The #1 seeded NE Patriots, 14-2 and 9 pt favorites, fell to the NY JETS!! Incredible win. This reminds us in some ways of the NY Giants beating Dallas in the 2007 playoffs:
The Giants and Jets were both FG road dogs in the Wild Card game.
The Giants (+7.5) and Jets (+9) were both big underdogs vs the #1 seed.
Both NY teams had to slay a divisional rival that had beaten it badly in the regular season. (Giants losers twice, Jets 45-3 losers.)
I have so many dear friends and family that are Jets fans, so I root for the Jets when the Giants are out of it. I know some of you may not like the Jets, but that was good football today. Wonder has been wrong about his Jets two weeks ago, and right now he could not be happier. Let’s hope he keeps doubting!
Rex Ryan is a pompous talker, but after the game, he said that Bill Belichick is the best coach in the league, so that was gracious.
Some comments about the game:
1) We keep preaching about screens/flares/slants/draws to beat pressure. On the second TD, the Patriots bring 7 people on a blitz on a 3rd and 5 from the 15. Sanchez hits Edwards on a slant for the 1st down, and breaks a tackle to go into the end zone for a TD. The play works because normally the LBers are patrolling that area of the field and will either break up the play or help your CB. In this case the LBers are not there, so you beat that pressure with the quick reception.
2) That prevent offense for the RRRK is a nightmare. ONE FIRST DOWN and the game is essentially over.
3) Cromartie needs to fall on the ball after the onside kick. He and the Jets were very lucky to get that return.
4) The Jets punted from the NE ~40 yard line THREE TIMES. And each time the Patriots get the ball at the 20 yard line. That is unacceptable. Together with terrible coverage on a late return, the special teams were a rare weakness for the Jets in an otherwise very good performance.
5) Sanchez sure gets a ton of grief, but all I know is that the kid has 4 playoff wins (ALL ON THE ROAD!) in his second year as a pro. He made some terrific plays in this game.
6) Hoodie is going to catch grief for his botched fake punt to the H-back, but I love the call. It did not work, but he was trying to wake up his team. The Jets scored 7 as a result. At least you see Belichick going down fighting, taking his best shot. Patrick Chung made an enormous mistake, taking his eye off the ball.
7) When your team has Darelle Revis, anything is possible. He can shut down anyone, including Wallace (PIT) and Jennings.
7a) Why would you EVER play Revis in off-coverage? That is akin to using a Ferrari as a NYC taxicab.
8) How could TE Alge Crumpler catch LB David Harris on the INT??! But Alge Crumpler cost the Patriots huge later in Q1 when he drops a TD pass and the Patriots have to settle for 3.
9) If Shonn Greene can fall down at the 1 yard line inside the 2 minute warning, there is no chance for the Patriots. (Players never think that way.) The Jets would take a knee on three straight plays and kick a(n extra point) FG to end the game. Instead, another Pats TD and failed onside kick is needed to end the game.
10) The #1 seed lost in the divisional round in both conferences. That we could see both #1 seeds fall this way is simply more evidence of the parity and lack of any dominant team this season. 2010 is still ripe for the taking. Every (remaining) team is flawed.
11) The Packers are -3 over the Bears on the road. The Steelers are -3 at home vs the Jets. Aaron Rodgers is the 800 lb gorilla right now. If Rodgers were to face the Jets, no way he allows himself to get sacked 5 times the way that Brady did. Brady’s far less mobile/elusive now in this decade than he was in the previous one.