Final

Patriots 19

(2-0, 1-0 away)

Jets 10

(1-1, 0-1 home)

Coverage: CBS

4:15 PM ET, September 14, 2008

Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ 

1 2 3 4 T
NE 3 3 10 319
NYJ 0 3 0 710

Top Performers

Passing: B. Favre (NYJ) - 181 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: T. Jones (NYJ) - 17 CAR, 70 YDS

Receiving: W. Welker (NE) - 7 REC, 72 YDS

Cassel steps in, leads Patriots pass Jets in Favre's home debut

Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Life without Tom Brady might not be so bad for New England after all.

Matt Cassel was efficient running the offense in his first NFL start, taking over for the injured quarterback and leading the Patriots over Brett Favre and the New York Jets 19-10 on Sunday.

The First Look

Matt Cassel got his first shot at leading an NFL team on Sunday against the Jets. Not bad compared to the "other guy's" first NFL start.
Matt Cassel
Tom Brady
Date9/14/089/30/01
Opponentat Jetsvs. Colts
Comp-Att16-2313-23
Pass yds165168
TD-Int0-00-0
Passer rating89.979.6
Team resultW, 19-10W, 44-13

"I thought Matt did a good job," coach Bill Belichick said. "It wasn't perfect. We had some rough spots. He did a good job of making good decisions. He didn't put us in any bad situations and made some good positive plays. I thought he managed the game well."

Cassel, who hadn't started at any level since his senior year of high school, was 16-of-23 for 165 yards, Sammy Morris ran for a touchdown and Stephen Gostkowski kicked four field goals.

"At the end of the day, you've got to have more points than the other team and that's what we did, so I'm satisfied," Cassel said. "I didn't have too many butterflies going out. I've been in the system for four years, so I'm confident I know I can run it."

The Jets, slight favorites going in, and Patriots receiver Randy Moss said New England was still the team to beat even without Brady, who was lost for the season last Sunday when he injured his left knee against Kansas City.

The Patriots (2-0) then showed why, ruining the Jets' home opener and Favre's first regular-season home start for New York.

"We knew we had to play our best football to win," Favre said, "and we weren't able to do that."

New England won its 21st straight regular-season game, and beat the Jets for the eighth straight time at the Meadowlands.

"To come in here, to this hostile environment, and win when everyone picked you to lose, is great," safety Rodney Harrison said. "With all the stuff we had to go through and endure last week with Tom, this is a great victory."

Favre went 18-of-26 for 181 yards and a TD for the Jets (1-1), but the Patriots took advantage of a big mistake by the veteran.

With the Jets facing a third-and-22 from their 11, Favre ran out of the pocket to his left and flung a pass to Chansi Stuckey for 28 yards. Three plays later, though, Favre made a poor decision, hanging a pass intended for Chris Baker that was easily picked off by Brandon Meriweather. It was Favre's first interception with the Jets.

"I just underthrew it," Favre said. "I saw the guy and maybe I got a little greedy. ... I made a bad throw. I'd like to tell you something different."

On third-and-9 from the 30, Cassel threw a screen to Kevin Faulk, who got a few blocks and got down to the 8. Three plays later, Morris leaped over the pile for a 1-yard touchdown to make it 13-3.

"A lot of it is comfort level," said Cassel, who backed up Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart at Southern California. "I don't have as much experience as Tom, of course, but I think I was OK managing the game."

New England New York Jets

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Watch highlights from the New England vs. New York Jets game.

Gostkowski added a 28-yard field goal with 17 seconds left in the third quarter.

Favre led the Jets back into it, connecting with Stuckey for a 2-yard touchdown with 10:18 left, but Gostkowski kicked a 27-yard field goal to make it 19-10 as the Patriots ticked 5 minutes off the clock.

"We cut it to six and it was a chance for us to give them the ball back right away and give them a chance to go score, but we couldn't get it done," safety Kerry Rhodes said. "In those situations, you've got to make those kinds of plays."

The Jets went three-and-out on their next possession, and the Patriots ran out the clock to seal it.

"They kept it simple," Rhodes said. "They didn't want [Cassel] to lose the game, so they did a lot of screens and safe passes. They tried to keep it safe for him."

The Jets had their opening 11-play drive end with Jay Feely, filling in for the injured Mike Nugent, missing a 31-yard attempt. Cassel then led the Patriots on a 12-play drive, capped by Gostkowski's 21-yard field goal.

Gostkowski's 37-yarder gave the Patriots a 6-0 lead.

The Jets wasted an impressive drive that featured a vintage play by Favre. The veteran quarterback scrambled on third-and-9 from their 21, stepped up and threw across his body, finding Coles down the right sideline for 54 yards. A zigzagging 11-yard run by Leon Washington got the ball to the 3, but the Jets gave the ball to Jones three times for 1, 1 and minus-2 yards. They had to settle for a 21-yard field goal by Feely.

"It's only one game," Coles said. "Our season doesn't hang on one game. We still have 14 more left to play."

Game notes


Patriots RB Laurence Maroney left early in the second quarter with a shoulder injury and didn't return until late in the fourth quarter. ... Moss worked mostly against double coverage and was held to two catches for 22 yards. ... Former Jets RB LaMont Jordan had all 62 of his yards rushing in the second half for the Patriots. ... Jones led all rushers with 70 yards on 17 carries.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
New England
NY Jets
1st Downs1812
3rd down efficiency
6-146-12
4th down efficiency
1-10-0
Total Yards260256
Yards per play4.45.2
Total Drives22
Passing156152
Comp-Att
16-2318-26
Yards per pass
6.85.8
Interceptions thrown
01
Sacks-Yards Lost
4-92-29
Rushing104104
Rushing Attempts
3221
Yards per rush
3.35.0
Penalties2-106-60
Turnovers01
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
01
Possession31:3528:25

Passing Leaders

NEC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Cassel16/231657.2004-9
NYJC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Favre18/261817.0112-29

Rushing Leaders

NECARYDSAVGTDLG
Jordan11625.6011
Maroney8162.006
NYJCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jones17704.1016
Washington22814.0017

Receiving Leaders

NERECYDSAVGTDLG
Welker77210.3026
Faulk45012.5022
NYJRECYDSAVGTDLG
Coles37224.0054
Stuckey44310.8128

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERNENYJ
FG03:00Stephen Gostkowski 21 Yd 30
SECOND QUARTERNENYJ
FG13:16Stephen Gostkowski 37 Yd 60
FG07:28Jay Feely 21 Yd 63
THIRD QUARTERNENYJ
TD06:20Sammy Morris 1 Yd Run (Stephen Gostkowski Kick) 133
FG00:17Stephen Gostkowski 28 Yd 163
FOURTH QUARTERNENYJ
TD10:18Chansi Stuckey 2 Yd Pass From Brett Favre (Jay Feely Kick) 1610
FG05:18Stephen Gostkowski 27 Yd 1910