FanDuel - WFBC

January 16, 2011

New York Jets Back Up Big Talk by Beating Patriots: All week, the Jets trafficked in hyperbole and lobbed insults at New England, even threats. Sometimes, it seemed as if they were convincing themselves they stood a chance. By Sunday evening, the script had changed. By Sunday evening, it seemed the Jets had known all week what everyone else missed. In a game few expected them to win, in the same stadium where they were humiliated last month, the Jets bullied the Patriots, battered Tom Brady and advanced to the A.F.C. championship game with a 28-21 victory.

posted by tommytrump to football at 08:00 PM - 59 comments

Great game. I thought the Pats would have no trouble handling the Jets.

posted by bperk at 08:16 PM on January 16

I guess Wes Welker put his foot in his mouth. How's that toe cheese taste Wes?

If they keep reaching the AFC championship game, I'll film those foot fetish videos myself!

posted by cjets at 08:33 PM on January 16

If I might be more serious for a second (I have a moment while my wife is pouring more shots of Stoli), I said here, after the 45-3 victory last month, that there is nothing wrong with running up the score. If the Jets don't like it, they should have stopped them. Period.

But here's why I wouldn't run it up. When you rub someone's face in shit, expect them to remember that the next time you play. No amount of coaching or preparation was as important for the Jets as having their faces rubbed in shit by the Pats 5 weeks ago.

You humiliate someone and they're gonna remember it.

Payback's a bitch.

posted by cjets at 08:41 PM on January 16

If they keep reaching the AFC championship game, I'll film those foot fetish videos myself!

cjets, it's the Patriots that film private stuff. Wait, I'm thinking of football related filming.

Don't mind me, just keep the camera steady.

posted by tommytrump at 09:01 PM on January 16

I wholeheartedly hope every Patriots fan who took any pleasure in that ridiculous Boston Metro cover will roll it up and jam it up his or her ass.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:06 PM on January 16

just keep the camera steady.

I'll even spring for a steadicam.

posted by cjets at 09:08 PM on January 16

Great, now I have to root for Roethlisberger.

posted by tron7 at 09:23 PM on January 16

I think the Steelers defense is going to give the Jets a lot of trouble.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 11:33 PM on January 16

I was embarrassed by that Metro cover. I was very annoyed the moment I saw it. I was also worried about all the smug talk of the Pats being a lock.

I also don't think it would kill the Pats to have their D scheme up a bit more pressure on the QB now and then than they did today.

posted by beaverboard at 11:35 PM on January 16

Ryan vs. Big Ben. Who to root against less? Decisions, decisions.

posted by graymatters at 11:55 PM on January 16

You know, as soon as Welker opened his mouth this week, I figured "we're going to lose this one." If there's one thing that The Hoodie hates, its players breaking discipline.

Anyhow, yeah, the Jets big talk was not wrong, but to paraphrase The Big Lebowski, "you're not wrong, Rex, you're just an asshole."

Congratulations to Jets fans who genuinely do deserve to see their team win big. They've suffered a long time.

posted by Joey Michaels at 04:38 AM on January 17

I am now a huge Steelers fan. I hope Harrison and the rest can shut up what the Patriots couldn't. But in the end I would love to see the Packers and Rodgers win it all and completely clear the B.F. cloud that still may hang over that great franchise. Let Rodgers get his due and put the past behind, after all, he Rodgers, paid his. Though I can't get Packer games it would be great to see just #12 on the fans. A new era indeed!

posted by gfinsf at 06:46 AM on January 17

I hope Harrison and the rest can shut up what the Patriots couldn't.

Does anyone (other than Belichick, maybe) truly believe mid-week talking has much of an effect on the outcome? If that were so, wouldn't the Jets have lost? Heck of a game by them, they're the only team to have made the Pats look hapless this year and they did it twice (that Cleveland game just seemed like a complete brainfart).

