FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Tom Brady and Stephen Gostkowksi picked up some more milestones. The New England Patriots picked up another lopsided win.
Brady threw for two touchdowns, including the 400th of his career, to help the defending Super Bowl champions run away from the Jacksonville Jaguars for a 51-17 victory on Sunday. LeGarrette Blount had three 1-yard touchdown runs, and Gostkowski delivered the extra point on all six New England TDs to run his streak to an NFL record 425 in a row.
“That takes a lot of games, a lot of snaps to do that. That’s certainly a tribute to both of them, the durability, longevity, consistent production they’ve had,” coach Bill Belichick said.
“They had a good day, as they’ve had in many, many days throughout their career. I feel really fortunate to have those guys on my team.”
After a summer dominated by talk of deflated footballs, the Patriots (3-0) opened with victories over Pittsburgh and Buffalo and then proved they weren’t looking past the overmatched Jaguars (1-2). Brady became the fourth quarterback in NFL history to throw for 400 touchdowns, and he added his 401st, a 13-yard pass to Keshawn Martin late in the third quarter.
By that time, it was 37-10, fans were trying to beat traffic on Route 1, and the Patriots were heading into their bye week with a perfect record.
And when it was over, Brady had completed 33 of 42 passes for 358 yards while leading New England to scores on all nine of his drives. (Backup Jimmy Garoppolo came in to kneel down and run out the clock on the final possession.)
“I don’t care whether we throw it in or run it in,” Brady said. “As long as we’re scoring points and winning, it’s fun for me.”
Rob Gronkowski caught four passes for 101 yards for the Patriots. Blount ran for 78 yards. Julian Edelman caught eight passes for 85 yards. Gostkowski, who has led the NFL in points for each of the past three seasons, added three field goals.
It was the most points ever allowed by the Jaguars (1-2), who had two injured defensive backs inactive for the game and lost three more during it.
By the end, cornerback Peyton Thompson — who wasn’t drafted out of college and has been cut six times in two seasons — was playing safety. Nick Marshall, an undrafted rookie who played quarterback at Auburn, was at cornerback.
“It’s the hardest thing to do. We only had three safeties that were active and two of them got hurt. That means a corner is going to play safety,” cornerback Davon House said. “You are going to play safety and you ain’t never even practiced that position? That’s tough man.”
Blake Bortles finished 17 for 33 for 242 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception. Allen Robinson had nine catches for 68 yards, but the Jaguars gained just 57 yards on 20 running plays.
Jacksonville was also flagged seven times for 114 yards, including back-to-back pass interference penalties in the third quarter. The first cost the Jaguars 52 yards; the second negated an interception and 82-yard return, instead putting the Patriots on the Jacksonville 1.
Blount punched it in from there to make it 30-3.
The biggest highlight for Jacksonville was a 59-yard catch and run from Bortles to Allen Hurns that made it 30-10 midway through the third quarter. Jacksonville’s other touchdown came on a 6-yard pass from Bortles to Clay Harbor.
“Obviously, we are playing against an elite football team and the best quarterback in the league,” Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny said. “But we also made a ton of mistakes on our own.”
Brady completed a 1-yard TD pass to Danny Amendola in the second quarter for No. 400, joining Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Dan Marino in the 400-touchdown club. Amendola gave the ball to a fan in the front row, but a ballboy retrieved it.
Asked if Brady was upset that Amendola didn’t take better care of the loot, Brady laughed.
“I don’t care,” said Brady, who has an NFL MVP trophy, three for the Super Bowl MVP and four NFL championship rings in his memorabilia collection. “Danny can do whatever he wants.”
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