“Thirty-seven points on the best defense in the league, suck my dick.” – Bill Belichick
* First, the big-picture look: The Jets have zero chance at the AFC East title (again). Even though the Patriots only lead them by one game, a quick glance at the schedule will inform you that the Patriots play one more team with a winning record the rest of the way (Buffalo, in New England). Pencil the Pats in for the division title and a first-round bye. The Jets? For the 2nd weekend in a row, teams that they needed to lose, lost (Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati). The guess here is that the Ravens and Jets will be the 5th and 6th playoff teams, and I’ll project the Jets to open the postseason in Pittsburgh or Houston.
* The Jets’ loss can best be summed up in 4 plays: 1) the Folk missed field goal after that impressive first drive. So demoralizing. The Jets couldn’t move the ball for the rest of the half after that. The opening drive – which was crisp and effective – was wasted. 2) The ill-advised timeout by Mark Sanchez at the end of the first half. They needed to take a timeout. But what they should have done was bleed the clock and then use it. Rex called it “the stupidest thing in football history.” It allowed the Patriots to come down the field in the final 80 seconds and score a TD to regain the lead, 13-9. 3) The McKnight fumble. The Jets stopped the Patriots on the opening drive of the 2nd half, then McKnight muffed a punt and the Patriots got a field goal made it 16-9. 4) On the Jets’ next possession, Shonn Greene let a pass go right off his stone hands and the Patriots picked it off. They drove for a TD and 23-9 lead. Ballgame.
* Let’s be honest: The Jets’ defensive game plan was garbage. I thought the Jets had a great one in the game at New England – the game was much closer – but Belichick outcoached Rex badly Sunday night. No sacks? No turnovers forced? Brady, who struggled against the Cowboys, Giants and Steelers, was brilliant: 66 percent completions, 329 yards, three TDs. The Jets put Revis on Welker (6 receptions, 46 yards), but they had no answer for TE Rob Gronkowski. It seemed as if Tom Brady got to the line of scrimmage, looked to make sure Eric Smith was lined up against Gronkowski, and then through to the porn star-loving tight end (8 catches, 113 yards, two TDs). The Jets don’t have a LB that can cover him, and their safeties are terrible in coverage.
* Mark Sanchez was sacked five times. How the fuck do you let Andre Carter turn into Reggie White and get 4.5 sacks? Carter’s a former first round draft pick out of California, but his 4.5 sacks were more than he had in 2004, 2008 and 2010, and they equaled what he had in the 2005 season. After the Jets’ opening drive, the Patriots adjusted and their pass rush was effective. The Jets’ countered that with … oh, wait, they didn’t.
* It’s easy to beat up Sanchez after this loss, especially for that horrible timeout. His pick-six when the game was out of hand was pathetic. Hell, it prompted this knee-jerk reaction from Albert Breer: Next year will probably be decision time for the Jets on Sanchez. Here’s what’s funny about the NFL: at 2-3, the Jets looked to be in serious, serious trouble. Then, they won three in a row to get to 5-3 and were tied for the AFC East lead. Some of the stat-lovers had them pegged as a top 5 team in the league. Now a loss to the Patriots and you’ve got doom-and-gloom all over the place. Well, let’s see what happens in their next four games: at Denver, vs Buffalo, at Washington, vs. Kansas City. They’ll need a sweep to be in position to make the playoffs because Philly and the Giants loom in December. Just a guess: If the Jets don’t get back to the AFC title game or miss the playoffs, they’ll replace their criminally inept offensive coordinator (replacement I’d love: Marty Mornhinweg from Philadelphia, assuming he is jettisoned after the Eagles fire Andy Reid). Sanchez, under the replacement, better have an impressive 4th year. Cause Rex Ryan’s not going anywhere.