I really can't complain about the Pats' season given how young the team is, but it stings like hell to lost after all that talking.

posted by yerfatma at 09:05 AM on January 17

Jets looked good, Pats fell apart when they needed to get it done. Simple as that. I was hoping for a Pats-Packers superbowl, now I'm just hoping that the Packers pants whoever wins the AFC.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:20 AM on January 17

Why isn't anyone suggesting that Ryan successfully got into the Patriots' heads? The gambit smacked of desperation to me, but 45-3 had led me to think Ryan had to do something to shake things up. No Belichick team had ever lost a playoff game after earning the first-round bye.

But Sunday sure made it look like the Jets were simply the better team.

posted by rcade at 09:20 AM on January 17

Congratulations to Jets fans who genuinely do deserve to see their team win big. They've suffered a long time.

Uuuuuhhhhhh...yeah...no.

Love,

Lions Fan

posted by NoMich at 09:40 AM on January 17

I don't know if Ryan got into the Patriots' head, but he definitely got his players to believe in their team, which couldn't have been easy after that humiliation. Did you see that Bart Scott interview? Ryan has made these guys absolutely nuts, just like him. Obviously, Ryan is doing something right. It's pretty impressive with a second-year QB and a second-year coach.

posted by bperk at 09:41 AM on January 17

I really can't complain about the Pats' season given how young the team is, but it stings like hell to lost after all that talking.

Well, I'm sure that six picks in the first three rounds of this year's draft will take that sting away.

posted by NoMich at 09:47 AM on January 17

Did you see that Bart Scott interview?

This one?

posted by rcade at 10:14 AM on January 17

Please pick and root for the Steelers. Make them two TD faves. Thanks!

Jets Nation

posted by afl-aba at 10:23 AM on January 17

The Jets won this one with coverage. While they did dial up a few blitzes here and there, Brady had no one to throw to. Most of the times he was getting hit were because of great coverage.

posted by Debo270 at 10:29 AM on January 17

Bart Scott, Tell us how you really feel!!

posted by Debo270 at 10:34 AM on January 17

Did you see that Bart Scott interview? Ryan has made these guys absolutely nuts, just like him

Sure, but Scott was halfway there already.

posted by tron7 at 10:42 AM on January 17

Why isn't anyone suggesting that Ryan successfully got into the Patriots' heads?

Because, and this is going to sound stupid but I'm used to that, the Pats weren't that great. They beat a number of "good" teams this year, but every team has fundamental flaws. If I were a pure Kool-Aid drinker, I'd say the coaching staff did a tremendous job of papering over a number of large problems*. They also got pretty lucky: Brady's a hell of a QB, but no one goes 330 passes without a pick. They broke the record for consecutive games without a turnover by a lot; some of that is pure luck. The Law of Averages is a fickle mistress and she came calling last night. The Jets had a great gameplan, adjusted well after the first quarter and beat on the Pats.

* No pass rush, some questionable secondary play and a line backing core that needs to be improved. I think Spikes and Cunningham can be solid starters, but they're not there yet. Also, good as the Pats' offense can be, they still seem to have trouble adjusting when they meet an opponent capable of stopping what they like to do.

posted by yerfatma at 10:49 AM on January 17

Truly surprised for the 2nd week in a row by the Jets. Ryan desrves credit for adjusting his defensive schemes per his opponent, something he's been too head strong to do previously. The last 2 Jets performances reminded me of the Parcells era Giants - just play rock solid D, limit turnovers on O and you'll have a chance to win every game.

I'll be cheering for (minor) injuries in the Jets Steelers game as although I admire both squads accomplishments I truly can't stand either of them.

Go NFC.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:57 AM on January 17

Jets vs Steelers?

Ugh.

