Sun Sep 22 4:38pm ET
By KYLE HIGHTOWER
AP Sports Writer
Players: Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, James Develin, Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, Rex Burkhead, Josh Gordon, Trevor Siemian, James White, Phillip Dorsett, Luke Falk, Sony Michel, Jarrett Stidham, Sam Darnold
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady prepares to throw a touchdown pass to Julian Edelman in the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon hits the turf while trying to catch a pass in front of New York Jets cornerback Darryl Roberts (27) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
New England Patriots linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley, rear, and New England Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy, front, tackle New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, celebrates his touchdown pass to Julian Edelman, right, in the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman winds up to spike the ball after catching a touchdown pass against the New York Jets in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots wide receiver Phillip Dorsett runs into the end zone for touchdown after catching a pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
New England Patriots running back Sony Michel, center, runs for a touchdown against the New York Jets in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
New York Jets quarterback Luke Falk (8) passes against the New England Patriots in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New York Jets quarterback Luke Falk drops back to pass against the New England Patriots in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Tom Brady threw a pair of touchdown passes and the Patriots didn't allow a defensive touchdown for the third straight week as New England dominated in a 30-14 win over the New York Jets on Sunday.
Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead each added a rushing touchdown for the Patriots (3-0), who won their seventh straight over the Jets and earned their ninth consecutive regular-season win at home over their AFC East rival.
It was the Patriots' first game since releasing receiver Antonio Brown. The four-time All-Pro was cut by the team on Friday after a second woman accused him of sexual misconduct.
Brown's absence didn't slow New England against a Jets team that was without starting quarterback Sam Darnold, still recovering from mononucleosis, and injured linebacker C.J. Mosley and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams. They seemed lost at times on defense and struggled to move the ball offensively - going 0 for 12 on third down - against the Patriots' top-ranked defense in quarterback Luke Falk's first NFL start.
Brady was 28 of 42 for 306 yards and headed to the sideline with 8:41 left in the fourth quarter and New England leading 30-7. He was briefly replaced by rookie Jarrett Stidham, who completed his first two passes before having his third intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Jamal Adams. Brady returned the following series.
Falk, who was on the practice squad a week ago, got the nod with Darnold still at least a week away from returning and Trevor Siemian sidelined for the season after injuring his ankle in New York's loss to Cleveland last Monday night.
Falk finished 12 of 22 for 98 yards and had an errant pass in the third quarter intercepted by Devin McCourty deep in the Jets own territory.
The Jets dropped to 0-3 for the first time since the 2003 season.
Le'Veon Bell carried 18 times for just 35 yards. The Jets punted on their first six possessions and only crossed into New England's territory once in the first half, reaching the Patriots 49 on the opening driving of the game. They punted on 10 of their 13 possessions.
New York didn't get on the scoreboard until Gunner Olszewski muffed a punt late in the third quarter and it was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown by Arthur Maulet.
The Patriots were also limited in the run game without running back James White. He missed the game to be with his expectant wife and fullback James Develin was also out with a neck injury.
But New England still scored on each of its first three possessions, building a 20-0 halftime lead.
Michel scored the game's first touchdown, running it from 5 yards out to cap a 9-play, 88-yard drive.
Brady and offense then took to the air, spreading out New York's secondary with multiple four-receiver formations. Phillip Dorsett had a 25-yard TD reception and Julian Edelman caught another score from 3 yards out early in the second quarter.
Edelman capped the score with an emphatic spike of the ball , a throwback to the celebration of choice by retired Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. Edelman later left the game with a chest injury and didn't return.
With his touchdown throw to Dorsett in the first quarter, Brady passed Drew Brees for second place on the NFL's career list for touchdown passes.
It was Brady's 523rd TD pass. Peyton Manning is first with 539.
Jets cornerback Trumaine Johnson, who played only four snaps in New York's loss to Cleveland last week, saw a little more action against the Patriots.
Nate Hairston started the game, but Johnson made his first appearance early in the first quarter. He finished with three tackles.
