Report card: New England Patriots

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Here are the grades from the New England Patriots' narrow 17-16 win over their AFC East rival New York Jets, which clinched a first-round bye for the Patriots:

Quarterback: It was definitely a rough day for quarterback Tom Brady as he was under pressure for most of the game. His one interception came while under distress as he rushed a pass to wide receiver Brandon LaFell, who had yet to come out of his route. A lot of Brady's issues were from feeling uncomfortable with the protection from his offensive line. His best moments were an 11-yard run to set up Jonas Gray's touchdown run, and when he thread the needle to Rob Gronkowski into a ridiculously small passing window on a second-quarter throw. Grade: B-

Running back: The Jets are one of the NFL's toughest teams to run on, so the Patriots didn't even try it for most of the game. Shane Vereen's 15-yard run when the Patriots increased the tempo was a bright point with the game on the line. Brandon Bolden provided grade-boosting plays with an impressive hurdle and a 17-yard outside run as he showed speed to hit the edge. Gray had just five yards on six carries. Grade: C+

Wide receiver: Brady didn't have Julian Edelman as his reliable receiver, so Danny Amendola was asked to fill the void. While Amendola was no Edelman, he finished with eight catches for 63 yards. He deserves credit for being dependable when Brady and his team needed him. LaFell (seven catches, 64 yards) pitched in with the steady dose of involvement that he brings to the offense each week. Grade: B

Tight end: The Jets did a top-notch job of covering Gronkowski as he finished with six receptions for a measly 31 yards. But he did find the end zone, as everyone expects him to do each week. It was a tough day for Gronk and Tim Wright, but give credit where it is due to the Jets. Grade: C+

Offensive line: While Dan Connolly has received flak for not playing up to snuff the past few weeks, the team clearly missed him against the Jets. Josh Kline started in place of Connolly at left guard, and the Patriots gave up four sacks, leading to Kline's second-half benching. The offensive line rebounded a bit in the second half against the tough Jets defensive front, but Brady never looked comfortable with his line. Grade: D+

Defensive line/linebacker: In the first meeting between the teams, the Jets gashed the Patriots' defensive front for 218 yards on 43 carries. The Patriots shored up the front and went heavy with 1,000 pounds of defensive lineman in Vince Wilfork, Alan Branch and Sealver Siliga. Linebackers Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower continue to be elite. Collins made a key interception -- with excellent pressure created by Chandler Jones -- and seemed like he was covering every inch of the field. Hightower landed a crucial sack to push the Jets back on the field goal attempt, which Wilfork tipped. The down side for the defense was the lack of a pass rush for a good chunk of the game. Grade: A-

Defensive back: Darrelle Revis is known for his coverage, but early in the game he stepped up into the run defense to make a great stop on Chris Ivory. With the lack of a pass rush, Geno Smith had a lot of time to throw. But it didn't matter as the secondary only had a few slip-ups -- mainly in the direction of Logan Ryan. Safety Patrick Chung was fooled by a play-action fake on Jets tight end Jeff Cumberland's 20-yard touchdown catch. Grade: B

Special teams: Special teams is winning the Patriots games as Wilfork came through with the play of the game -- a tipped 52-yard field goal attempt by Jets kicker Nick Folk. Ryan Allen had some big punts. Amendola looked solid in the return game. Matthew Slater and Akeem Ayers each had strong special teams tackles. The only red ink on special teams was a boneheaded unnecessary roughness penalty on Malcolm Butler for running into Jets punt returner Jeremy Kerley on a fair catch in the third quarter. Grade: A-

Coaching: On paper, starting Kline seemed like the right call. The halftime adjustment to pull Kline made a difference as Brady was not sacked in the second half. The offensive play-calling was questionable at times, with a third-and-14 play-action pass and a shotgun formation on third-and-2. The decision to load up the defensive front limited the Jets' rushing attack. Utilizing tempo in the second half put the Jets off balance on a key touchdown drive. Grade: B-