What do you get when you mix a herd of no-name receivers, bad weather and a rookie quarterback? The miserable display of football that was Patriots-Jets on Thursday night.
Amid a second-half dowpour of rain and dropped passes, the New England Patriots slogged through to a 13-10 win over the New York Jets in a game almost completely devoid of offensive output. With the Patriots' top receivers (Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski) sidelined with injuries and the Jets pass catchers apparently allergic to footballs, Tom Brady and Geno Smith struggled to get anything going, combining for a 46 percent completion rate and only one touchdown (Brady).
Greg Knopping at Pats Pulpit breaks down the ineptitude of the Patriots offensive "weapons."
Julian Edelman was the only skill player on offense that could muster any semblance of reliable production. He recorded 13 total grabs for 78 yards. Tom Brady completed just 19 of 39 throws on the night - but those numbers can be attributed more to drops and miscommunications with receivers than anything. Rookie Aaron Dobson, in particular, struggled. Stevan Ridley got the bulk of the load on the ground, carrying the ball 16 times, but only picking up 40 yards.
The story was even more grim when the Jets had the ball. Smith struggled with accuracy throughout the night, particulary on his deep balls, but got no help from a Jets receiving corps that simply could not bring in the football during the second half. Smith did a decent job of keeping his composure through much of the game, but finally imploded at the end, tossing three ugly fourth-quarter interceptions to seal the deal.
To give you an idea of how rough things went for the Jets, Gang Green Nation listed only six players under "The Good" during their game recap. Fourteen players showed up under "The Bad." Here's John B from that fine corner of the internet giving us his take on Smith's performance:
I think it's safe to say Geno looked like a rookie tonight. His receivers absolutely killed him. Had they made plays in front of them, the game might have gone very differently. With that said, Geno left plays on the field. He was too hesitant and allowed some windows to close down the field, which was understandable for a rookie.
Perhaps most perplexing about the Jets' second half was their refusal to run the ball. Despite an inexperienced quarterback, a group of hapless receivers and wet weather, Rex Ryan seemed intent on throwing the ball early and often during offensive possessions.
In particular, John B wonders why running back Chris Ivory didn't see more of the rock:
Ivory looked like the guy the Jets hoped they were getting in the first half. He got 5 touches in the second half.
... He ran through arm tackles. He kept his legs moving and grinded out extra yardage when he was wrapped. He had 52 yards on 12 carries. Why he didn't get more I don't understand.