Johnson, who signed a five-year, $72.5 million deal last year, entered the season as the Jets' No. 1 cornerback. Coach Adam Gase acknowledged last week that things hadn't worked out as well as they needed them to, but said he remained optimistic about Johnson being able to earn a larger role.
Patriots: WR Josh Gordon came off the field early in the second half with an apparent finger injury after he got his hand caught in an opponent's face mask. But he returned later in the third quarter, catching a 28-yard pass inside the 5 to help set up Burkhead's touchdown run. . DL Adam Butler left late in the third quarter with a leg injury after combining on a sack with Dont'a Hightower. Hightower left in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury.
Jets: Bye week. At Philadelphia on Oct. 6.
Patriots: At Buffalo next season.
There has been buzz that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a possible landing spot for Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who will become a free agent in March. After his worst season since 2007, the aging gunslinger is unlikely to re-sign with the Bolts, and he recently moved his family from San Diego to Florida to be closer to his extended family in Alabama. The 38-year-old might have a year or two left of football in him if he continues to play, but the 2019 season showed that he's near the end of the line. Rivers would only be an option for Tampa if they choose not to bring Jameis Winston back for at least another season after he led all of football in passing yards last season.
Houston Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel has been fired, and defensive line coach Anthony Weaver has been promoted in his place, according to league sources. Houston's defense was a liability for most of the year, especially their leaky secondary. The Texans allowed 51 points and seven straight touchdown drives to the Chiefs in the Divisional Round loss. During the 2019 season, Houston's defense allowed 388.3 yards per game (fifth worst), 267.3 passing yards per game (fourth worst), 121.1 rushing yards a game and 24.1 points per game. Getting J.J. Watt back healthy for a full season will be a start to the Texans rebounding on defense under Weaver.
The Carolina Panthers hired former Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Snow as their new defensive coordinator on Monday. Snow oversaw the defenses for Matt Rhule at both Baylor and Temple. He has 37 years of college coaching experience and has also served as a defensive coordinator at UCLA, Washington, Arizona State and Boise State. Snow coached four seasons in the NFL with the Lions from 2005 to 2008 when he worked with the team's linebackers. Snow will lead a Carolina defense in 2020 that will be without All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly, who recently announced his retirement from football.
Houston Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel is not expected back in 2020. Defensive line coach Anthony Weaver is the top candidate to replace him.
Updating a previous report, San Francisco 49ers RB Tevin Coleman (shoulder) has a 'good chance' to be available for the Super Bowl, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan.
Updating a previous report, Green Bay Packers CB Jaire Alexander (thumb) suffered a broken thumb during the team's NFC Championship Game loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Alexander is hopeful he won't need to undergo surgery.
The Green Bay Packers Defense recorded one sack and allowed 37 points in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers steamrolled past Green Bay's unit for 285 rushing yards and four rushing scores. To make matters worse, they couldn't generate much pressure or any turnovers. Despite the disappointing end, the Packers defense was much improved from last year, ranking 15th in sacks with 41 as well as third in interceptions with 17. They may not be among the top defenses drafted in 2020, though they should be on every fantasy managers' radar.
Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham caught four of five targets for 59 yards in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Graham was a big disappointment this season in a year filled with disappointing tight ends. The 33-year-old put up the lowest numbers since his rookie season and never really put together a good stretch of play until very recently. Graham has one year left on his contract worth about 7.5 million dollars. Given how much of a bust he was, perhaps Green Bay cuts ties with him and goes younger at the position in 2020.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison caught two of three targets for eight yards in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. There were big expectations for Allison heading into 2019 in both the real and fantasy football worlds. Unfortunately for him, he lived up to neither, failing to eclipse 50 receiving yards in all but one game all year. Green Bay, who is in desperate need of another receiver behind Davante Adams, will have a decision to make about the 25-year-old, who is an unrestricted free agent. It's hard to see Allison being back in Green Bay in 2020.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard caught three of four targets for 36 yards in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Lazard may not have made much noise in the two playoff games but flashed some potential in the regular season, including his first career 100-yard game. Rodgers started to develop a little chemistry with the 6-foot-4 wideout late in the season, as he looked his way 17 times in the last two contests. It would be surprising if Lazard were the number-two receiver for the Packers next year, though it still makes sense for them to bring him back in some capacity. Lazard has some sleeper potential if he's catching passes from Rodgers in 2020.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes' 87 passing touchdowns in his first 35 games, including playoffs, are the most in NFL history. His 11 passing touchdowns and 142 pass attempts without an interception to begin his playoff career are both the most on record, and he is one of just two players to have at least 250 passing yards, three or more passing touchdowns and at least 50 rushing yards in multiple career playoff games.
