8:25 PM ET, September 12, 2013
Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Tom Brady knows it will take a while to get in sync with his rookie receivers. Meanwhile, he keeps winning.
The 14-year veteran threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to one of those newcomers, hitting a wide-open Aaron Dobson on the game's first series before both offenses played as sloppily as the second-half weather, and the New England Patriots got by the New York Jets 13-10 on Thursday night.
Thirteen of Brady's 19 completions went to veteran Julian Edelman, who knows the offense better than the three rookie wide receivers.
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"It's unrealistic for them to feel like they can do it like 10-year veterans. That's not what they are," Brady said. "But they're trying hard and they work real hard and they have a lot of skill."
That applies to another rookie, Jets quarterback Geno Smith. But he completed just 15 of 35 passes for 214 yards with three fourth-quarter interceptions and was sacked four times.
"Geno had his (good) moments," Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "I don't know how many balls we dropped today, but it was a bunch."
The Patriots (2-0) punted 11 times and managed just nine first downs after leading the NFL in points and yards last season. Only two of their 16 possessions gained more than 22 yards, and 81 of their 232 yards -- more than a third -- came on their opening series.
"We have a long way to go," said Brady, who completed 19 of 39 passes for 185 yards and one touchdown. "No one is coming to (our) rescue and save the day, so we've just got to fight through it."
The Jets (1-1) cut the lead to 13-10 on Bilal Powell's 3-yard touchdown run with 5:05 left in the third quarter. But Smith threw three interceptions in the fourth quarter, two to Aqib Talib and one to Alfonzo Dennard. Talib's second with 38 seconds left sealed the victory.
"During that time in the game, you've got to be more mindful of the situation," Smith said. "With the costly mistakes, that was completely on me."
"I lost my temper. I lost my cool out there, and we can't have it," Colon said. "I know better so it is my fault."
Tough Bill To Pass
Geno Smith actually fared much better than most rookies have against New England coach Bill Belichick. Prior to Thursday night, first-year QBs were 0-4 against Belichick in Foxborough, losing by an average of 23.5 points per game. Here's a look:
|2013 Geno Smith||Lost by 3|
|2012 Ryan Tannehill||Lost by 28|
|2012 Andrew Luck||Lost by 35|
|2009 Mark Sanchez||Lost by 17|
|2003 Byron Leftwich||Lost by 14|
|-- ESPN Stats & Information|
With wide receiver Danny Amendola, tight end Rob Gronkowski and running back Shane Vereen all sidelined, Brady was without three of his top offensive players. He was left with just two tight ends and four wide receivers.
In the second half, the teams had to deal with a torrential downpour that started at intermission.
On the 17 possessions in the first half, there were 11 punts, a lost fumble, one missed field goal, three field goals and a touchdown.
The officials didn't have a very good half, either, with one touchdown by each team and a lost fumble by Edelman being overturned by video review.
The only touchdown of the half came on the first series when Brady hit Dobson down the right side. It was the first reception for the second-round draft choice, who missed the opening 23-21 win over the Buffalo Bills with a hamstring injury.
"We were being pretty aggressive there in a short-yardage situation and (Dobson) slid behind him and I just gave it to him. He did all the work," Brady said. "I'm glad we got on the board early and got a lead. Playing ahead is always important, especially when you get (bad) weather conditions."
Dobson said he and Brady practiced the play in this week's walk-throughs.
"It worked out to perfection," Dobson said. "I was wide open and I capitalized on the play."
It marked the 50th straight game in which Brady has thrown a touchdown pass. Drew Brees, whose streak has ended, holds the NFL record, with 54.
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Stephen Gostkowski's 21-yard field goal made it 10-0 before Nick Folk kicked a 37-yarder for the Jets after Smith's 9-yard pass to Clyde Gates, originally ruled a touchdown, was changed to an incompletion following the replay. Gostkowski added a 30-yarder with 5:05 left in the half, but the Patriots didn't score again.