Go NFC!

posted by grum@work at 11:00 AM on January 17

I don't know if Ryan got into the Patriots' head

He got into Brady's head but that was a result of the defensive game planning not pre-game trash talk.

posted by cjets at 11:23 AM on January 17

The Patriots were a historically good (regular season) team, particularly on offense, but the benefit that the Jets had was having played them once (putting aside the first game with Moss, which was a different offensive approach) and being able to game plan against what worked so well with that offense. I read in Peter King's column today that the Jets dressed 11 defensive backs for this game, which is pretty crazy, but totally made sense. I think the Patriots were beatable this year, but they took on an aura of invincibility due to the turn-over free play (as yerfatma points out) and because no one game planned for their offense as aggressively as Ryan and the Jets did -- seemed that many of the better defensive teams (Steelers, Bears) thought they could beat the Patriots playing their standard defensive schemes.

A couple of other notes:

- Interesting that the outcome of both night games (GB-ATL) and (NYJ-NE) hinged in part on risky/stupid plays by the losing team just before halftime that led to touchdowns by the opposition. In the Falcons' case, the attempt to go for a few extra yards for a field goal (as opposed to just kicking a 5 yard longer attempt) with a resulting pick six made at worst a 7 point deficit and at best a 4 point deficit into a 14 point deficit. Huge swing. In the Jets-Pats game, I think the Jets would have been willing to run out the clock and go into halftime up 7-3 after receiving a punt from the Patriots, but the botched fake punt gave the Jets a crucial additional 7 points just before halftime. Considering how bad the Patriots looked playing from behind (more on that below), think about how different a 10-7 Patriots lead in the third quarter looks than the 14-11 deficit that it actually ended up being.

- Tom Brady's last several play-off games have been pretty poor. I will almost guarantee that the regular season consecutive victories streak in Foxboro will be played up next year in most Patriots' home games (until the streak is broken), but that is really a lot less meaningful considering Brady is on a two game losing streak at home in the playoffs. (On a related note, let's please retire the "Matty Ice" nickname for Ryan, which seems to be undeserved at present, and also steer clear of admiring references to his home record.)

- One thing I am curious about is whether the Patriots as a whole or Brady specifically plays well from behind. By mid-way into the third quarter last night, I did not have much confidence that the Patriots would come back. It seems Brady gets a lot of credit for being a clutch/money quarterback, but I am not sure he is the best at leading teams from behind. It just seemed yesterday as if the Patriots did not look super comfortable playing from behind, and the clock management seemed pretty poor. Brady gets a lot of credit (and rightly so) for the two game-winning Super Bowl drives (against Carolina and St. Louis), but those were both tie games at the time of the drives -- still a great accomplishment, but certainly a different proposition when you know that worst case scenario (barring a turnover) is overtime. During the game yesterday, I looked up Brady's game logs in the playoffs on Pro Football Reference, and of Brady's 14 playoff victories, only 2 came in games in which the Patriots were behind at any point in the second half (the tuck rule game against Oakland and the game at San Diego in the Pats' last Super Bowl-winning year where Marlon McCree fumbled what should have been the game-killing interception). This may just be indicative of how good the Patriots overall have been (it takes a really good team to so often be a front-runner and staked to leads) and/or not really significant in terms of the percentage of games to which this applies (Brady's performance may be in line with what other elite quarterbacks have done or have failed to do in similar situations, and this is not going to be statistically significant in any way, especially when applied to the playoffs only), but I just thought it interesting.

posted by holden at 11:47 AM on January 17

Because, and this is going to sound stupid but I'm used to that, the Pats weren't that great.

That. In September I picked them to go 9-7 this year. I still think it could have easily gone that way. They're rich in potential talent, but shaky in many areas in actual ability.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:56 AM on January 17

Interesting tidbit from Peter King's MMQ:

"Since Ryan has taken over as coach, the Jets and their arch-rivals, New England, each have 24 wins. Playoff wins in the last two seasons: Ryan 4, Bill Belichick 0."

posted by cjets at 12:03 PM on January 17

Was I the only one who thought Nantz was an ass for criticizing Shonn Greene after his TD? Self-aggrandizing and absurd, according to Nantz. If you did not feel like cheering or screaming at that point in the game, then you probably don't like football (I'm talking to you, Nantz). Phil Simms came back later and said that Greene and the rest of the Jets probably couldn't help themselves.

