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The New York Jets did something to Tom Brady that no other team has accomplished this season. Sacking the league’s best quarterback four times, the Jets defense pressured and hurried Brady continuously. They also picked off Brady in the red zone; something else no other team has done against him at home in his whole career. Normally, that would result in a win. Normally.
Another week, another game with an non-existent offensive attack from the New York Jets. Most people wouldn’t call 21 points non-existent but against the New England Patriots, 21 points simply are not enough. The Jets had seven three-and-outs entering the fourth quarter and even with the Patriots having the worst passing defense in the league, the Jets could not capitalize as the New England Patriots defeated the New York Jets 30-21.
The Jets defense did something else no other team has done to the Patriots this season, stopping them on their opening drive and preventing them from scoring a touchdown. After the Patriots defense did their job as well on the Jets first offensive possession, the Patriots offense wasted no time doing what they have done better than any other team this season. BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored the first touchdown for the Pats, giving them a 7-0 lead.
The power running of the Patriots was the biggest difference of the game. As expected, they moved the ball well on every drive and in a game where Tom Brady was relatively quiet, the New England rushing attack showed they are just as important.
Shonn Greene matched his counterpart Green-Ellis, scoring the Jets first touchdown in the second quarter, cutting the Patriots lead to 10-7. Shonn Greene was the one bright spot of the Jets offense, finally establishing his own running game with 83 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. Right before half-time, Tom Brady and the Patriots stormed down field but not before getting intercepted by Antonio Cromartie to end the first half.
On the very first play of the second half, Tom Brady connected with Wes Welker for 73 yards. Three plays later, Brady found Deion Branch in the endzone, capping off a four play, 80-yard drive. The New York Jets special teams made some noise on the ensuing kickoff when Joe Mcknight returned the kickoff for 88 yards, setting up the Jets with great field position. Also three plays later, Sanchez hooked up with rookie receiver Jeremy Kerley in the endzone and the Jets were once again back in the game. But BenJarvus Green-Ellis was too much for the Jets to handle, finishing the game with 136 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. His second touchdown with 1:20 to go in the third pretty much iced the game for the Patriots.
Green-Ellis further closed out the game on the Patriots final drive in the fourth quarter, running all over the Jets defense, leading to a Stephen Gostkowski’s game-clinching field goal with a minute to go.
The dynamic New England offense stepped up big as a whole. Unfortunately, the same could no be said about the New York Jets.
Play calling was once again flawed for the Jets. On a crucial third down late in the third quarter, the Jets needed six yards for the first but threw a pass behind the first down marker for four yards. Only a few times did Mark Sanchez drop back and look down field. Before the season began, all the Jets offensive weapons were the talk of town. Where have those weapons been hiding? It is rare in itself that big names like Satonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, and LaDainian Tomlinson are in the same game, on the field at the same time. It is also rare that you hardly hear their names being called.
Mark Sanchez was consistently off, throwing behind a lot of his targets. As poorly as he has been playing, he is not the only one that needs to be making plays. It is time someone else stepped up on the offense whether it is a receiver making a difficult catch or a running back breaking a big run. At the same time, how are all these weapons supposed to help you when you are looking to throw in the direction of third string tight ends?
On a positive note, the lack of offense in the first three quarters did not stop the Jets from putting together an impressive drive in the fourth quarter. Mark Sanchez finally found one of his favorite weapons and hit Santonio Holmes in stride for the score. Unfortunately, the New York Jets aggressive offensive attack was too little, too late.
The presence of Nick Mangold proved to be effective after the all-pro center missed the past two games with an injury. The Jets running game was finally effective and despite his 166 yards passing, Mark Sanchez had a lot more time to throw the ball than he did last week against Baltimore.
As well as the defense played, it was them and not the offense that could not make the big play towards the end of the game. After resting up for a while, the defense came out flat and could not stop Green-Ellis and the rest of New England’s offensive attack. Even though holding the Patriots to thirty points is actually a decent accomplishment for the defense this year, they could not stop them when it matter most, proving to be yet another weak spot for the Jets.
Will the New York Jets find a way to put it together and play well on both sides of the ball? If there is a time to do it, it is next week against the winless Miami Dolphins, but even that isn’t an easy game. Before the season started, the Jets were already Super Bowl contenders. Going into week five on a three-game losing streak, I’m sure just a win would suffice for Jets fans.