The New England Patriots asserted their superiority not only over the New York Jets but over everyone in the AFC on Monday night as Tom Brady turned an eagerly anticipated showdown into a rout.
Brady threw for four touchdowns and 326 yards in a 45-3 romp for his NFL-record 26th straight regular-season home victory.
Brady also lifted the Patriots (10-2) to the best record in the AFC. If this was for bragging rights in the conference, Rex Ryan and the Jets (9-3) will have to be silent for a while.
And when the star quarterback wasn't doing the damage, former Jets running back Danny Woodhead was. He turned a shovel pass into a 50-yard gain, had a 35-yard jaunt with another short pass and made Ryan even more regretful to have let him escape earlier this season.
Brady moved into 13th place all-time with 252 TD passes. He has thrown for 27 TDs and been intercepted only four times as the three-time Super Bowl winner makes a strong case for his second league MVP award.
Broncos fire McDaniels. Just two weeks after getting a vote of confidence from owner Pat Bowlen, coach Josh McDaniels was fired by the Denver Broncos, who are 5-17 since opening the 2009 season at 6-0. The Broncos (3-9) were eliminated from the playoff race on Sunday with their seventh loss in eight games. Running backs coach Eric Studesville will serve as interim coach.
McDaniels, 34, made a series of personnel blunders, notably trading away Peyton Hillis, who has become a power running back in Cleveland, but more important to his future, was fined $50,000 by the NFL for failing to report a subordinate who violated league rules by videotaping a San Francisco 49ers practice in London on Oct. 30.
Bowlen was said to be deeply troubled by the situation but still told AOL Fanhouse that McDaniels was safe. Losses in the two subsequent games changed his mind.
Ravens LB fined. The NFL says Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain will be fined for his helmet hit that left Steelers tight end Heath Miller with a concussion during Pittsburgh's 13-10 victory.
Daniels rips Haynesworth. Veteran defensive lineman Phillip Daniels ripped fellow Washington Redskin Albert Haynesworth, implying that Haynesworth was not committed to winning.
"I've been through 15 seasons and I ain't won [anything]," Daniels said. "So what I'm saying is, if I can come out here and do this, don't tell me that you can't do it. I want every guy on this team to do well. I want you to realize that if you ain't all in, you don't need to be here.
"I'm tired of going through season after season where we lose games that we should win, guys not doing the right thing, guys not putting the best effort in, whatever it may be. I'm tried of that, man. We deserve better."
Haynesworth apparently was sick last week. He didn't have a good practice Thursday, according to coach Mike Shanahan, then showed up late Friday and was de-activated for Sunday's game against the New York Giants.
Shanahan said he would not discuss the situation until after he had met with Haynesworth on Wednesday.
Noteworthy. St. Louis' outside linebacker Na'il Diggs is out for the rest of the season because of a torn pectoral muscle. . . . Tampa Bay placed cornerback Aqib Talib (hip) and center Jeff Faine (triceps) on injured reserve. . . . Pittsburgh lost punter Daniel Sepulveda for the rest of the season with a torn right anterior cruciate ligament. . . . Minnesota plans to sign running back Lorenzo Booker, a former Eagle who played this season in the United Football League.