career playoff touchdown. After the score, Rex Ryan ran (read: waddled) down the sideline to congratulate his team. Greene was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for putting the ball on the ground and using it as a pillow, as if to say he just put the Patriots to sleep.

Key play: Antonio Cromartie recovered the onside kick and returned it 23 yards to the Patriots' 20. Instead of just falling on the ball, Cromartie scooped it up and ran, but it didn't backfire on him.

Patriots' fourth scoring drive: 7 plays, 59 yards, 1:17

Scoring play: Branch 13-yard pass from Brady (Graham kick) ... it was Brady's 30th career postseason TD pass, tying him with Terry Bradshaw for fifth all-time.

Key play: None, really. The Pats moved the ball against the Jets' prevent defense in about 10-yard chunks.

*Eric Smith recovered the ensuing onside kick for the Jets to put the game on ice.

Here are your three stars for today's game:

1. Sanchez: 16-for-25 for 194 yards, three TDs (playoff career high), no INTs. He is now 4-1 in the postseason. 

2. Greene: 17 carries, 76 carries, TD; 1 catch, 9 yards

3. Ellis: five tackles, two sacks

And a bonus fourth star, Tomlinson: 10 carries for 43 yards, and two catches for two yards and a TD.

*The Patriots had a 34:56-25:04 advantage in time of possession and a 372-314 advantage in total yards. But the Jets won where it counted.

**Also, the Patriots had a 14-play drive in the fourth quarter that took nearly nine minutes of the clock but didn't get any points out of it. Brady's fourth-and-13 pass from the Jets' 34 was dropped along the left sideline by Branch. 

Here are today's final stats... 

Jets

McKnight: 1 carry, 2 yards

Cotchery: 5 catches, 96 yards

Edwards: 2 catches, 52 yards, TD

Holmes: 3 catches, 20 yards, TD

Keller: 3 catches, 15 yards

Folk: 0-for-1 on FGs; 4-for-4 on XPs

Weatherford: 6 punts, 22.3 net average, one inside the 20.

Cromartie: 4 kick returns, 25-yard average

Harris: 12 tackles, INT

Ellis: two sacks

Pace: sack, forced fumble

Devito: forced fumble

Sione Pouha/Coleman: sack each

*The Jets sacked Brady five times — the most he's been taken down all season.

Pats

Brady: 29-of-45 for 299 yards, two TDs, INT; 2 carries, 2 yards

Woodhead: 14 carries, 46 yards; 6 catches, 52 yards

Green-Ellis: 9 carries, 43 yards; 2 catches, 11 yards

Edelman: 1 carry, 11 yards; 1 catch, 12 yards

Brandon Tate: 1 carry, 11 yards

Chung: 1 carry, -1 yards

Morris: PAT run

Gronkowski: 4 catches, 65 yards

Branch: 5 catches, 59 yards, TD

Welker: 7 catches, 57 yards

Crumpler: 3 catches, 39 yards, TD

Hernandez: 1 catch, 4 yards

Graham: 2-for-2 on FGs; 1-for-1 on XPs

*The Pats did not sack Sanchez or force a turnover. 

The attendance at Gillette Stadium today was 68,756, including a few thousand Jet fans who actually stayed for the entire game.

Okay, that's all for today's game. Please check back below for updates on my pregame keys to the game. Thanks to all for coming out!

As always, it was my honor and pleasure to bring everyone all of today's live game action.

See ya'll back here next week when the Jets travel to Pittsburgh for a matchup with the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game at 6:30 p.m.

Have a great Sunday evening everyone!

 

 

End of the 3rd Quarter: Jets 14, Patriots 11

Patriots' second scoring drive: 8 plays, 80 yards, 3:51

Scoring play: Crumpler 2-yard pass from Brady (Sammy Morris run) ... the score extended Brady's streak of 17 consecutive playoff games with a passing touchdown.

Key play: Branch 12-yard pass from Brady on third-and-9 from the Jets' 42.

Players who impressed for the Jets:

-Harris and Bart Scott stopped Green-Ellis for a loss of one on third-and-1 from the Patriots' 46 to force a punt. Mike Devito had good penetration into the backfield.

