Tuesday, March 11, 2014
The Associated Press
(Continued from page 1)
New England Patriots strong safety Steve Gregory (28) celebrates with teammates after intercepting a pass from New York Jets Mark Sanchez during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
The scoring surge continued moments later when Sanchez fumbled after slamming into right guard Brandon Moore's backside. Gregory picked up the ball and ran it 32 yards for a touchdown to extend the lead.
New England was far from finished.
Joe McKnight fumbled the ensuing kickoff on a hit by Devin McCourty and Julian Edelman scooped up the loose ball and bolted 22 yards for another score, finishing off the 21-point blitz in less than a minute. Brady and Edelman later connected on 56-yard touchdown to stretch the lead to 35-0 late in the second period.
"I thought that really set the momentum for the game," Gregory said. "It really turned things into a lopsided feel there.
"They're a good football team, but I think we're a little better this year."
The numbers certainly support that.
Boasting the most prolific offense in the NFL with 37 points and 435.8 yards per game, both best in the league, New England has now scored 190 points in its past four games, the most in a four-game span during a single season since the 1950 Rams scored an NFL-record 208. The Patriots also top the AFC in turnover margin at plus-17.
"I thought it was almost impossible to score 35 points in a quarter, but they found a way to do it," said Jets coach Rex Ryan. "You have to give them a ton of credit. That's a great football team. Like I said, they don't need any help, and when you don't protect the football . 35 points in a quarter is ridiculous."
The Patriots' mantra all season has been to play a full 60 minutes. On Thursday, however, 52 seconds was more than enough to quiet the Jets.
"This team is a steady group. When we play together, we play well. Good things happen," nose tackle Vince Wilfork said. "It starts being fun when you score 28 points in a quarter. All you can say is, 'Wow.' "