Instant Impact: New England Patriots 49 New York Jets 19
After a scoreless first quarter, the Jets handed the Patriots 35 points in the second quarter with some of the most embarrassing plays you could imagine.
Whether you choose the fumble caused by Brandon Moore's backside, Joe McKnight's kickoff return fumble or Mark Sanchez's early interception as the exact moment that this game imploded is inconsequential.
The Jets stand at 4-7 now and you can expect all the yahoos to call for the heads of Rex Ryan, Mike Tannenbaum, Mark Sanchez and just about everyone else not named Muhammad Wilkerson or Nick Mangold.
However, the Jets play the Cardinals, Jaguars and Titans in their next three games. If the Jets can put together any type of consistency over that stretch, they will catapult themselves back into the playoff race.
The playoffs should be the furthest thing from anyone's mind right now, but if you look way off in the distance, there is still the slightest flickering light of hope.
But before getting ahead of ourselves, let's relive the ugly details of a decidedly disgraceful performance this Thanksgiving night.
Champ of the Game: Bilal Powell
Although Shonn Greene ran for more yards and a higher average, Powell gets the nod as the team's top player today. Powell ran well while the Jets were still in the game and finished with 12 carries for 40 yards and a touchdown. He also had two catches for 13 yards.
Powell showed a shiftiness in traffic that Greene doesn't have and there is no reason that he shouldn't at least see a 50-50 split in carries going forward. Greene ran for 71 yards on 14 carries, but couldn't convert multiple times in short-yardage situations.
Chump of the Game: Tony Sparano
The Jets had a number of short-yardage situations throughout the game and the play calling on all of them was atrocious. Sparano consistently dialed up his jumbo package and tried to run right at Vince Wilfork and Brando Spikes. Why anybody in their right mind would do something like that is beyond comprehension.
The most egregious situation came early in the second half when the Jets had 4th-and-goal at the one-yard line. Instead of running behind D'Brickashaw Ferguson and away from Wilfork, Sparano again did the opposite.
Defensive Star: LaRon Landry
Any questions about the mentality of the defense while they were down 35-3 was answered by Landry during the Patriots' first drive of the second half. A clearly angry Landry absolutely blasted Julian Edelman on an end-around sweep. The hit may have been the biggest delivered by a Jets defender this year and set the tone that this defense would not quit.
Landry ended up with eight tackles and a forced fumble.
Offensive Star: Jeremy Kerley
Kerley caught seven passes for 86 yards. What wins him the offensive player of the game award is that he really didn't mess up at all, which is more than he could say than just about anyone else on that side of the ball.
Special Teams Star: Robert Malone
Robert Malone's first punt went for 56 yards, which gave him a punt of at least 50 yards in 11 straight games, the longest Jets streak since 1991. He finished with four punts for a 49.5 average.
Mark Sanchez Instant Impact Approval Rating
Muhammad Wilkerson gave Jets fans a scare when he was slow to get up after a play. Word was that he may have been poked in the eye. He returned in the second half.
Clyde Gates took a huge hit from Kyle Arrington. Although there was no penalty on the play, Arrington lowered his helmet into the side of Gates' jaw and possibly knocked him unconscious.
Turning Point of the Game
The Jets were down 21-0, but with a lot of time left and a suspect Patriots' pass defense, the deficit wasn't insurmountable. However, when Steve Gregory returned Joe McKnight's fumbled kickoff for a touchdown to put the Pats up 28-0, it cemented this game as a blowout.
The Rookie Report
Demario Davis' best game as a Jet was drowned out by the team's disgusting performance. Davis finished with a season-high six total tackles. His assimilation into the defense as an every-down player is in full swing.
Stephen Hill caught two passes for 16 yards. He notably didn't have any drops today.
Best Coaching Move
Way back at the start of the second quarter when it was just a 7-0 game, the Jets faced 4th-and-1 from the Patriots' 31-yard line. Rex Ryan's decision to go for it was the right one. Running Shonn Greene anywhere near Vince Wilfork though was the wrong one.