-Calvin Pace sacked Brady (the Jets' fourth of the game) and he fumbled. The Jets had a shot to recover it, but Green-Ellis dove in at the last minute to recover it for the Patriots. It went as a loss of 12 yards. 

-Greene picked up four tough yards to convert a third-and-1 and keep the clock running. Though the Jets didn't come away with points on the drive, Greene picked up 33 yards on the march and kept the clock moving.

Players who struggled:

-The Jets opted to run on third-and-5 from their own 39 and Tomlinson was stopped after a gain of only one. They were forced to punt. Kind of a weird call not to pass on that play.

-Weatherford had another poor punt. This one went out of bounds at the 20-yard line and netted just 18 yards.

-Eric Smith missed a tackle on Branch, allowing him to convert a third down on the scoring drive.

What to watch for in the fourth quarter: Can the Jets advance to AFC Championship for the second straight year?

 

Here are some halftime stats for your viewing pleasure...

Jets

Sanchez: 10-for-16, 101 yards, two TDs

Tomlinson: 7 carries, 38 yards; 2 catches, 2 yards, TD

Greene: 7 carries, 16 yards

McKnight: 1 carry, 2 yards

Edwards: 2 catches, 52 yards, TD

Cotchery: 3 catches, 31 yards

Keller: 2 catches, 11 yards

Holmes: 1 catch, 5 yards

Folk: 0-for-1 on FGs; 2-for-2 on XPs

Harris: INT

Ellis: two sacks

Coleman: sack

Patriots

Brady: 10-for-17 for 99 yards, INT; 2 carries, 2 yards

Green-Ellis: 4 carries, 21 yards; 2 catches, 11 yards

Woodhead: 6 carries, 19 yards; 3 catches, 25 yards

Tate: 1 carry, 11 yards

Chung: 1 carry, -1 yards

Crumpler: 2 catches, 37 yards

Gronkowski: 2 catches, 16 yards

Welker: 1 catch, 10 yards

Graham: 1-for-1 on FGs

 

End of the 2nd Quarter: Jets 14, Patriots 3

Jets' first scoring drive: 5 plays, 49 yards, 1:56

Scoring play: Tomlinson 7-yard pass from Sanchez (Folk kick) ... it was L.T.'s third TD of the postseason and Sanchez's first TD pass of the playoffs. It was also L.T.'s first career postseason receiving TD.

Key play: Edwards 37-yard pass from Sanchez on third-and-6 from the Patriots' 45. Sanchez eluded pressure, then pointed to where he wanted Edwards to run and he hit the receiver in stride for a nice gain.

Jets' second scoring drive: 4 plays, 37 yards, 0:33

Scoring play: Edwards 15-yard pass from Sanchez (Folk kick) ... it was the first touchdown for the Jets in this year's playoffs by a player other than Tomlinson. Edwards bulled over two Pro Bowl defenders en route to the end zone.

Key play: The Pats ran a designed fake punt to Patrick Chung, but he couldn't handle the direct snap and was tackled for a loss of a yard. The Jets took over on the Patriots' 37-yard line.

Players who impressed for the Jets:

-Drew Coleman came off the edge to sack Brady for a loss of nine yards on third-and-5. It was the Jets' third sack and it forced a punt.

-Santonio Holmes had two big third-down plays. On the first, he couldn't haul in Sanchez's pass, but he did draw a pass interference penalty on James Sanders. On the second, he caught a quick slant for a gain of six yards on third-and-5. Bill Belichick challenged the call, but it stood as a catch. The Jets didn't score on the drive, but did a nice job to reverse the field position.

-Revis ripped the ball out of Branch's hands on the first play of the Patriots' drive after the Edwards touchdown. Nice play.

Players who struggled:

-Right tackle Wayne Hunter was penalized five yards for a false start.

-Steve Weatherford had two punts go into the end zone for touchbacks They were only his fifth and sixth touchbacks of the season. 

-Tomlinson lined up in the Wildcat, but dropped the snap and had to dive on the ball to prevent a turnover. He was prepared to take the ball and run up the middle.

