<
>

Quick-hit thoughts after 2nd quarter

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Quick-hit thoughts after the second quarter of the Patriots’ game against the Jets (Patriots lead 10-7):

1. The Jets have decided this will be a slugfest. They are grounding and pounding. Through the first four drives of the game, the Patriots’ defense answered the challenge, mostly in their base defense. But the Jets broke through on their fifth drive with some big third-down conversions. We’ve seen the Patriots win high-scoring games, but this looks like a test as to whether they can win a lower-scoring, ball-control type contest.

2. It’s been a game of fewer possessions -- with each team have five in the half. The Jets have to like this. They don't want to get in a shootout.

3. The Jets carry the momentum into the locker room after the Patriots looked like they'd get at least 3 points after driving down the field from their 7. But Aaron Hernandez had a Tom Brady pass go off his hands in the end zone and it was intercepted by Antonio Cromartie on the last play of the half. CBS noted it was Brady's first career regular-season interception in the red zone at home.

4. Without Danny Woodhead, the Patriots are employing a spread package with three receivers and two tight ends, taking the running back right out of the playbook. We’ve seen that four times in the game.

5. Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis has been a top performer for the Patriots. He is running hard, and also being called on to do more in pass protection with Woodhead out.

6. The Patriots flipped cornerback Devin McCourty to the right side, against receiver Plaxico Burress, when the Jets were in close. Makes sense to have your best corner on a red-zone threat like Burress in those situations.

7. Rookie running back Stevan Ridley took kickoff returns in place of the injured Julian Edelman. He would have been better off taking a touchback.

8. No snaps for receiver Taylor Price. The Patriots are mostly going with their top three receivers -- Deion Branch, Wes Welker and Chad Ochocinco.

9. Also no offensive snaps for rookie running back Shane Vereen. The Patriots have stuck with Green-Ellis and Ridley.

10. Ochocinco played 24 snaps in the first half. He had two catches, for 16 and 7 yards, on back-to-back plays at the end of the second quarter. He also had a false start penalty.

11. Cornerback Kyle Arrington had one play that caught the eye. On a 1-yard run by Joe McKnight, Arrington had a solid run force on left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson. Arrington drew the start at right corner for the second straight week and he’s playing good football.

12. Charting the Welker vs. Revis matchup (link here).

13. The Patriots get the ball to start the second half. Red-zone offense will be a key the way this game has unfolded.