NFL Personality Tweet of the Game
I love my #Jets but can we play w more heart. Its Thanksgiving man. Play like ur thankful. Dont ply like ur payed players play like u luv it— Victor Green #21 (@VictorGreen21) November 23, 2012
Joe Namath Tweet of the Game
Hey Folks, Happy Thanksgiving! I wanted to wait until I had something positive to say, but who knows when that will be. Hopefully soon.— Joe Namath (@RealJoeNamath) November 23, 2012
Great Quote From the Booth
"Remember the old Football Follies thing that they used to put together? This is it! You're getting a chance to see it live tonight," -- Chris Collinsworth, NBC color analyst.
The Refs Blew This One
Rex Ryan Instant Impact Approval Rating
The Patriots were given a first down on an encroachment call against Muhammad Wilkerson after two questionable decisions by the referees. First, center Dan Koppen flinched and drew movement from Wilkerson. Then, after a discernible pause, guard Dan Connolly jumped to try to draw the flag.
The original penalty should have been on Koppen for his flinch, however that was overlooked by the referees. Then, the refs determined that Connolly was drawn off by Wilkerson, who was not positioned over him. The penalty allowed the Patriots to convert a 3rd-and-4 on a drive that led to their first touchdown.
Mark Sanchez Instant Impact Approval Rating
Week 7: 72.9 (Patriots)
Week 6: 87.0 (Colts)
Week 5: 65.7 (Texans)
Week 4: 24.3 (49ers)
Week 3: 66.7 (Dolphins)
Week 2: 72.4 (Steelers)
Week 1: 98.9 (Bills)
Did you Notice?
Jets game captains were Calvin Pace, Quinton Coples, Kyle Wilson, Dustin Keller and Stephen Hill.
Jordan White, Darrin Walls and Donnie Fletcher were all signed off the practice squad and were active for the game.
The Jets won the coin toss for the sixth time this year and deferred to the second half for the fifth time in those wins.
The Patriots scored three touchdowns in 52 seconds to open a 28-0 lead. It was just the third time since 1970 that a team scored three touchdowns in less than a minute.
Although he wasn't credited with a sack, Muhammad Wilkerson pressured Tom Brady on the Patriots' first drive and forced him into an intentional grounding penalty.
On the Patriots' first touchdown, the Jets only rushed Wilkerson, Calvin Pace and Mike DeVito. DeVito and Wilkerson were double-teamed and all three were easily handled by the line. Even with eight defenders in pass coverage, Brady had an easy time just waiting patiently for someone to get open.
Matt Slauson was the only Jets' lineman to get a forward push on Greene's failed 4th-and-1 conversion. Unfortunately, the play call was to the other side of the line.
Although NBC reporters said that Wilfork lifted Moore off the ground and into Sanchez to force a fumble, Moore actually moved Wilfork backwards two yards on the play. Moore didn't lose balance until Sanchez ran into the back of him.
On McKnight's fumbled kickoff, Chaz Schilens looked to be out of position as the Jets were short one blocker at the point of attack. Although it's impossible to know from a fan's perspective the specific assignments, Schilens trailed the play with nobody to block.
Edelman's 56-yard touchdown reception came on a 3rd-and-5 situation. Landry, Pace and Antonio Cromartie all initially ran to Aaron Hernandez, who looked like the obvious target as he ran a six-yard out. Ultimately, it was Landry who blew the coverage on Edelman.
What This Means Now
The roller coaster ride of the 2012 season continues. After showing a tremendous amount of life against the Rams last week, the team was an unmitigated disaster this week.
The Jets have to run the table in their final five games to finish 9-7. Although it's not likely the Jets can put together five weeks of consistent play, every team the Jets play from here on out are below .500.
The Jets take on the free-falling Arizona Cardinals in a 1:00 p.m. (ET) home game. While the Jets have had their share of embarrassing single games this season, they haven't been nearly as bad as the Cardinals. The Cards are on a current six-game losing streak.
* NOTE: Last week's Instant Impact didn't appear as I was running a fundraiser event for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Thank you to those who reached out looking for the article and for being such loyal readers.
Look for RC Cos' Instant Impact immediately following every Jets game this year. For even more analysis and for all Jets' breaking news, follow the B/R Jets Report on Twitter: @BR Jets_Report.
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