"Over the years, our offense has bailed us out so many times," Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo said. "If the score is 43-42 or 3-0, we'll take it, especially against a division opponent like the Jets."
Patriots rookie Ryan Allen tied two team records he'd prefer not to have -- 11 punts for 514 yards. ... The Patriots have won five straight games over the Jets and 18 of 23. ... Jets WR Jeremy Kerley missed the game with a concussion.
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 12: Quarterback Brady Quinn #9 of the New York Jets throws the ball before taking on the...(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from Penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||4.5||3.6|
Comp - Att
Yards per pass
Sacks - Yards Lost
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||1-2||0-3|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|
|TD||12:54||Aaron Dobson 39 Yd Pass From Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski Kick)||0||7|
|FG||09:17||Stephen Gostkowski 21 Yd||0||10|
|FG||04:01||Nick Folk 37 Yd||3||10|
|FG||05:05||Stephen Gostkowski 30 Yd||3||13|
|TD||05:05||Bilal Powell 3 Yd Run (Nick Folk Kick)||10||13|
The Patriots won despite having more punts (11) than 1st downs (9). It was the first such win for New England in the Bill Belichick era (since 2000).
Patriots' win last night snapped a 7-game losing streak (including playoffs) in games that they scored less than 20 points.[+]
Patriots Since 2009 Including Playoffs, Scoring Less Than 20 Points
Geno Smith struggled when the Patriots sent four or fewer pass rushers, completing 38% of his attempts after completing 66% of such attempts last week. Smith was sacked four times against a standard pass rush, tied for the second most such sacks the Patriots have had in a game in the last six seasons.[+]
Geno Smith vs 4 or Fewer Rushers, This Season
Tom Brady struggled to throw to any receiver not named Julian Edelman Thursday, completing 29% of his attempts to all other receivers. Brady targeted Edelman on 46% of his attempts, Brady's highest percentage to a receiver other than Wes Welker in a game in the last six seasons.[+]
Tom Brady Passing by Target, Thursday
The Patriots 9 1st downs are the fewest for the team in the Bill Belichick era (since 2000). Previous low was 11 in 2002 Week 15 at Tennessee (24-7 loss).
Geno Smith picked his spots in the first three quarters. Smith took four sacks in the first 45 minutes but did not throw an interception. Smith threw three picks in the fourth quarter, all on throws more than 10 yards downfield. Mark Sanchez threw three total fourth-quarter interceptions all last season.[+]
Geno Smith Passing, More Than 10 Yards Downfield, Thursday
Tom Brady completed 11 of his 24 passes in the 1st half Thursday, only the fifth time since the start of the 2008 season that Brady completed less than 50 percent of his passes in a 1st half.[+]
Tom Brady Lowest Comp Pct - 1st Half in Single Game Since 2008
Geno and the Jets are up against history Thursday - no rookie QB has ever defeated Bill Belichick's Patriots in Foxborough. In fact, Ryan Tannehill, Andrew Luck, Mark Sanchez, and Byron Leftwich - each a top-10 pick - all lost by at least 14 points in New England.[+]
Aaron Dobson is the first Patriots wide receiver with a receiving touchdown in his first career game since Chad Jackson in 2006 against the Jets. (The last Patriots player to do so was Rob Gronkowski in 2010, but Jackson is the last wide receiver to do so.)[+]
With Shane Vereen ruled out and Danny Amendola likely to join him, Tom Brady will be without two of his top three targets from Week 1 this Thursday. When targeting those two and Julian Edelman in Week 1, Brady went 24-of-33 with 2 TD. When targeting all other Patriots receivers, Brady went 5-of-19 with an interception.[+]
Tom Brady by Target, Week 1
Tom Brady certainly enjoys Thursday games. He's posted a 5-0 record while throwing for 303 pass yards per game, 12 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions.[+]
ESPN Stats & Information