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Shows that went on way too long
"Californication" (seven seasons)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Tom Brady couldn’t believe what happened. Neither could Bill Belichick, nor the rest of the New England Patriots, for that matter.
They were up 7-0 on the New York Jets one minute, and 28-0 the next. Literally.
Three touchdowns in 52 seconds. That was all it took to send the high-scoring Patriots to a 49-19 victory Thursday night — and put the bumbling Jets on the verge of seeing their season slip away.
“It all happened so fast,” Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo said. “I’ve never been part of anything like that, but I’m glad that we were on the right side of it.”
Brady threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score as the Patriots (8-3) took advantage of five turnovers and used a 35-point second quarter — including the three TDs in less than a minute — to cruise past the Jets (4-7).
“That was quick,” Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich said. “They were some of the quickest scores I’ve ever seen on any level.”
New England’s 35 second-quarter points tied for the fourth-most in a quarter in NFL history. After a scoreless opening period, the Patriots then went on a touchdown spree despite holding the ball for only 2:14 as the Jets kept giving the ball away.
“I was unfortunately on the other side of that in a Pro Bowl where they scored on a fumble, then an interception,” Belichick said. “It doesn’t take a lot to score like that — defensive touchdowns, special teams, they can add up in a hurry.
“Nothing surprises me in the NFL.”
The Patriots jumped on a poor decision by Mark Sanchez, who ruined a nice drive by keying in on Jeremy Kerley on second-and-6 from the 23. Steve Gregory read the play the whole way for an easy interception.
Brady then led the Patriots on a 15-play, 84-yard drive that was capped by Wes Welker’s 3-yard touchdown catch on the first play of the second quarter.
Things got out of hand in a hurry a few minutes later.
After New England recovered a fumble by Shonn Greene, Brady threw a swing pass on first down to Shane Vereen, who zipped down the left sideline untouched for an 83-yard touchdown that made it 14-0 with 9:43 remaining in the opening half.
The Patriots were back in the end zone moments later after Sanchez fumbled on second down as he fell when he slammed into right guard Brandon Moore’s backside. Gregory picked up the ball and ran it 32 yards for a score to put New England up 21-0 with 9 minutes left.
And, the Patriots weren’t done.
Joe McKnight, one of the league’s top returners, fumbled the ensuing kickoff on a hit by Devin McCourty. Julian Edelman grabbed the ball out of the air and scooted 22 yards for yet another score, making it 28-0 with 8:51 remaining in the half.
“That was crazy,” Sanchez said. “I’ve never seen anything like that. This is a team you can’t turn the ball over against because they make you pay. That was a great display of that today.”
Disgusted Jets 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.
“Shoot, I don’t blame them for booing,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said.
New England, which beat Indianapolis 59-24 on Sunday, scored four touchdowns in just over 6 minutes, helping Belichick become the eighth coach in NFL history with 200 career victories, including the playoffs.
“There’s no coach I’d ever want to play for than him,” Brady said.
Edelman also caught a 56-yard pass for a score before leaving with a head injury, and Stevan Ridley ran for a touchdown as New England set a franchise record with 108 points in a two-game stretch.
The Patriots improved to 19-0 in the second half of the season since 2010. They were 8-0 that year and last year, and are 3-0 this season after the midway point.
Meanwhile, the Jets allowed their most points since giving up 52 to Miami in the 1995 season opener, and will likely have to win their remaining five games to even have an outside chance at the postseason.
“Discouraged? Of course,” Ryan said. “I’ll put it to you this way: We’re about as wounded as you possibly can be, but we’re not dead.”
New England was without star tight end Rob Gronkowski, out a few weeks after breaking his left forearm against Indianapolis. It didn’t need him — not with the Jets fumbling and stumbling around.
Brady finished 18 of 28 for 323 yards before leaving with 2 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.
Tight end Aaron Hernandez returned after missing three games with a sprained ankle and had two catches for 36 yards.
Sanchez was 26 of 36 for 301 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Tebow didn’t play at all — revealing after the game that he has two broken ribs — and stood on the sideline with a cap on throughout despite the occasional chants for him to get some snaps.
It looked as though this one might be a close as both teams missed opportunities to score in the opening quarter, including Stephen Gostkowski going wide left on a 39-yard field goal attempt for New England. The Jets were hoping to boost their playoff hopes and keep some momentum going after a 27-13 victory at St. Louis on Sunday that snapped a three-game skid.
The Patriots had other plans, sweeping their AFC East rivals for the second straight season.
“We did a good job,” Vereen said, “of putting the hammer down when they were down.”
