By DENNIS WASZAK JR.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Monday, November 26, 2018
Tom Brady set yet another NFL record. Ho-hum. The New England Patriots quarterback was more excited about earning another victory.
Brady threw two touchdown passes and became the career leader in total yards passing in regular-season and playoff games, leading the Patriots past the New York Jets 27-13 on Sunday.
"Just wins," Brady said. "That's what we're here for. I'm trying to be a part of as many of these as I can."
Well, the five-time Super Bowl champion certainly has lots of those.
The latest clinched the Patriots (8-3) their 18th straight season with a .500 record or better. That ranks second in NFL history to only Dallas, which had 21 in a row from 1965-85.
Brady had just one TD throw in his previous three games, but connected with Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman against the AFC East-rival Jets (3-8). The Patriots quarterback went 20-of-31 for 283 yards, giving him 79,416 for his career.
He also reached 3,000 yards passing for the 16th straight season, tying Peyton Manning for second in NFL history behind Brett Favre's 18.
That's all after missing Friday's practice with an illness after being limited during the week with a sore knee.
"I'd prefer to be healthy and practice all the time," Brady said.
"That just wasn't the case."
He was plenty good enough.
Rookie Sony Michel ran for a season-best 133 yards and a TD, and the Patriots had 216 yards rushing - responding well to coach Bill Belichick's challenge to his offence.
"We talked about being consistent week in and week out," Michel said, "playing Patriots football, being physical and run the ball and throw the ball and control the line of scrimmage."
Coming off a 34-10 loss to Tennessee two weeks ago, the Patriots avoided their second twogame losing streak of the season - something the franchise hasn't experienced since 2015. New England, which improved to 3-3 on the road, has won five straight in the series against New York and eight of the past nine.
With Jets rookie Sam Darnold out with a foot strain, 39-year-old backup Josh McCown got his second straight start - making this game the NFL's second-oldest QB combo at 80 years, 258 days with 41-year-old Brady going for New England. Only Carolina's Vinny Testaverde (44) and Green Bay's Favre (38) in 2007 are an older combination at 82 years, 44 days old.
Brady got the better of McCown in this one, though, even though it took until late in the second half for the Patriots to pull away.
"We were not great in the red area, but we made enough plays," Brady said. "In every area, I think we can do a better job. We're certainly not where we want to be and we'll keep building for it.
Hopefully, everyone can stay healthy."
Brady connected with Edelman for a 21-yard touchdown that put the Patriots ahead 20-13 with 1 minute 52 seconds left in the third quarter. The drive opened with a 27-yard reception by Chris Hogan, followed by a 27yard run by James White. Brady found a wide-open Edelman, who ran through a tackle attempt by Jamal Adams and got into the end zone.
Michel added a one-yard touchdown run with 8:54 left, one play after a video review reversed his TD run; his right knee was down before he reached the goal line. The score put the Patriots up 27-13 and sent many Jets fans streaming toward the exits.
McCown was 26-of-45 for 276 yards and a touchdown to Jermaine Kearse with one interception for the Jets, who have lost five straight for the first time since the 2014 season.
"It [stinks]," McCown said.
"It's obviously not ideal. I think individually, it's a test - a test of who you are and what you're about and your ability to get back up come back to work, work hard and be a professional. Those things are tested in these times."
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throws a pass for a touchdown to Rob Gronkowski during the first half against the New York Jets on Sunday in East Rutherford,
N.J. BILL KOSTROUN/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS