5 New York Jets Who Keyed Victory against New England Patriots
Few gave the Jets a chance to win in Foxborough Sunday evening.
After the humiliating 45-3 loss the last time these two teams met with the division on the line in December, defeating the Patriots seemed a pipe dream.
These five New York Jets were the reason the Jets were able to turn it around on Sunday, and head for the AFC Championship game for the second straight year under Rex Ryan.
5. Linebacker David Harris
David Harris was credited with nine tackles on the day, good for second on the team.
While his interception of Tom Brady on the Patriots' first drive didn't lead to points, it did stop the Pats from scoring and was a key moment for the Jets.
It was like that moment in Rocky IV where Rocky's punch made Ivan Drago bleed.
It brought the great Tom Brady down to human level and let the Jets defense know that 45 points were in the past and we can actually stop Brady: He isn't a machine.
4. Running Back Shonn Greene
Shonn Greene was the closer for the Jets on Sunday,
He rushed for a game high 76 yards, and his 16-yard touchdown run sealed the Patriots' fate on Sunday, putting the Jets up 28-14. He took some heat for the way he celebrated the TD, pretending to sleep on the ball, but the touchdown was huge for the Jets.
3. The Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie Combo
The bookend corners took away any outside threat throughout the game, forcing Brady to look over the middle.
Revis in particular had a huge strip on a pass intended for Deion Branch that looked for all of the world like it was going to be a key first down, setting the Patriots up deep in Jets territory.
Cromartie (pictured) backed up his words this week and wasn't beaten for a big play all game long.
2. Quarterback Mark Sanchez
Sanchez started off the game overthrowing open receivers and the "here we go again" thought was palpable.
However, the signal-caller settled down and was brilliant on the afternoon.
He completed 16-of-25 passes for 194 yards and tied a career high by throwing three touchdown passes.
He turned around his career numbers in Foxboro, which had been one touchdown pass to seven interceptions.
More importantly, it was his first career win in New England. He had lost his previous two starts at Foxboro.
1. Defensive End/Tackle Shaun Ellis
Shaun Ellis was, as Walt Frazier would say, "a man possessed" on Sunday.
The 12-year veteran pressured Brady up the middle all day. He picked up two sacks, including a key third down sack that forced the Patriots into a field goal attempt in the first quarter.
His play signalled that for the first time this year, the Jets could get pressure with the front four.