I was expecting Mr. Playoff himself, Tom Brady, to walk in their and send the Jets home with their tails between their legs. But the defense stepped it up and backed up all their trash talk earlier that week, and made Wes Welker look silly after his 11 foot references, direct towards coach Ryan, in a press conference earlier this week.
As much as I didn't like to see the loud and obnoxious Jets do exactly what they keep saying they were going to do, you gotta tip your hats to them. They showed the NFL world that Brady can, and will be, stopped. Much like the Baltimore Ravens did last year against the Pats.
I can't exactly remember who it was, but I noticed someone that I follow on twitter that the New England Patriots haven't won a big game since they were caught cheating in '07. Interesting piece of information, though I really don't believe that it's that big of a deal.
The Patriots have had a target on their back since the last time they won the Super Bowl, and it seems opposing coaches have done a very nice job coming up with a game plan to stop them over the last couple of seasons.
What the Patriots failed to do is get pressure on Mark Sanchez. The mistakes and turnovers come when he's being hit and rushed, but the Pats' pass rush couldn't get to him and bring him down all game. With no pressure, comes no turnovers for this young signal caller.
It surely was a struggle for both teams early on, as New York couldn't take advantage of Tom Brady's first interception since he threw two in the team's week five showdown with Baltimore. After just three plays following David Harris's 58-yard return of the INT, kicker Nick Folk missed a 30-yard field which went just inches to the left of the upright.
That was Brady's only mistake of the game as he threw for 299 yards and two TDs throughout the game. But after taking an early 3-0 lead, New England allowed the Jets to take its first lead of the day with a 7-yard run from running back Ladainian Tomlinson, who isn't much of a fan of the Pats after his Chargers fell to them in the 2006 AFC Divisional round and he watched the Patriots dance on the No. 1 seed's logo in the middle of the field.
After that game he called them out for having 'no class' in the press conference, and has hated them ever since. I actually tend to believe that that's one of the many reasons he signed with the Jets this offseason. Because of the rivalry with New England.
Mark Sanchez threw his first of a career playoff-high three TDs during the second quarter, just before the half, to wideout Braylon Edwards from 15 yards out. This allowed the Jets to carry the momentum in to the locker room at the half, leading 14-3.
It didn't seem as though anyone doubted that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick wouldn't come right back out with a few adjustments and get back in to this game early in the second half. But, no scoring took place until less than a minute remained in the third quarter, and it was Brady's first TD pass of the game to Alge Crumpler from two yards out. Sammy Morris scored his first points of the season after running the ball in for the successful two-point conversion try, making it a three-point game (14-11) at the end of three quarters.
Once again, Brady is dangerous in the fourth quarter. And once again New York proved to everyone that they can hang with their AFC East counterpart, scoring another Sanchez touchdown. This one was to Mr. Postseason himself, wideout Santonio Holmes, who now has caught four touchdown passes in his six postseason games. Just two minutes in to the final quarter of play and New York was back to a 10-point lead.
New England's 14-play drive after the NY touchdown, which elapsed nearly eight full minutes of action, ended when Deion Branch dropped a pass on fourth & 13. With five minutes to play after the dropped pass, it seemed the Pats chances had slipped away. New York failed to pick up a first down on their drive, though, and was forced to give the ball right back with a 10-point lead still.
New England got a Shayne Graham field goal with a minute and a half to play, but a failed onside kick attempt led to another New York touchdown, this one run in by running back Shonn Greene. Down 28-14, New England did witness another Brady touchdown to Branch, putting them within seven. But the Pats were finally put out of their misery after they failed on a second onside kick.
Rex Ryan was pumped, Bart Scott was pumped as he showed in a post-game interview (though the overrated linebacker only contributed two tackles on defense) and yes, Braylon Edwards was pumped as well, showing his enthusiasm with a cart-wheel followed by a backflip in the middle of the playing field. Some Patriots' players decided not to shake hands in the middle of the field afterwards because they felt as though some of the Jets weren't showing any class.
Deion Branch even called out some of those Jets players in the press room afterwards. It's a bit funny, in my opinion, because isn't that exactly what New England did to the Jets just six weeks ago when they routed New York by 42 points? I believe that's exactly what happened.
So of course New York is going to do this after defeating the favored Pats, in their own house.
If you can't take it, New England, please don't dish it out. You started this, New York's trash talk--and defeat of the Pats--just finished it for you.
(Note: I do not approve of the class-less Jets actions after the game, but at the same time I don't think it's fair for the Patriots to cry about it when that's exactly what they did to New York earlier in the season.)
Should be a great AFC Championship game next week in Pittsburgh! But I will likely be picking against the Jets for the second straight week. I wonder if they will prove me wrong again?
Ladainian Tomlinson: NFL/Kirby Lee
David Harris: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer