Moss has huge day; Brady throws three TDs as Pats trounce Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Randy Moss caught a long pass and

stepped into the end zone, flashing the dominant playmaking ability

that made him one of NFL's most feared wide receivers.

Scouts Buzz

The Moss-Brady combination has finally arrived. The Patriots did a great job of moving Randy Moss around in the formation to create individual mismatches they could exploit on the back end against a Jets secondary that still lacks a shutdown corner. QB Tom Brady continues to play at an extremely high level and his ability to make all throws in the passing game and that placed a lot of pressure on the Jets defense. Moss displayed great hands, receiving skills and deep speed while adjusting downfield. He's still one of the best deep receivers in the NFL. He created mismatches all day that turned into explosive plays in the passing game and was productive on all three levels (short, intermediate and deep) in the passing game. The Patriots were extremely impressive in the opening week of the 2007 season.

-- Keith Kidd, Scouts Inc.

Complete Week 1 Scouts Buzz

Looks like it's time for opposing defenses to get scared again.

Moss caught nine passes from Tom Brady for 183 yards and a

touchdown in his New England debut, leading the Patriots to a 38-14

victory over the New York Jets on Sunday. Ellis Hobbs also set an

NFL record by taking the second-half kickoff 108 yards for a score.

"I was nervous before the game," Moss said. "I didn't know

how much I was going to play or what might happen. I settled down

after the first catch and the first hit. I don't think I ever was

more anxious or more nervous. I didn't know how I would play."

Neither did anyone else, including the Patriots.

Moss, acquired from Oakland in a draft-day deal, missed most of

training camp with a hamstring injury and it was unclear how much

of an impact he would have with his new team, or if he'd even play

against the Jets.

In the end, Moss made all the difference.

"I've been playing long enough so that I've pretty much got

down catching balls and making plays after I get them," Moss said.

"I've got that covered, but I've got to get my mind ready."

Moss was prepared after two miserable years with the Raiders. A

perennial Pro Bowl receiver with Minnesota, he appeared rejuvenated

Sunday, showing no ill effects from the missed time in camp.

"He was a great player before he got to the Patriots," Brady

said. "Obviously, he's still a great player."

Brady, who faced little pressure from the Jets, was 22-of-28 for

297 yards and three touchdowns, including a 5-yarder to Benjamin

Watson that was set up by catches of 22 and 33 yards by Moss. Brady

continued his mastery of the Jets, improving to 7-0 against them at

Giants Stadium, and 11-2 overall. Brady has thrown 17 touchdown

passes and only five interceptions in his 14 appearances against

the Jets.

With many fans still returning to their seats from the halftime

break, Hobbs caught Mike Nugent's kickoff deep in the end zone and

surprisingly ran it out.

"He was a great player before he got to the Patriots. Obviously, he's still a great player."

-- Tom Brady on Randy Moss

"It was one of those deals that when he started to run, you

yell: 'No! No! No! ... Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!"' Welker said.

Hobbs made a few cuts to the left sideline and took off

untouched into the end zone to give New England a 21-7 lead 14

seconds into the third quarter.

"When you start going, you can feel it opening up more and

more," Hobbs said. "You just want to head for that end zone. I

always try to find that sixth or seventh gear, the gear they don't

even make."

The previous record for longest kickoff return was 106 yards by

three players, most recently by Roy Green of the St. Louis

Cardinals in 1979.

The play also tied the record for longest in NFL history,

matching the 108-yard missed field goal returns by Chicago's Devin

Hester last season against the Giants, and the Bears' Nathan Vasher

the previous season against San Francisco.

"That was tough to swallow," Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma

said. "It was tough for us to give up that."

Laveranues Coles had two touchdown catches for the Jets, who had

a scare in the third quarter when quarterback Chad Pennington

hobbled to the sideline with a lower right leg injury.

On second-and-12 from the Patriots 49, Pennington went back to

throw and was hit hard by Jarvis Green. Pennington was slow to get

up and was in obvious pain before standing up, then collapsing to

the turf after taking a few steps. Pennington eventually hopped on

his left leg to the sideline.

"I've never had a lower leg injury before," Pennington said.

"I'm not going to lay there, I'll tell you that."

Pennington flung his helmet to the ground as he hopped over to

the bench, where he was surrounded by team trainers. Kellen Clemens

replaced him, but Pennington came back to start the Jets' next

series with his right ankle heavily wrapped. He led the team on a

scoring drive capped by Coles' 1-yard touchdown catch.

In the fourth quarter, Clemens again replaced Pennington, who

decided it wasn't worth it to risk further injury. Pennington,

16-of-21 for 167 yards and the two touchdown passes to Coles, was

uncertain how serious the injury is.

"The doctors are taking a look at it, and I'm sure I'll see

them frequently this week and we'll go from there," he said before

limping from the podium.

Game notes

The 183 yards receiving were the third-most in Moss'

career. His career high is 204 at Chicago in 1999, and he had 190

yards receiving at Green Bay in 1998. ... Thomas Jones made his

Jets debut and gained 42 yards on 14 carries.