When the Jet faced the Patriots in week 13, everything went wrong for Rex Ryan and the Jets. When they traveled back to New England for a rematch, this time with the stakes higher, the opposite was true. Their defense thoroughly confused Tom Brady, sacking him five times, and their offense showed that they could score points against the young and inexperienced Patriots defense.
In the first quarter, with the Patriots threatening to score, the Jets forced Tom Brady to do something he hasn’t done in a long time: throw an interception. Linebacker Calvin Pace got in Brady’s face and forced Brady to overthrow his target. Linebacker David Harris came up with the pick and returned it to the 12 yardline. The Jets didn’t score because kicker Nick Folk missed the field goal, but the psychological effect was huge as the Jets showed that they could stop Brady and the leagues best offense.
The Pats scored first on a field goal, but the Jets again stopped them from getting into the end zone.
After the end of the first quarter (the Jets haven’t scored a first quarter touchdown in 14 games), their offense got started and the Jets scored on a 10 yard pass to Ladanian Tomlinson. The biggest play on the drive, however, was a 37 yard pass to Braylon Edwards where Mark Sanchez showed that not only was he comfortable in the pocket, ut he was capable of making tough throws unlike during their last matchup.
The Jets then stopped the Patriots when they tried a fake punt, but safety Patrick Chung fumbled the snap. The Jets got the ball and four plays later, Sanchez hit Braylon Edwards who dragged two New England defenders int the Endzone. The Jets led 14-3 at the half.
With 4:00 left in the third quarter, Brady started his first good drive of the night and capped it off with a two yard pass to veteran tight end Alge Crumpler. The Pats made a two-point conversion to make the score 14-11.
Then Brady did something that puzzled me along with, I’m sure, most other people who were watching the game. He took his team on a 14 play 48 yard drive, that took seven minutes off the clock because eight of the plays were runs. The drive ended when Deion Branch dropped a pass on fourth down and the Jets got the ball back with 5:15 left.
They ran the ball three times and punted the ball back to the Pats. They drove and kicked a field goal to make it 21-14. The Patriots then tried an onside kick, but Antonio Cromartie picked the ball up and ran it down to the Patriots’ 20 yard line.
Shonn Greene ran the ball for 4 yards, then on the next play ran outside to the right for a sixteen yard touchdown. As Rex Ryan hobbled down the field to join in the celebration, Tom Brady and the Patriots just watched, stunned, from the sideline. The Pats scored again to make it 28-21, but tey missed the onside kick again and the Jets kneeled it to seal the victory and knock the Patriots out of the playoffs.
The Jets will travel to Pittsburgh, where they beat the Steelers 22-17 in week 15, for the AFC championship game, with the winner advancing to Super Bowl XLV.