NOTES: Edelman left the game early in the third quarter on a helmet-to-helmet hit by LaRon Landry on an end-around during which he fumbled. Belichick would say only “we’ll see,” when asked about the injury. … Jets WR Clyde Gates also left with a head injury in the second quarter after a hard hit from Kyle Arrington. … Jets WR Chaz Schilens didn’t speak to the media after the game, saying he had also suffered a head injury. … Ridley was called for a chop block in the end zone midway through the third quarter, giving the Jets a safety.
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"Californication" (seven seasons)
"Entourage" (eight seasons)
Much like “Californication,” this man-centric show started strong and buzzy -- a perpetual nominee at the Golden Globes and Emmys, and a perceived gender-swapped “Sex and the City.” Then it ground on and on, and what might once have been read as a sophisticated satire of Hollywood materialism became a grinding conveyor belt of self-congratulatory guest-star appearances.
"Will & Grace" (eight seasons)
Hey, did someone say “self-congratulatory guest-star appearances?” Look -- it’s Jennifer Lopez, and Cher, and Janet Jackson, and Madonna! The latter seasons of “Will & Grace” effectively ruined the fun of watching the show in syndication now -- will it be a fun and jaunty early episode, or a later episode in which title characters enact an Ibsen play about having a baby together (really) while Jack and Karen meet one pop star or another? The fact that the show hastened a widespread acceptance of gay people that, then, made the show something of a throwback by the time it ended is one thing; the fact that the show itself seemed uninterested in relying on its actors’ sharp comic timing is quite another.
"The King of Queens" (nine seasons)
This CBS stalwart just kind of kept going, exactly as long as was needed to launch Kevin James’ film career. In the show’s final minutes, a formulaic sitcom became a mile-a-minute soap, with the central characters considering divorce and then having two children.
"Frasier" (11 seasons)
Though it ended strong, "Frasier" had something of the opposite problem as “The King of Queens”: While the CBS comedy chucked a whole bunch of plot at viewers toward the end, NBC’s Emmy magnet stayed stuck in familiar ruts, with Frasier questing endlessly for love and Daphne and Niles in fairly unthrilling domestic bliss. The jokes stayed good, but this maybe could have gone one or two years shorter.
"Weeds" (eight seasons)
As “Homeland” viewers may be learning, Showtime isn’t particularly good at keeping its shows coherent over time. (Maybe this is “Californication”’s issue -- we wouldn’t know!) This show changed settings and, effectively, organizing conceits so many times that by the end, it had few earnest defenders.
"Nip/Tuck" (six seasons)
This FX series, too, changed settings midway through, moving from Miami to Los Angeles four seasons in for no compelling reason. The show’s most gripping subplots had a way of petering out (remember the anticlimactic solution to the mystery of the Carver?), and its bizarre tendencies overtook any sense of fun.
"Glee" (five seasons and counting)
The series has, like its sibling show “Nip/Tuck” (Ryan Murphy created them both), switched locations, moving in large part to New York once its core cast graduated high school. But what’s the point of a high school series when the stars graduate? Despite some lovely moments, the show’s heat seems gone, and attempts to get back into the conversation (the school shooting episode, for instance) have been more desperate and tone-deaf than effective.
"Grey's Anatomy" (10 seasons and counting)
Here’s the thing: By all accounts, “Grey’s Anatomy” is not a creative failure. And it’s still widely watched. But when you begin your life as a world-beating hit, anything else seems somewhat marginal. “Grey’s Anatomy” has shed more regular viewers than many shows will ever hope to get in the first place (same’s true of “Survivor” and latter-day “ER,” to name just a few). Those who stopped watching once the Golden Globe nominations petered out may wonder why the show is still on; loyal viewers know better.
"The Simpsons" (25 seasons and counting)
Like the “Grey’s” doctors, the Springfield clan and their neighbors still draw a crowd. But “The Simpsons” is so omnipresent in syndication and in pop culture that the first-run series seems besides the point (not least because, though there are good episodes here and there, the show’s best days are universally agreed to be behind it -- like way behind it, in the 1990s).
"The Office" (nine seasons)
There was a natural break for this show, where it ought to have ended -- with the departure of lead actor Steve Carell in Season 7. The latter years were a creative fugue state, and as NBC’s Thursday night lineup continued to flatline in the ratings, one-time fans could be forgiven at their surprise that the adventures of Jim and Pam kept on unfolding.
"The X-Files" (nine seasons)
Once one of the show’s leads departs and has to be replaced -- as Steve Carell did on “The Office,” or David Duchovny did here -- the show faces a reckoning; if the lead is so central to the show’s plot as to make people wonder how the show could possibly go on, maybe the show shouldn’t. And even “X-Files” superfans might have been happier with fewer seasons of drawing out the conspiracy string toward a famously unsatisfying ending.
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