posted by bperk at 12:23 PM on January 17

Yeah, Jim Nantz' outrage almost made me think I was watching FOX. Joe Buck would have tripped over himself apologising for airing such a disgusting act.

posted by cl at 01:03 PM on January 17

The entire concept of "Old white guy passing judgement on the decorum of a young black athlete" gives me the hives. Especially since Nantz would be talking to an audience of one if it weren't for the players on the field.

posted by yerfatma at 01:04 PM on January 17

There's too much self-aggrandizing in football -- everybody seems to have their own sack routine now -- but I would not have singled out the Greene celebration for excess the way Nantz did. His get-off-my-lawn ruined the moment, broadcast-wise.

posted by rcade at 01:16 PM on January 17

I found it interesting that the announcers briefly brought up the point that Greene might have helped the Jets more by NOT scoring that touchdown, but instead running up to the 1 yard line and taking a knee.

It is true (as the Jets could then run out the clock without worry), but if Greene had the self-control to NOT score the touchdown, it would have been amazing.

posted by grum@work at 01:51 PM on January 17

Because, and this is going to sound stupid but I'm used to that, the Pats weren't that great.

In September I picked them to go 9-7 this year.

It's easy to say now, but I really did have a bad feeling about this game coming in. Despite their rather gaudy wins late in the season, one could see that there were some weaknesses that could be exploited. Chief among those was the lack of a consistent pass rush and the lack of any passing attack other than the short, quick game. (No, I'm not lamenting the trade of Randy Moss, they were better without him, but a consistent deep threat does wonders to open up the short game underneath.) Give the Devil his due, the Jets' defensive game plan was conceived and executed very well, and New England could not adjust in time.

If you look critically at the New England season, they could easily have been a 9-7 team. The early wins over San Diego and in Miami were more the result of the other team giving away the game than of Patriots winning it. The OT win over Baltimore was really anyone's game, and NE came out ahead. Had Green Bay had Rogers at QB, they win that one easily, and had Manning not been greedy and tried to go for 6 (and being picked) instead of settling for a game-tying 3, that one too is anyone's game. In short, Patriots were quite fortunate to be 14-2, were vulnerable on offense to the right scheme well executed, did not have a strong pass rush, and were not really as good as their fans (myself included) were led by some in the media to believe.

Consider that this was supposed to be a "rebuilding" year for NE, they did quite well. The young players will have a year under their belts, and will be better (McCourty has already established himself as a top performer at the corner.) When you also consider the number of picks NE has in the early rounds of this year's draft, Patriots' opponents should look to their laurels.

posted by Howard_T at 02:21 PM on January 17

It looked to me as if Greene thought about doing that for a moment...

posted by ajaffe at 02:24 PM on January 17

Maurice Jones-Drew did it to the Jets in November 2009.

posted by rcade at 02:38 PM on January 17

It's easy to say now

Hindsight is always 20/20. The Pats were 14-2. In their eight game winning streak to end the season, they scored 30 points or more every game. They beat five playoff teams including all four remaining teams (Packers, Bears, Steelers, Jets).

They retooled their offense after getting rid of Moss and looked like world beaters. Maybe it was all smoke and mirrors, but you could pick apart ANY team after a playoff loss and make them look vulnerable.

posted by cjets at 02:42 PM on January 17

I'm not buying all of this Pats-not-that-great talk. Belichick's dumb fake punt call and the subsequent touchdown put them in a hole. They played behind poorly.

There's no such thing as a so-so 14-2 team.

posted by rcade at 02:49 PM on January 17

The fake punt may have been an audible call by Chung, although Belichick was less than forthcoming about it. Either way, that was not the ballgame; the defense still could have stopped the Jets on the ensuing possession and the Patriots had ample time and opportunity to overcome the gaffe, but the offense just could not get it going.

posted by holden at 03:00 PM on January 17

There's no such thing as a so-so 14-2 team.

