After seeing the Jets come out with a victory against the Patriots on Sunday, I am totally speechless. Not only did the Jets defense totally shut down Brady and the Patriots, but they actually backed up the smack talk from earlier in the week.
I was the first person to attack the Jets for making a dumb move by fueling the Patriots with unnecessary comments. But hey, if you can back up those words, then by all means say what you like and like what you say. When you hold Brady, Moss, and company to no touchdowns, you have probably achieved the toughest achievement in the NFL, and you have every right to be proud.
Not only did the Jets defense shut down the Patriots, but the offense, behind rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez, protected the ball to get the win. The fact that the Jets have a rookie quarterback that is capable of winning a game like that, with so much buzz leading up, they must feel extremely fortunate.
From my perspective, Sanchez has already achieved more than I thought he would by the end of his SECOND season. He is not the team’s weak link like I expected him to be, and he makes smart decisions, such as taking a sack towards the end of the game, instead of throwing a risky pass with the potential of a pick. He clearly understands game situations better than most rookie quarterbacks, and it looks as if the Jets have not lost a step from last season’s team that started off 8-3 under Brett Favre.
This team should have a wonderful chance to make the playoffs if they keep up their level of play. They can hang with the upper echelon teams because of their ability to play great defense. As long as their defense is spectacular, they will have a chance to win any game that they play.
Now onto the Patriots.
I am really starting to wonder if the Patriots can ever get back to the form of 2007 when they blew teams away at will. Ever since that loss in the Super Bowl, Brady has not looked as precise and machine-like with the offense. Outside of the late-game heroics against the Bills, this offense has struggled to get into the end zone. And this from a team that had 50 passing touchdowns 2 seasons ago.
To me, it could be one of two reasons: Either the Giants had the correct blueprint for beating the Pats, and other teams have now figured it out, or it’s a Boston-New York thing. Including the Super Bowl, Brady’s last 3 games have been against New York teams (don’t forget Buffalo). However, If I know Brady and Belichick, and I like to believe I do, a Boston-New York rivalry isn’t the kind of thing that would rattle them. So that leaves the first reason about them being figured out.
It is very possible that because of the dominance that they displayed on the rest of the league in 2007, that teams decided to figure out a way to stop it. Teams had the entire 2008 to figure it out since Brady did not play for the entire season, and now that he is back, his offense has become stale.
Of course the Patriots still have the talent of players to put up high totals in any given game, but the probability of it happening every game is slim to none. In a nutshell, the Patriots are back on Earth with the rest of the league, causing the parity and excitement that the NFL and its fans live for.
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