NFL: Patriots revel in festive mood after crushing hapless Jets
By Julian Linden
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Reuters) - The Patriots were in a festive mood following a Thanksgiving Day battering of the New York Jets on Thursday with quarterback Tom Brady devouring a turkey drumstick during an interview after New England's emphatic victory.
Brady could be forgiven for enjoying a rich post-game meal after he and his team mates had already helped themselves to an NFL feast, piling on seven touchdowns, including five in the second quarter, in a lop-sided 49-19 victory at Metlife Stadium.
The win was the Patriots' fifth in a row and lifted their season record to 8-3, four games clear of their nearest rivals in the AFC East division.
With five regular-season games remaining, a playoffs berth seems a formality for last season's Super Bowl runners-up, who were seemingly unaffected by the loss of tight end Rob Gronkowski to a broken arm last week.
For the Jets, the mood was one of despair. With a captive national audience watching, they produced one of their worst performances in years.
"We're about as wounded as you can possibly be but we're not dead," Jets head coach Rex Ryan said.
At 4-7, the Jets still have a mathematical chance of making the playoffs but even their most loyal fans were showing signs of losing faith.
Thousands of spectators headed for the exit gates before halftime when the Jets gave up 35 points in a farcical second quarter and more than three-quarters of the 80,000 seats were empty long before the end. Continued...