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Tom Brady breaks in rookies as Patriots win ugly over Jets
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady knows it will take a while to get in sync with his rookie receivers. Meanwhile, he keeps winning.
The 14-year veteran threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to one of those newcomers, hitting a wide-open Aaron Dobson on the game’s first series before both offenses played as sloppily as the second-half weather, and the New England Patriots got by the New York Jets 13-10 on Thursday night.
Thirteen of Brady’s 19 completions went to veteran Julian Edelman, who knew the offense better than the three rookie wide receivers.
“It’s unrealistic for them to feel like they can do it like 10-year veterans. That’s not what they are,” Brady said, “but they’re trying hard and they work real hard and they have a lot of skill.”
The Patriots (2-0) punted 11 times and managed just nine first downs after leading the NFL in points and yards last season. Only two of their 16 possessions gained more than 22 yards, and 81 of their 232 yards — more than a third — came on their opening series.
“We have a long way to go,” said Brady, who completed 19 of 39 passes for 185 yards and one touchdown. “No one is coming to (our) rescue and save the day, so we’ve just got to fight through it.”
The Jets (1-1) cut the lead to 13-10 on Bilal Powell’s 3-yard touchdown run with 5:05 left in the third quarter. But Smith threw three interceptions in the fourth quarter, two to Aqib Talib and one to Alfonzo Dennard. Talib’s second with 38 seconds left sealed the victory.
“During that time in the game, you’ve got to be more mindful of the situation,” Smith said. “With the costly mistakes, that was completely on me.”
After Talib’s last interception, players from both sides scuffled and two Jets, Willie Colon and D’Brickashaw Ferguson, were ejected.
“I lost my temper. I lost my cool out there and we can’t have it,” Colon said. “I know better so it is my fault.”
With wide receiver Danny Amendola, tight end Rob Gronkowski and running back Shane Vereen all sidelined, Brady was without three of his top offensive players. He was left with just two tight ends and four wide receivers.
In the second half, the teams had to deal with a torrential downpour that started at intermission.
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