The AFC East Takeover: Step One Complete

B. Michael SausaContributor ISeptember 24, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 20:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets throws a pass against the New England Patriots at Giants Stadium on September 20, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

          The New York Jets want to be regarded as a force to be reckoned with in the AFC.  The beginning of that comes with taking over their division, including the perennial powerhouse of the AFC East, the New England Patriots.  The Pats came into Giants Stadium Sunday afternoon with hopes of carrying their momentum from their week 1 come-from-behind win against Buffalo and blowing the Jets out in their home opener.  Especially after Kerry Rhodes, Rex Ryan and others had much to say before the two teams met.

          Needless to say, Gang Green was ready to go with a roaring home crowd behind them the entire way.  Rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez came back after a dreadful first half (3/5, 15 yds) and threw a touchdown pass to Dustin Keller on the opening drive of the third quarter.  Marky Franchise went on to finish 14-22, with 163 yards passing, with a touchdown and no interceptions.  He was well on his way to outplaying his counterpart, and three time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady.  Brady was harassed by the relentless Jet defense all game, finishing with a completion percentage under fifty, despite twenty-three completions for 216 yards.  With no time to throw, even Tom Brady can't move down the field.

          The Jets did not sack Brady once, but Darrelle Revis out-hopped Randy Moss for an interception, and played with heart that hasn't been seen in a Jet defensive huddle in a long time.  Not allowing a point in the second half, they gave Sanchez and the offense ample time to make the comeback, and the Jets end up with the 16-9 victory.  It was the first time the Patriots failed to score a touchdown in a game since 2006, and the first time the guys in green and white beat New England at the Meadowlands since 2000.

What does this mean for the AFC East?

         Nobody really knows yet.  It is only two weeks into the season.  What you can say, however, is that New York is in the Patriots heads, especially Tom Brady.  He was suffocated for four quarters, and right when he got his breath, right down to the turf he went again.  The Jets have a very good football team to say the least.  It is a matter of time until the tide turns and another team takes over this division.  The Jets have put up a fantastic front so far, and hope to keep it up this coming week when they host reeling Tennessee. Step one is complete.  The intimidation factor is set it.  The New York Jets have struck fear in the New England Patriots, believe it or not, and the Jets, flying high, are here to stay.