-Edwards jumped in the air and got his hand on a pass that appeared as if it was intended for Holmes along the left sideline. Edwards had no chance of catching it, but Holmes was open. The receivers were too close together on the play.

What to watch for in the second half: Can the Jets maintain their lead? The Patriots get the ball to start the second half.

 

 

End of the 1st Quarter: Patriots 3, Jets 0

Pats' first scoring drive: 11 plays, 63 yards, 4:32

Scoring play: Shayne Graham 34-yard FG ... he has made all 13 of his field-goal attempts this season.

Key play: Crumpler 28-yard pass from Brady on first-and-10 from the Jets' 40.

Players who impressed for the Jets:

-Darrelle Revis knocked away a pass intended for Deion Branch on the first drive.

-David Harris picked off a Brady screen pass and returned it 58 yards to the Patriots' 12-yard line. Brady hadn't thrown an interception in 339 passes. The last one came on a Hail Mary against Baltimore at the end of the half.

-Shaun Ellis sacked Brady on the first play of the Patriots' second drive for a loss of seven yards.

-Cromartie returned the opening kickoff 27 yards to the 32-yard line, and the second kickoff 37 yards to the Jets' 40.

Players who struggled:

-Harris missed a tackle on former teammate Danny Woodhead on a swing pass and he took it 19 yards on the Patriots' first play from scrimmage. Later, Harris was flagged for a facemask.

-Sanchez overthrew Jerricho Cotchery on a third-and-5 to force a punt.

-The Jets' first drive lasted not even three minutes.

-The Jets netted 0 yards after the Harris INT and Nick Folk missed a 30-yard field goal wide left.

-Crumpler caught a pass in front of Cromartie for a big gain of 28 yards. Crumpler was left wide open, and the play led to New England's field goal.

What to watch for in the second quarter: Can the Jets stop shooting themselves in the foot? And can they sustain any drives? Their first two drives were five and three plays, respectively.

 

Good afternoon Jets enthusiasts! Welcome to the Divisional Round of the 2011 NFL playoffs!

I'm Chris Mascaro and I'll be bringing you all of today's live game action, as the sixth-seeded Jets (12-5, 7-2 road) take on the top-seeded New England Patriots (14-2, 8-0 home) at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

After all the talk, the back-and-forth between bravado and buffoonery, we finally have football. Nearly everyone has weighed in — Rex Ryan heavier than most (just kidding). But, as I said, it's finally time for football.

If you're not at home today, you can always catch the game at one of these fine establishments (if you're of age, of course). But if you're on the couch, why not follow along here with us? We know you have been all week anyway.

No needless chit-chat today. Let's get straight to the keys to the game...

1. On the road again. In the past two seasons, the Jets have played four postseason games and all four were on the road (they are 3-1 in those games). Today is the fifth and it's at the Patriots' home field, where they've won 17 straight regular season games. 

But New England lost its last postseason game at Gillette — a 33-14 drubbing against the Ravens in last year's Wild Card round.  So what will continue: the Jets' road warrior status or the Pats' home dominance?

*The Jets have developed a knack for winning road playoff games and will look to do the same in Pittsburgh next week — a place they've already won at this season. The Steelers are only 6-3 (including Saturday's win) at home this year. FYI: The Steelers last home playoff loss came in 2008, a 31-29 defeat to the Jaguars in the Wild Card round. The Patriots' season has ended on their home turf the last two seasons.

2. Ground and pound. In the Jets' 45-3 loss to the Patriots in Week 13, Mark Sanchez dropped back to pass on six of the team's first 11 plays and 16 of the rest of the 23 first-half plays. What does that all mean? Passing is not the Jets' best option today against an opportunistic secondary led by Pro Bowler Devin McCourty and his seven interceptions.

In last week's win in Indy, LaDainian Tomlinson ran for 82 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries and Shonn Greene ran for 70 yards on 19 carries. That's a good strategy to keep the ball away from Tom Brady. Can they do it? We shall see.

*Greene and L.T. combined for 119 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries, and three catches for 11 yards and a score. It was just what the doctor ordered in a game such as this. Very productive day for the backs, who certainly wore down the New England defense late in the game.

