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RB Green-Ellis, defense spark Patriots this time

Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis breaks away in the first quarter on his way to a career high in rushing yards.

Associated Press

Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis breaks away in the first quarter on his way to a career high in rushing yards.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady finally got plenty of help — from a running back who nobody drafted and a defense that everybody exploited.

The Patriots, in their most complete game of the season, beat the Jets 30-21 Sunday in the latest renewal of a fierce rivalry.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed for a career-high 136 yards and two touchdowns, the Patriots allowed a season-low 255 and Brady, who led the league at 388 yards passing per game coming in, threw for 321.

"Obviously, our passing game has been unreal," said Green-Ellis, signed in 2008 as a rookie free agent from Mississippi, "so we want to be an offense that can be able to do whatever we want to do, run or pass, and complement our defense."

The Patriots never trailed and won their 19th straight regular-season game at home. The Jets lost their third straight.

"I never thought we'd have a three-game losing streak like this," quarterback Mark Sanchez said. "It's just frustrating."

The Patriots had allowed a league-high average of 477.5 yards. But they held Sanchez to 16 completions for 166 yards and two touchdowns one week after he threw for just 119 yards in a 34-17 loss to Baltimore.

"I think every week we've been getting better and better and better (defensively), and (Sunday) was a good day to get back on track," New England defensive tackle Vince Wilfork said.

And they did it without star linebacker Jerod Mayo, sidelined with a serious knee sprain.

In the most recent meeting, Sanchez outplayed Brady in New York's 28-21 playoff win Jan. 16. But the crowd was unusually subdued throughout the first half Sunday, perhaps because of the lackluster play that included six penalties by each team.

Brady had one TD pass and one interception as the Pats scored at least 30 for the 13th straight regular-season game, one shy of the league record held by the Rams (1999-2000).

"Obviously, they're the better team right now," said Jets coach Rex Ryan, his usual bravado missing. "Against New England, you've got to get off the field. They did a great job sustaining drives."

The Jets staged a comeback after falling behind 27-14, marching 85 yards to a 21-yard scoring pass from Sanchez to Santonio Holmes. But the Patriots came right back, holding the ball for 6:12 and scoring with 1:02 left on Stephen Gostkowski's 28-yard field goal, his third of the game.

Green-Ellis, who had 27 carries, scored his second 3-yard touchdown with 1:20 left in the third quarter, and Gostkowski added a 24-yard field goal with 12:57 to go.

"BenJarvus is a great guy to block for," Patriots guard Logan Mankins said. "He reads the play out, he finds the hole and he won't fumble."

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RB Green-Ellis, defense spark Patriots this time 10/09/11 [Last modified: Sunday, October 9, 2011 11:05pm]
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