The Day the New York Jets Punched the Bully in the Mouth

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The Day the New York Jets Punched the Bully in the Mouth

"Rex Ryan has the defense heading in the right direction but their starting QB will not only be a rookie but one that started only 16 games in college. Laveranues Coles is gone, Chris Baker is gone too ,which means Dustin Keller will be less of a receiving threat and used more to block.

"Thomas Jones is now 31-years old and before Brett Favre showed up he rushed for just 3.6 YPC in 2007. The Jets potentially will have one of the worst offense in the league."

- Bleacher Report "Analyst" Matt Cullen.

There is a big mistake that football fans consistently make every single year; they think they have any idea what is going to happen. People make mistakes on predictions before the season and they make mistakes by jumping on or off a bandwagon too early in a season as opposed to sticking to their guns.

However, I have a prediction that I would like to take back. A profuse apology to Mark Sanchez, to Rex Ryan, to Thomas Jones, and while I am at it I apologize to the entire New York Jets team.

I was wrong about the New York Jets, dead wrong. I am drinking the Rex Ryan Kool-Aid.

Regardless of what the Miami Dolphins do tonight against the Indianapolis Colts, two weeks into the season and the New York Jets are in sole possession of 1st place in the AFC East.

Mark Sanchez, the rookie QB from USC looks like the pro-style offense he was apart of in college has done well in getting him prepared. Very solid numbers for a rookie, 435 total passing yards in two games with two TDs, one INT, and a QB rating of 91.3.

That current QB rating is 10th in the league. Jerricho Cotchery, Chansi Stuckey, and Dustin Keller all have made solid contributions in the receiving game with a combined 25 catches, 394 receiving yards and a defense.

Remember that aging RB named Thomas Jones? He had over 100 yards rushing in Week One against the Houston Texans who I think have a pretty good front seven. Jones and Leon Washington have paired well together in the first two games averaging just under 140 YPG on the ground in the first two match-ups.

And while it is encouraging how well the rookie QB is playing and how strong the running game is, the key has been the defense. Not only second in PPG allowed and YPG allowed, they have done it against two of the best offenses in the NFL.

The New York Jets defense has a new attitude and a new energy, absolutely bumrushing first Matt Schaub and now Tom Brady. Lots of blitzing, offensive lines bewildered, and QBs in panic.

As a collective unit, the New York Jets only have two total sacks on the year but the sacks total hardly tells the story. Both QBs have had hands in their face, gotten hurried out of the pocket, and gotten battered and bruised.

Newcomers to the defense such as ILB Bart Scott, CB Lito Sheppard, and SS Jim Leonhard are making immediate impacts. Derrelle Revis appears to be turning into one of the best corners in the league and the unit is also getting good contributions from FS Kerry Rhodes, ILB David, NT Kris Jenkins and many others.

Yesterday's game in particular stood out because of who they played and circumstances attached to the game. The New England Patriots have dominated the AFC East since the beginning of the decade. In 2007 they had an offensive season that could only be described as historic.

With QB Tom Brady back in the lineup, the New England Patriots have virtually the same offense as that 2007 offense. Out are WRs Donte Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney but in are RB Fred Taylor and WR Joey Galloway.

If this wasn't enough, the New York Jets did the unthinkable and talked trash before the game. FS Kerry Rhodes said that the Jets wanted to embarrass the New England Patriots. This historically always ends poorly, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick beats every little snippet that could possibly be perceived as trash-talk or disrespectful into the ground, putting the New England Patriots in a frenzy.

In 2007 the San Diego Chargers had some fun with the Spygate controversy right before their Week Two matchup against the New England Patriots. The San Diego Chargers, best record in the AFC the season before, got clobbered at home against the Pats 38-14.

Later that season Pittsburgh Steelers FS Anthony Smith predicted victory against the undefeated New England Patriots only to see Tom Brady target him relentlessly when he was on the field as the New England Patriots lit up the scoreboard against one of the best defense of the league, winning that game 34-13.

Before Super Bowl XXXIX, Philadelphia Eagles WR Freddie Mitchell didn't know the names of opposing players in the New England Patriots secondary, he probably found out later as he was a complete non-factor in the game with just one catch for 11 yards. The Eagles would lose that game and Mr. Mitchell and his mouth wouldn't play another down in an NFL game.

You get the point the track record is bad, the New York Jets had just written their suicide note. They then proceeded to look at the note and smirk, and then smack the New England Patriots upside the head in a 16-9 battle.

Tom Brady had a small stretch in the 2nd quarter where it looked like he might be solving the New York Jets defense. He never did figure that out, completing less than 50% of his passes with one INT and a QB rating of 53.1. Sunday's game marked the first time since 2006 that the New England Patriots failed to score an offensive TD.

Randy Moss was held to four catches for just 24 yards and Ben Watson had three catches for 23 yards. Joey Galloway did a little better with five catches for 53 yards and Julian Edelman did his best Wes Welker impersonation with eight catches and nearly 100 receiving yards but not enough to put any noticeable chink in the armor of the New York Jets defense.

We were reminded one thing on Sunday and learned another; we got to see Bill Belichick struggle to make eye contact when shaking hands after the game again, and that the Patriots will be in an absolute dogfight trying to reclaim the AFC East.

The Patriots were given one last shot to score a game-tying TD with less than two minutes to go, 90 yards to go. If I wasn't interesting in seeing the Jets reactions after the game I would have changed the channel, because there was no doubt in my mind that the game was over.

The Jets did what the Buffalo Bills could not...Close. Coffee is for closers only and the Jets knew that.

The New England Patriots giant leash over the rest of the AFC East has been ripped off and they appear to have at least one fearsome foe in the division for years to come.

The New York Jets appear to have improved drastically in defense, drastically at head coach, and they no longer have an aging QB that will physically collapse in the final five games of the season.

Everything about the 2009 New York Jets screams SB contenders, everything about Mark Sanchez seems to scream franchise QB, and everything about Rex Ryan seems to hint that the take-off on the Chuck Norris jokes when he was hired seems more valid than we originally thought.

And somewhere out there in his home, Fireman Ed is ecstatic as can be.

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