3. Inspiration and experience for the Jets? Believe it or not, the Jets are the team in today's game with more playoff experience. New England has 22 players on its 53-man roster who have never played in a postseason game, while 33 Jets who will play today have won a postseason game as a member of the team. 

Rex Ryan, who called today's game the second most important in franchise history behind Super Bowl III, brought in Dennis Byrd to address the team on Saturday night. Byrd, for those who don't remember, was a defensive lineman who suffered a broken neck in a 1992 game against the Chiefs.

Said Braylon Edwards on his Twitter page: "I just heard the most inspirational message of my life from former Jet Dennis Byrd. As God is my witness, I have never been more ready to perform in my life. Dennis Byrd, I respect, salute and honor you."

Sounds like the Jets are ready to go.

*The Jets certainly looked like a poised playoff team on the road, recovering two onside kicks and out-playing the favorites to win the whole tournament. Sanchez looked very comfortable for such a young quarterback, especially one who's struggled in New England. And as for inspiration, just watch this.

Here is the weather report from Foxboro, where it's in the mid-20s and sunny with a relatively stiff breeze.

Here are today's inactives, courtesy of our Jets beat writer Mr. Rod Boone, who is at Gillette Stadium. The list includes Brad Smith, so Antonio Cromartie will handle the return duties. It also includes The Terminator and the draft bust.

And here's how our fine folks here at Newsday think the game will play out. Most think New York is better, in more ways than one.

Finally, here are some notes on today's game...

-The 45-3 loss to the Patriots in Week 13 was the Jets' only loss of the season by more than nine points.

-The only one of the Jets' five losses to come against a non-playoff team was a 10-6 decision against Miami in Week 14.

-The Patriots have won eight straight games since a Week 9 loss to the Browns (their only other loss was a 28-14 decision to the Jets in Week 2). They have scored at least 30 points in every game during the streak. 

-During the regular season, the Jets were seventh in the AFC in points scored with 367. They allowed 304 points, which was tops in the AFC East and third best in the conference (behind Pittsburgh and Baltimore).

-The Patriots scored a league-high 518 points, 77 more than second-place San Diego. They allowed 313, which was fourth in the conference.

-Including New England's playoff victories in 1985 and 2007, the Jets are 51-51-1 all time against the Pats. Someone's gonna break the tie today.

-The Patriots were the best in the league in turnover margin this season at +28 (10 giveaways, 38 takeaways). The Jets were tied for fifth with the Bucs at +9 (21 giveaways, 30 takeaways).

-Brady is a big reason for the spectacular turnover margin. In their eight-game winning streak, the Patriots have forced 24 turnovers while committing only one. Brady has not thrown an interception in an NFL-record 335 passes.

-Brady has completed 65.9 percent of his 492 passes this season for 3,900 yards. The 33-year old, an 11-year veteran out of Michigan, is averaging 7.9 yards per attempt. He has thrown 36 touchdowns and four interceptions, and his 111.0 passer rating was by far the best in the league.

-Antonio Cromartie and Brodney Pool each intercepted Brady in Week 2, accounting for half his season total.

-BenJarvus Green-Ellis finished with 1,093 rushing yards on 229 carries this season with 13 touchdowns. In a Week 2 loss against the Jets, he was held to 19 yards on 10 carries. In the loss to Cleveland, he only ran for 14 yards on nine carries. Stopping him will be big for the Jets today.

-Brady loves throwing to his tight ends. Rob Gronkowski (10), Aaron Hernandez (six) and Alge Crumpler (two) combined for 18 total touchdowns.

-The Jets are 2-2 against the Patriots under the Rex Ryan regime. The home team has won all four meetings. 

-In two games in Foxboro, Sanchez has one touchdown and seven picks. He has one TD pass in the last six games total.

Okay, that's all for now. But we've got plenty more to talk about today, so keep it locked here throughout the afternoon!

I'll be back after each quarter with updates, and will also give live up-to-the minute updates in the chat box above. Be sure to chime in during the game!

We're about 15 minutes from football on CBS! 

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