That's fine, but how many Pats games did you watch this year? I saw every minute other than the Cleveland game and about 75% of the pre-season. There's a reason I've been excited about 2011 since around October. Maybe familiarity breeds contempt, but as Howard mentioned, a lot of their wins were less-than-impressive. Everything looks like a line-drive in the box score.

you could pick apart ANY team after a playoff loss and make them look vulnerable.

Sure, but what's the last 14 win team (or thereabouts) that had announcers regularly questioning their defense*? I thought it was strange that CBS' in-studio team picked the Pats all the way. The 45-3 win skewed perspectives in the media. The Pats had a bad day/ the Jets had a good day, whichever, but luck is the residue of design and the Jets had a better design. If the Pats were the world-beaters they were made out to be, they would have found some way to respond on offense at least. Please don't think I'm trying to take anything away from the Jets.

*Not sure how many wins Indy had in their Superbowl year, but their defense was completely altered by the return of Bob Sanders.

posted by yerfatma at 03:06 PM on January 17

Off-topic, I want to say the link holden provided is an amazing piece of reporting. Either the Pats beat reporters are all Belichick acolytes, or the Post is a terrible newspaper. Oh, right.

"Belichick refused to take personal blame for the gaffe or put it on special-teams coach Scott O'Brien, but that seemed like a cop-out by the Patriots' notorious control-freak of a head coach."

Not how Mike Reiss saw the comment. It's strange to see such vitriol for another team's coach after a win in a major newspaper. It's definitely a different slant compared to Boston's tabloid paper.

posted by yerfatma at 03:15 PM on January 17

For the record, I was linking the NY Post piece to support the proposition (widely reported elsewhere as well) that Chung called for the fake. I frankly did not even read the commentary (or "reporting") on the motives.

posted by holden at 03:47 PM on January 17

Belichick's dumb fake punt call and the subsequent touchdown put them in a hole. They played behind poorly.

Yep. I haven't watched enough patriot games to know how good they actually were, but i thought that call was a horrid call and certainly sent New England into the locker room on a down note.

posted by justgary at 04:26 PM on January 17

That's fine, but how many Pats games did you watch this year?

Not that many. I watched a lot of Jaguars and enough Cowboys games to sour me on professional football.

If the Patriots and the Jets scheduled a rematch for next weekend, I'd still pick the Patriots at home. I refuse to believe my lying eyes.

posted by rcade at 04:31 PM on January 17

Yeah, I'd agree it would be a tough one to call. Maybe it's just our fatalistic nature in New England, but I saw yesterday as a pick 'em. An unsurprising shitty end is still a shitty end.

posted by yerfatma at 04:39 PM on January 17

Hindsight is always 20/20.

It wasn't hindsight on my part. After the last regular season game, I was talking to my son about it, and that was my analysis at that time. 14-2 could have been 9-7 had a few breaks gone the other way against Patriots. I am not belittling the Jets; If you look at my earlier comment, you will see that I give full credit to a well designed and well executed game plan on the part of the Jets.

Belichick wouldn't say one way or another who called the fake punt. The punter, Zoltan Mesko, claimed it had been Chung's call, and that it was set up favorably with 8 blockers vs 6 defenders to the one side. Chung dropped the snap for reasons unknown, and that is that. Like the 4th and 2 against Indianapolis a couple of years ago, if it works, you're a genius, and if not, you're the dumbest SOB on earth.

posted by Howard_T at 10:10 PM on January 17

if it works, you're a genius, and if not, you're the dumbest SOB on earth.

I disagree.

1. The score was 7-3. 2. The patriots were on their own 38, putting the jets in immediate scoring position. 3. The jets go into halftime with the momentum and now a 14-3 lead. 4. Even if the patriots had made the first down, they still were a long ways from scoring position.

It wasn't a dumb move because it didn't work, it was a dumb move because of those reasons. If the patriots had made the first down, it wouldn't have made it a genius move. It would have still been a dumb move that they luckily got away with.

