Patriots

Tom Brady and Patriots offense make impossible look routine against Packers

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Tom Brady and Patriots offense make impossible look routine against Packers

FOXBORO -- Debating the relative merits of Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers for the past week was a fun exercise, but we should all understand this.

If another quarterback in another city did what Brady and the Patriots offense did Sunday night, they'd be erecting statues, writing songs and putting out commemorative coffee table books.

It wasn't that the Patriots were with the most talented tight end of his generation, Rob Gronkowski. They were also without his backup, Jacob Hollister, and were left with Dwayne Allen (11 catches in 12 games as a Patriot entering last night) as the only tight end.

They weren't just without their rookie running back Sony Michel, who was only the lead ball carrier because Rex Burkhead and Jeremy Hill got hurt. They were -- again -- using wide receiver Cordarelle Patterson as their go-to ball carrier.

Behind an offensive line without its best run-blocker (Shaq Mason), a line that was using a seventh-round pick at left tackle, an undrafted rookie at center, a right guard making his third NFL start in three seasons and a right tackle coming back from a concussion.

WHAT WE SAID BEFORE THE GAME

And still they hung 31 on the Packers and that was done despite coming away pointless on a 13-play drive on which they couldn't score on four plays from the Packers 1-yard line.

They did it not just because Brady is a wizard but because of offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels' game plan, which said, in effect, "Screw it, who cares who we don't have, let's throw everything at ‘em and see how they deal with it."

From the outset, the Patriots went turbo up-tempo, feeding James White the ball five times on the opening drive and getting 44 yards and a touchdown from him.

When they bogged down on their second drive thanks to an Edelman drop and a missed assignment by Ted Karras -- the right guard making his third start -- they came back on the next drive by throwing a sideline alley-oop to Josh Gordon followed by a flea-flicker to Julian Edelman.

On their last drive of the half, they rode that running back/wide receiver, Cordarelle Patterson, down the field for another score and a 17-10 halftime lead.

After their drive-to-nowhere at the start of the second half on which Gordon, Edelman and Allen had big gains and a couple of non-productive series, McDaniels dialed up more trickeration with a double-pass to White good for 37 yards. That ended in a touchdown as did the next series when Edelman took an end-around at the start of the drive and Gordon scored on a 55-yard play set up by a Packers busted coverage.

A Packers secondary, diminished by the shuffle caused when they traded safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix earlier in the week, was going against a makeshift offense and still couldn't stop it.

Brady, who finished the night 22-for-35 for 294 yards and a touchdown, will be nitpicked for throws not made but that's the bar this team has set for itself.

On a night when other teams might have taken the field with an air of resignation because of the missing pieces, the Patriots played  instead with desperation instead and took the fight to the Packers.

A pieced-together rushing attack got 123 yards on 31 carries -- 11 for 61 from Patterson. Despite not having Gronkowski or Michel, the Patriots still managed 433 yards of offense which is more than the Los Angeles Rams could manage against Green Bay last week even though the Rams had all their parts in place.

For another team, pulling out a win despite all that shuffling would have been a pipe dream. For the Patriots, it was just Sunday night. 

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Adam Gase explains what Jets were looking for in Demaryius Thomas trade

Adam Gase explains what Jets were looking for in Demaryius Thomas trade

The New England Patriots hadn't made a trade with the New York Jets during Bill Belichick's 20-year tenure in Foxboro until the defending champs dealt veteran wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to the Big Apple after their Week 1 win.

Thomas was signed by the Patriots in May, but after the addition of elite wide receiver Antonio Brown last week, they moved on from Thomas and sent him to the Jets for a 2021 sixth-round pick

Jets head coach Adam Gase was asked about the trade during his media conference call Wednesday, and he explained what New York was looking for when it made the call to the Patriots.

"I think when (Jets general manager) Joe Douglas came to me, and when (Antonio Brown) got there, we were kind of in a situation where if we could find somebody that had knowledge of the system, that could help us, that was somebody that fit what we were looking for, which obviously Demaryius does," Gase said. "We were trying to figure out, 'How could we go about this?' I think to Joe's credit, he was like, 'I'm just going to call him and the worst they could say is no.' And when they said, "Let's talk," then those guys worked it out."

Trading with a division rival is difficult, but Belichick isn't afraid to make that kind of move if he feels it will help his team.

"We don't want to help the Jets, and they don't want to help us," Belichick said Tuesday. "We're in the same division, so they're not the easiest trades to make. ... But in the end, if it helps us in the other 14 games and helps our team, then it's something that's worth considering. We'll try to help our team in any way we can."

Belichick also added: "When you look at the beginning of each year, inter-division trading is probably not something that you think is going to be at the top of the list," Belichick added. "But we traded with Buffalo this year, too (acquiring center Russell Bodine from the Bills), so we made two inter-division trades within a week. You never know."

Thomas made his Jets debut during Monday night's loss to the Cleveland Browns. He made one catch for minus-1 yard on two targets.

The 31-year-old wide receiver didn't participate in Wednesday's practice due to a hamstring/knee injury, so it's uncertain if he'll play against the Patriots on Sunday.

Jets coach has high praise for Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore>>>

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Referee assigned to Patriots vs. Jets Week 3 game also officiated Super Bowl LI

Referee assigned to Patriots vs. Jets Week 3 game also officiated Super Bowl LI

New England Patriots fans might recognize the referee assigned to Sunday's Week 3 matchup against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium.

Carl Cheffers will work the game, and he also was the referee for Super Bowl LI, where the Patriots pulled off a historic comeback to beat the Altanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime after trailing 28-3 in the third quarter. Cheffers, ironically, wears No. 51.

The Patriots have an 8-3 record in games which Cheffers has served as the referee. The last Patriots game he officiated was New England's embarrassing Week 2 road loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. Last week's Patriots game against the Miami Dolphins was officiated by Bill Vinovich, who also officiated New England's victory in Super Bowl XLIX.

The defending Super Bowl champions have won their first two games of the season by a combined score of 76-3. The Patriots also have won six straight games against the Jets, and they are massive betting favorites entering their Week 3 matchup.

Jets coach has high praise for Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore>>>

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