Talk is cheap… unless you can actually back it up. To say that The Jets backed it up would be selling them short. They put their collective foot in the New England Patriots… um… you know.
The Jets 28-21 win wasn’t just a statement game that may turn the tide in the AFC East over the next year; it may have knocked the swagger out of the Patriots for some time to come.
Say what you will about Rex Ryan, he’s loud, begs for attention and sometimes crosses the line with his tactics. However, he’s not the type of guy that bails out on a plan when it’s not working well.
After the 45-3 beat down in Foxboro two months ago Ryan could’ve, and should’ve, kept his yap shut and stopped throwing rocks at everyone’s throne. Yet here was Ryan talking about how “personal” it was between him and Peyton Manning and Bill Belichick. Encouraging Antonio Cromartie to draw the ire of Tom Brady by calling him an @$$#ole and saying “F*** Tom Brady”. He even continued his talk about how the Jets are still Super Bowl contenders. Meanwhile everyone from sports radio broadcasters to anchors called him crazy. Now what do we call him?
Ryan, dare I say it, outcoached “The Hoodie” and turned the tide in the rematch of the Monday Night Massacre.
The Jets were able to do the one main thing it takes to win a football game; they controlled the line of scrimmage. On offense the Jets ran the ball much better than the Pats and the offensive line kept Mark Sanchez off of his rear end all day long as the Pats couldn’t produce any pressure and Sanchez was able to step into his throws. On defense Shaun Ellis and company sacked Tom Brady five times and the Pats never got into any rhythm until late in the game when the Jets were in control. Ryan rarely called blitzes instead allowing his down linemen to get pressure on Brady and it worked perfectly.
Brady couldn’t make the proper adjustments and it showed, as he couldn’t get the ball downfield at all as Jets defenders blanketed his receivers. The Pats were given a taste of their own medicine as the Jets played a more physical brand of football and left the Patriots shaking their heads.
The MVP though was Sanchez. The much-maligned QB shook off a shaky performance against the Indianapolis Colts and looked like the highly touted kid from USC that was so hyped upon his NFL arrival.
Sanchez threw three scores including two beauties to Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards. He sailed a few balls but for the most part he was on point and did the things that the Jets offense needed to win the game. Rex Ryan deserves credit for that as well by simplifying the offense, which allowed Sanchez to make the proper plays.
As much as critics like to get on Sanchez for his spotty accuracy in key moments, the guy is 4-1 in the playoffs, all on the road and in tough places to play like Indy, New England and San Diego. That’s impressive no matter who you are and he deserves a lot of credit for guiding the Jets to those victories.
As for the Patriots the question is now what? The Pats were a juggernaut rolling into this week, bringing up memories of their near perfect season during that stretch. Yet they never resembled that team today as the Jets beat them at every angle and though they outgained them it wasn’t indicative of how the game was played.
Belichick’s defense needs to improve in two ways, pass coverage and pass rush. They couldn’t touch Sanchez because they don’t have the guys to get it done besides Vince Wilfork and he’s more of a run stopper. The secondary need more depth because besides Brandon Merriweather and Devin McCourtey there’s not much there as the Jets proved.
There’s also the fact that maybe no one truly is afraid of the Patriots. Think about the last two times the Pats got called out in the media. The first was Super Bowl 42 when Plaxico Burress guaranteed a victory and this past week when every Jet except Ken O’Brien called them out. What happened? They got beat up.
The luster from those three championships has all but faded. They’re no longer the front-runners in the NFL and it’s starting to show. When someone trash talks you all week then comes into your house and beats you down there is a problem. Maybe the Belichick way isn’t working anymore, maybe they need a new approach. Whatever it is they need to figure it out quick because they’re losing ground by the minute.
Maybe they should try the Rex Ryan way because it looks like it works. Will things be personal when the Jets go to Pittsburgh next week (maybe for Holmes.)? Will Darrelle Revis call out Ben Roethlisberger? If they do, we shouldn’t stress about it, that’s who the Jets are. The Jets talk win, lose or draw. After today in Foxboro we also know they can back it up in impressive fashion.
Wes Welker tried the passive-aggressive Ryan way this week with his foot comments. Maybe Welker can help remove the Jets foot from the Pats backend. Learn from Ryan Wes, if you’re going to talk, make sure we can hear you. Also make sure you can back it up, that’s the Rex Ryan way.