Despite the loss to the Jets, rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez was one of the few highlights for the Patriots on Sunday.
The New York Jets vaunted defense simply had no answers for the Patriots’ rookie tight end. It’s a wonder why the Patriots stopped throwing to him in the second half.
With all the talk of Darrelle Revis versus Randy Moss and who would cover Wes Welker, the key receiver for the Patriots against the Jets was Hernandez making key catches to keep scoring drives alive in the first half. In the first half alone, he had four catches for 80 yards. He finished with six catches for 101 yards and averaged nearly 17 yards per reception.
The biggest catch in the first half came under two minutes to go when he snagged a 46 yard catch and run.
It was third and ten and momentum was on the Jets side. Hernandez was wide open down field where he was able to make some over-pursuing tacklers miss him. He scampered all the way to the Jets 34 yard line.
“It was a third-down play and we needed a catch,” said Hernandez following the game. “I tried to win the match-up on my route, (Tom) Brady threw a great pass and we got the first down.”
|Hernandez (85) avoids a tackle by New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
The play set up Moss’ one-handed 34-yard touchdown over Revis’ head. At the time, the Patriots were in control of the game with a 14-7 lead.
During the first scoring drive, Hernandez also had two catches on third down to keep the Patriots moving the chains. He caught an 18 yard pass on a third and eight and he caught seven yard pass on a third and six on that drive.
Despite his standout play, Hernandez was not happy with the loss. On his performance “it didn't feel too good because we didn't come out with the victory,” he said.
Hernandez said he looks forward to take another crack at the Jets in Week 13. “They still have to play us again and we will come back stronger,” he said.
Kevin Saleeba is a frequent contributor and columnist to Patriots Insider. A former beat writer for local media, Kevin has extensive knowledge of the team and experience covering the Patriots. Share your thoughts on this article, or send your questions to Kevin ( here.