There was no one in the world who thought it would end like that.
The New York Jets laid a complete egg on both sides of the ball and the New England Patriots publicly humiliated them in a fashion not unlike that kid who used to give you swirlies before stealing your lunch money.
With a tough schedule coming up, there’s no time for the Patriots to rest on their laurels, but you have to at least be thinking that after a dominating performance over a team some still had considered the best in the AFC. And it’s also not like the Patriots are just starting to face a tough schedule. This is a team that has beaten San Diego and Pittsburgh on the road and Baltimore and Indianapolis at home.
This game proved more than anything that the Patriots’ offense is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. Darrell Revis, without a “big name” receiver to lock onto, couldn’t cover Wes Welker, who caught seven passes for 81 yards and a score. Small, agile and powerful, Deion Branch made a fool of Antonio Cromartie with a 23.1 yard per catch average and Danny Woodhead, whether it was against a safety, a linebacker or a nickel back, was too much as an option for Tom Brady out of the backfield.
In his last seven games, Brady has thrown 17 touchdowns without throwing an interception. In those games, he’s completed 145 of his 219 passes (66.1 percent) for a yards-per-completion average of 12.6. So even with the short passing game, he is able to put the ball in a place where his quick, athletic receivers can run after the catch.
And say what you will about the defense, but it is a playmaking group. They will not win a game for you, but they most certainly will make some plays to put you in a position to. Devin McCourty is a terrific corner in the making and especially if the offense gives them a lead, the defensive unit can go out there and be aggressive.
In a year when there is so much parity, it’s hard to say that there is a sure-fire Super Bowl candidate, but right now, especially if they can secure home field advantage, the Patriots look like a pretty darn good horse to put your money on.