Tom Brady and the New England Patriots put this game — and the New York Jets’ ugly season — away early.
At least it was competitive for a quarter. By halftime, it was a big-time laugher.
Brady threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score as the Patriots thoroughly embarrassed the Jets with a 35-point second quarter in a 49-19 victory on Thursday night.
After a scoreless opening quarter, the Patriots (8-3) went on a touchdown spree despite holding the ball for only 2:14 as they took advantage of several mistakes by Rex Ryan’s hapless Jets (4-7). Their 35 second-quarter points tied for the fourth-most in a quarter in NFL history.
Fans were chanting for Tim Tebow to play before the second quarter of this Thanksgiving showdown was over, and booing as the team left the MetLife Stadium field at halftime.
New England, who beat Indianapolis 59-24 on Sunday, scored four touchdowns in just over six minutes — including three in a jaw-dropping 52-second span — helping Bill Belichick become the eighth coach in NFL history with 200 career victories, including the playoffs.
Brady finished 18 of 28 for 323 yards before leaving with two minutes left in the game. He reached 3,000 yards passing for the 10th time, becoming one of six players to accomplish the feat. He also passed Dan Fouts for 10th place on the career passing list.
New York’s Mark Sanchez was 26 of 36 for 301 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Tebow did not play at all — nursing sore ribs that made him questionable for the game — and stood on the sideline with a cap on throughout despite the occasional chants for him to get some snaps.
TEXANS 34, LIONS 31
In Detroit, Michigan, Shayne Graham’s 32-yard field goal in overtime gave Houston the win at Detroit after Lions coach Jim Schwartz broke an NFL rule on a scoring play.
Detroit kicker Jason Hanson had a chance to get Schwartz off the hook, but his 47-yard field goal attempt on the fifth possession of the extra period hit the right upright.
Schwartz threw a challenge flag when Houston’s Justin Forsett scored on an 81-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Replays showed Forsett was down near midfield, but Schwartz negated the automatic review by challenging the play and was called for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The long run got Houston within three.
Arian Foster ran for 102 yards and two scores for the Texans, including a one-yard run with 1:55 left in the fourth quarter that tied it at 31.
AFC South-leading Houston (10-1) took their first lead when Graham made up for missing a field goal earlier in a turnover-filled OT. The Texans have won five straight, including the last two in OT.
Detroit (4-7) have lost three straight to make it extremely difficult to reach their goal of earning a spot in consecutive post-seasons for the first time since the mid-1990s.
REDSKINS 38, COWBOYS 31
In Arlington, Texas, Robert Griffin III threw for 311 yards and four touchdowns, leading Washington to the road win.
The Heisman Trophy winner from Baylor made the Cowboys look like an overmatched college team during the decisive second quarter of Griffin’s first pro game in the state. He got some help from his receivers, including a leaping grab and long run from Pierre Garcon and some nifty footwork in the end zone by Santana Moss.
Tony Romo lost for the first time in six starts on Thanksgiving, despite a career-high 441 yards and three second-half touchdowns, including the longest of his career — an 85-yarder to Dez Bryant. Romo ran in a two-point conversion after a TD throw to Felix Jones and threw another scoring pass to Bryant to help Dallas close to 35-28 with 8:24 remaining.
However, Griffin answered — twice, actually. After Romo’s long touchdown to Bryant, Griffin threw his fourth scoring pass, a 29-yarder to Niles Paul. The rookie became the first Redskins quarterback to throw four touchdown passes in consecutive games.