Ahhh, there are few things as good in life as humiliating the New York Jets. Yes, every now and then the J-O-K-E-S, Jokes! Jokes! Jokes! will manage to get the better of New England as they did in Week 2, but by and large, the New England Patriots have been the ones getting the last laugh. Assuming there’s no massive collapse on the part of the Patriots, this will be the ninth season in a row where the Jets have failed to post a better record than the Pats. If Rex Ryan was a smart coach, he would’ve taken a cue from the history books and played the “quiet game” when it came to the Patriots and Bill Belichick. Why give your opponent extra motivation when you’re bringing an inferior product into the game? The Jets best bet this season, and the next, and the next would be to fly under the radar and catch New England by surprise. Had the Jets kept their jaws shut, Week 2 would’ve been viewed as an anomoly in New England, a product of a rusty Tom Brady and an absent Wes Welker. Instead, it’s now the rallying point for the Patriots each and every time that The Brotherhood of Mutants show up on the Patriots’ schedule. Because we all know that if there’s one thing that can stop The Blob, it’s this guy…
Game Ball: This is the second week in a row that I’m handing out two game balls. I don’t really like doubling it up like this, because it’s sort of a cop-out. There’s usually somebody who should be the definitive “star” of the game. Yet on the other hand, how often does a reciever make 15 catches in the same game that a corner gets three interceptions? The Jets had absolutely no answer for Wes Welker, further cementing my notion that Week 2 was not so much a brilliant game plan by Rex Ryan, but a case of the Patriots having to play with one hand tied behind the back of their offense. Anyway, enough about Week 2. It’s the last time I’ll mention the words. This post is about Week 11, a week where New York’s 50.5 million dollar flop, Mark San-CHEZ, turned the ball over five times, three of which were at the hands of Leigh Bodden. However, when you take Sanchez’s rookie salary and divide if over 16 games, New York only paid him $105,000 per turnover last night. At that rate, he’s practically a steal!
Looking Ahead… There really a whole lot else to comment about. The Pats dominated the game from start to finish. Welker was the man, San-CHEZ laid a turd in the punch bowl, Revis vs. Moss was underwhelming at best, and New England rolls on to New Orleans, while the Jets are a trainwreck.
One thing that did start fo concern me was that the Patriots, up 24-0 at one point, did allow the Jets to crawl back within ten. I guess it’s only natural to let up a bit when you’re dominating a game the way New England was, but on the other hand, last Sunday Night was a prime example of why you should never take your foot off the accelerator. We’ve also seen this trend before in the team’s other two losses as well. I’m not sure if it’s a case of player complacency or simply Bill Belichick pulling back on the reins to not expose his better plays, but it’s something that’s going to end up lingering in the back of my head as we move towards the playoffs. The Patriots used to be deadly with a lead. Once they got ahead, it was over.
The strange thing is that usually when teams blow leads, it’s on the defense. However, this season it feels like more of an offensive issue with Tom Brady and Co. posting long second-half stretches without putting ponitson the board. I don’t have the stats from after the game, but heading into yesterday’s contest, New England was 1st in the league in first half points and 17th in the league in second half points. It’s definitely not something that I’m making up. The stats are there. The Patriots have been the best 4th quarter team all decade long. I’m not sure what’s changed that trend, but it needs to be corrected. First quarter teams don’t win a lot of Super Bowls.
But enough of the negative! The Patriots won! And to celebrate, here’s a little more footage of Ryan vs. Belichick!