It reminds me of a third base coach that sends a runner home that gets thrown out by 5 feet and then says 'if the throws off no one's saying anything'. No, if the throw is off, you got lucky. Sending the runner was still a bad move.

posted by justgary at 11:34 PM on January 17

But the situation didn't come into it: supposedly if Chung counts 8 guys on one side, that's the trigger for the play.

posted by yerfatma at 09:19 AM on January 18

I was surprised that the Pats didn't go to a hurry-up earlier (in the 2nd or 3rd quarter). It was clear that the Jets D was playing them solidly and that the Pats needed to break their rhythm.

posted by kokaku at 10:25 AM on January 18

The 45-3 win skewed perspectives in the media.

And cartoon characters.

posted by MrFrisby at 10:32 AM on January 18

I was surprised that the Pats didn't go to a hurry-up earlier (in the 2nd or 3rd quarter). It was clear that the Jets D was playing them solidly and that the Pats needed to break their rhythm.

I'm not a Patriots fan, so this isn't griping, but every time the Patriots seemed to get into some kind of hurried up rhythm, a Jet seemed to hurt himself and have to sit out one play...

I don't know if that would hold up to a thorough analysis, but I got that impression a few times in the game.

posted by fabulon7 at 10:45 AM on January 18

But the situation didn't come into it: supposedly if Chung counts 8 guys on one side, that's the trigger for the play.

It's Belichik's mistake either way, it's just a matter of when he made it. If you give Chung the green light to do this at any time then you should expect that he will do it at any time. If he's going to delegate that decision then he pays the consequences.

That said, I didn't hate the idea of the fake there. If it's a better time and place for a fake then the defense knows that too and would be more prepared. The two guys blocking the gunner were taken completely unawares by the fake and he would have had it easily had he held onto the snap. Though, I'm biased, I would like to see teams go for it a lot more than they currently do on 4th downs.

posted by tron7 at 11:06 AM on January 18

Yes they were extremely effective injuries. Much more acceptable tactic than coaches interfering with opposing players during the game, I'd say.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:27 AM on January 18

Even if the patriots had made the first down, they still were a long ways from scoring position.

That was my initial reaction. I am a person who believes that faking a punt (or probably rather straight-up going for it on 4th down) should be done far more often--in favorable situations, such as short yardage around midfield. If you're averaging 4-5 yards a play and you have 1-2 to go, you've got a pretty good shot at picking it up, and you should take advantage of opportunities once you're around midfield--but that's a post for another thread. There was very little upside to going for it in this situation, even if it was successful, and thanks to the actual results, I don't need to elaborate upon the downside.

posted by bender at 12:25 PM on January 18

But the situation didn't come into it: supposedly if Chung counts 8 guys on one side, that's the trigger for the play.

Then that's bad coaching, as situation should always come into it.

Reminds me of an old football story from my uncle from back in the 60s..the team got penned back at their 10 yard line and the coach told the QB to run 3 plays then punt, so he ran 1 play and gained 20 yards, ran the 2nd and gained 30, ran the 3rd and gained 20, then on the 4th play he punted the ball out of the endzone :-)

posted by bdaddy at 12:27 PM on January 18

But the situation didn't come into it: supposedly if Chung counts 8 guys on one side, that's the trigger for the play.

That seems unwise. What if the patriots had been up 21-0 and dominating. What if they were at their own 3. What if it was 3rd and 25. Maybe 8 on one side gives Chung the choice based on his own discretion. Then I'd say he made the wrong choice.

And I appreciate tron7's point that the unlikelihood of the play gives it a better chance. But I think the upside (the position we're in if we make it) was far less appealing than the down (the position we're in if we don't), especially for a team like the patriots playing at home.

posted by justgary at 03:18 PM on January 18

With the comments about how the Pats may have overachieved in a rebuilding year, and about all their upcoming draft picks, I'm taking a bit of post-defeat solace in this NYT post from a few days ago about what Belichick gets done with the level of talent the team brings in.

Some nice comparative charts down near the end of it.

After reading that piece, I don't know what he's going to actually do with those high draft picks. I can't tell if he really wants them or not.

posted by beaverboard at 06:11 PM on January 18

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