Sunday, January 16, 2011

Jets 28, Patriots 21

back in Week 2 of the NFL season--that would be September 19th--the Jets defeated the New England Patriots 28-14 in the Meadowlands of New Jersey. Then in the thirteenth week of the season, the Patriots thumped the Jets in Foxboro, 45-3. It was that game that all the sports analysts were thinking about as today's game approached.

During the week of preparation, there was a lot of talk by Rex Ryan and the Jets' defensive backs. Ryan kept talking about how HE was going to be the best coach on the field on Sunday and how his beef with Bill Belichick was personal. The defensive backs more-or-less dared Pats' quarterback to throw in their direction.

The New England coach and his players were quiet. (Except for Wes Welker who made some veiled remarks about feet and Rex Ryan. Comments that caused Coach Belichick to sit Welker down for the first Patriot possession.)

This difference in attitude and comportment had the analysts fawning over the professional approach of the Patriots. Combined with the ease with which the Pats handled the Jets in the Week 13 (45-3) the experts fell all over themselves handing the Patriots today's game.

You do have to play them, however.

Jets 28, Patriots 21

Brady threw an interception to end the first Patriot possession. It was his first interception since Week 6 against the Baltimore Ravens. And, although it didn't result in any points for the Jets (a missed field goal) that interception and return set the tone for the Jets' defense. The Jets' defense kept Brady hopping all game. There were four sacks and many, many hurries.

On offense, Mark Sanchez tossed three TD passes to as many different receivers. Shonn Greene ran for another to put the Jets up 28-14 with about a minute and a half left.

Brady did complete 29 of 44 for 299 yards and two touchdowns in a losing cause.

The Jets now head to western PA to face the Pittsburgh Steelers for the AFC title. The Jets had never beaten the Steelers in Pittsburgh when they squared off on December 19th. The Jets started that game with a 97 yard kickoff return by Brad Smith and ended the scoring with a Jason Taylor safety. The final was 22-17 J-E-T-S.

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