Rex Ryan, Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets Form Voltron

Carl D. CarlucciCorrespondent IJanuary 17, 2011

In October, New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott told the press that the team is "not fully Voltron right now...we're like Voltron missing an arm."

Well, on Sunday afternoon, the New York Jets, Rex Ryan and Bart Scott formed a complete Voltron against the New England Patriots.

For starters, the much maligned Mark Sanchez completed a total 180 in terms of his play in Foxboro ("Foxborough," "Fox Burrow," I don't know how they want to spell it nowadays). In his two previous games in Massachusetts, he threw one touchdown and seven interceptions; tonight, he had a quarterback rating of 127.3, with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

At the same time, the Jets defensive line provided its own pressure, with three of the teams five sacks coming from the much maligned defensive line.

Why was such a feat possible (pun 100 percent intended)?

Because Antonio Cromartie backed his smack talk 100 percent.

Tom Brady had ample time to complete passes, but his receivers were not open because the Jets coverage was that good.

Then there was the running game, headed by Nick Mangold, who makes a habit of limiting the effect of Patriots all-world nose tackle Vince Wilfork. Combined, Shonn Greene and Ladainian Tomlinson ran for 109 yards on 27 carries.

There's no if's, and's or but's about it. The Jets did what their fans have been clamoring for all season: They played a complete game.

They formed Voltron.

Of course the Patriots killed themselves, that's undeniable.

The Alge Crumpler touchdown drop, Patrick Chung's botched fake punt run, the non-chalant, zero point fourth quarter drive, the questionable onside kick in the fourth quarter and the myriad of drops by the receivers would have made a great difference.

But, as Eric Mangini brilliantly pointed out leading up to this game, "What's often overlooked is the fact that most games in the league are lost, not won."

Last night, the Patriots definitely lost this game, but only because they tried harder to than the Jets, who made plenty of mistakes of their own.

And surely, with Tom Brady at the top of his game, a young, developing defense and so many early round picks, the Jets have not heard the last from the New England Patriots and Bill Belichick.

But in the end, that didn't matter yesterday because Voltron showed up in its entirety.

Naturally, this is not to say that the Jets will continue to show up in all facets of the game for the remaining Sundays; you know, the whole "any given Sunday" and what not.

But this is to say that if the Jets continue to completely form Voltron for the remainder of the playoffs, there is no team in this league that can stop them.

No longer will Jets fans apologize for making that statement (I speak for all of them when I say we've had enough of the rest of the NFL underselling Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez).

Sure, Rex is a loudmouth and Sanchez has routinely played terribly over the past two seasons, but that's just half the story.

Rex Ryan's defense just beat Peyton Manning and Tom Brady back-to-back, on the road. Name another head coach who has done that.

No answer? Didn't think so.

Oh, and Mark Sanchez now has tied an NFL record with four road playoff victories at quarterback. If he wins next week, which is no guarantee, he will have set an NFL record for road victories in the playoffs by a quarterback.

There's a lot of talk about all the young quarterbacks in this league nowadays and Mark Sanchez is usually thrown under the bus in comparison to the likes of Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford and Josh Freeman.

But let's reconsider the discussion for a moment.

What has Matthew Stafford done besides beat the Browns in a shootout one week in 2009?

What has Josh Freeman done other than throw 25 touchdowns and only six interceptions in a weak conference, playing half his games in the beautiful weather of South Florida and with the NFC West on his schedule to boot?

Last I checked, he hasn't been in the playoffs in his career.

What has Matt Ryan done besides lose two playoff games, one at home in embarrassing fashion?

And what has Joe Flacco done while compiling his 4-3 post-season record other than post a 61.6 QB Rating with four touchdowns and double digit turnovers in seven games?

Face it, Sanchez might not be the most gifted quarterback, but he gets the job done when it counts most.

It might pain non-Jets fans to say so (yes, the Jets have made themselves quite the heels over the past two years), but he is 4-1 in the playoffs with a 92.2 QB Rating and a seven to three touchdown to interception ratio.

Those stats include road victories against Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

Go ahead, minimize the man's accomplishments.

And while you're at it, go at Rex for his smack talk, even if his smack talk amounts to having faith in his team rather than actually "insulting" the opposing team more often than not.

Because Jets fans are never going to turn their backs on Rex Ryan and the New York Jets now. Any Jets fan who says differently is a miserable chud that never was a Jets fan to begin with.

Sad as it is to say, Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez are already the second most successful coach/QB duo in New York Jets history.

But all that means is the rest of you will never see or hear the end of them and Jets fans.

Go ahead and name another head coach that has been to his Conference's Championship game in their first two seasons.

I'll save you the time, the answer is either nobody or a hall of famer.

That being said, the Jets might just as easily lose as win next week.

For all the shit Rex Ryan supposedly talks, he is very respectful of his opponents, and so are his players and fans.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are one hell of a franchise. They are one hell of a team this season. Mike Tomlin is one hell of a coach and Ben Roethlisberger is worlds better than Mark Sanchez at this point.

But that hasn't stopped the Jets before.

And if they form Voltron once again on the 23rd of January, there should be no doubt in any Jets fans' mind that they will win.

Rex Ryan, Mark Sanchez and the rest of the New York Jets have given NFL fans no reason to think otherwise.


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