San Francisco 49ers RB Raheem Mostert rushed for 220 yards and four touchdowns on 29 carries in a 37-20 win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 19, becoming the first player in NFL history to rush for at least 200 yards and four touchdowns in a playoff game.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams caught nine of 10 targets for 138 yards in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Adams operated as Rodgers' safety blanket yet again, capturing 79 more receiving yards than the Packers' next leading receiver. When healthy, this is what the 26-year-old did all year, as he compiled double-digit targets in all but four games, including the playoffs. Despite missing five games, Adams still almost put up a 1000-year season. It would behoove Green Bay to put together a stronger receiver group behind the star receiver. Even if they don't, a healthy Adams should be back in the discussion as an elite fantasy wideout in 2020.
Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams picked up just six rushing yards on three carries and caught two passes for one receiving yard in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Williams had a disappointing end to his season, as he failed to register at least 40 rushing yards in his last three games after eclipsing the mark in his previous three. The 24-year-old did show flashes at times of being the perfect complement to Aaron Jones. Still, it will be interesting to see if Green Bay hands the reins to Jones next year or continues to spell him with Williams. For now, consider Williams more of a handcuff option than a complement heading into 2020.
San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo completed six of his eight passes for 77 yards in a 37-20 win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 19. RB Raheem Mostert rushed 29 times for 220 yards and four touchdowns and caught two passes for six yards, and RB Tevin Coleman rushed six times for 21 yards. WR Deebo Samuel caught two passes for 46 yards and rushed twice for 43 yards, TE George Kittle caught his only target for 19 yards, and WR Emmanuel Sanders was held without a catch on one target. DE Joey Bosa and DL Arik Armstead both recorded a sack.
Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones carried the ball 12 times for 56 yards and a rushing touchdown along with five catches for 27 yards and a receiving score in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Jones was running well and would have been able to do more damage on the ground if not for the 27-0 deficit at the half. The 24-year-old finished the year tied for the NFL lead in touchdowns with 19, then added four more scores in the playoffs. He (likely) won't score this many times next year, though Jones proved he's more than just a touchdown machine, racking up career-highs in both rushing and receiving yards. He'll be among the best options in 2020 for fantasy backs in all formats.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 31 of 39 passes for 326 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. At first glance, Rodgers' stat line doesn't look so bad, though the first half was a complete struggle for him and the offense. Down 27-0 at the half, the veteran signal-caller effectively used up garbage time to post these numbers. It's a disappointing end to the season for Rodgers, though he still put up his eighth career 4000-yard season as well as his 10th season with at least 25 touchdown passes. The 36-year-old has plenty of juice left in his arm but will probably need another threat on the outside next year besides Davante Adams if Green Bay wants to make noise.
Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers completed 31 of his 39 passes for 326 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions and lost one of his three fumbles in a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 19. RB Aaron Jones rushed 12 times for 56 yards and a touchdown and caught five passes for 27 yards and a score. WR Davante Adams caught nine of his 10 targets for 138 yards, TE Jimmy Graham hauled in four of his five targets for 59 yards, WR Allen Lazard added three catches for 36 yards, and TE Jace Sternberger caught two passes for 13 yards and a touchdown. LB Blake Martinez led the team with nine tackles, including six solo stops.
Green Bay Packers CB Jaire Alexander (thumb) has been ruled out for the remainder of the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Jan. 19.