Tag Archives: New England Patriots

The Patriots way of doing things

NFL: Miami Dolphins at New England PatriotsThe Patriots are headed back to the Super Bowl.  Again.  For the seventh time in 16 seasons, the combination of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are going to be playing in the final game of the NFL season for the right to be the best QB-Coach tandem in history.

It got me to thinking about the teams I root for as a fan and how unlike they are.  I’ve often wondered about the Patriots dynasty and I came up with a few key areas that the Patriots excel in that other teams may not pay much attention to and I figured I may as well post this in hopes that someday an executive of one of the teams i root for will accidentally end up on this site and read this and listen.  And if you did end up here, don’t mind how snotty that last sentence sounded.

  1. The Patriots treat EVERY player the same–  I read a piece by MMQB’s Jenny Vrentas that details why the Patriots are who they are.  Its one story after the other from people who have been in the Patriots organization who have seen and witnessed Bill Belichick riding Tom Brady in practice, in the film room and everywhere else.  The moral of the story: if Tom Brady can be yelled at, you can too.  This is a great way to show the rest of the room that nobody is saved embarrassment.  If you missed a play, a tackle, a receiver, you’re going to hear about it and he doesn’t care what supermodel you date!
  2. Everyone is expendable if you don’t fit the plan– Jamie Collins was being hailed as one of the most athletic LB’s in the game a week before the Patriots decided to shock the football world and trade him.  But its just another example of the Patriots constantly evaluating themselves.  In the middle of a 14-2 campaign, its practically unheard of to ship out a starting linebacker for a draft pick but that’s exactly what Belichick did.  Why?  He was freestyling in coverage too much and not following the game plan.  Ask Lawyer Milloy who was cut one week before the season.  Milloy had started 106 games since his rookie year in 1996 and led the team in tackles the year they won the franchise’s first Super Bowl in 2001 but coming off a down year statistically, the Patriots tried to restructure his contract.  When he refused, the Patriots released him sending a message to the team and the league that the Patriots would not be held hostage by a player because of salary reasons.  How about trading Richard Seymour in the middle of his prime to the Raiders?  Or trading Mike Vrabel, a team leader because his best years were behind him but still getting value in return.  How about letting the most clutch postseason kicker of all time go because he wanted more money and the Patriots didn’t feel the kicker deserved more money?  Safe to say if Belichick doesn’t value you anymore he won’t hesitate to move you for future considerations.
  3. The Patriots believe the culture they preach-  It starts with the owner and continues with the coach and the QB.  The three most important heads of the Patriot institution believe in the absoluteness of the Patriot way and it has paid off.  Nevermind the years Brady was left without quality receivers because the Pats refused to pay top dollar for any free agent or the fact that he refused to pay his own free agents if he thought the price was too exorbitant.  Tom Brady has been underpaid his entire career and that’s not for any other reason than that’s what he’s asked to do and sacrifice for the sake of the team.  If you aren’t willing to sacrifice for the team, forget about being on it.
  4. The organization has a plan and finds players to fit that plan, even if it means reinventing itself- The Patriots have found themselves on the cutting edge of defense and offense.  They went after athletic tight ends in the 2010 draft, when they picked Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez and employed them in various ways in order to gain a physical advantage.  When injuries befell the secondary, Belichick had Troy Brown play corner during the season.  Belichick knows how to game plan but is a terrific evaluator of talent.  For years he’s played 3-4 and 4-3.  He’s had run first offenses and now pass first offenses.  He’s done everything to stay ahead of the competition even if they weren’t fair.  But he does it because he wants to win and has an insatiable competitive drive.
  5. The Patriots have seen it all before- No team seems ready for the final minutes of games than the Patriots because they pay attention to every tiny detail.  Preparation is the key to success- an old proverb that only the wise pay attention to.  The Pats execution in the waning minutes of halves and games are a testament to how they are coached up to respond in these situations.  You can tell the teams that are prepared for the two minute drills and those who aren’t.  The Patriots seemingly always get them right even if the results aren’t there.  Why?  Because Belichick has been preparing for every single scenario since he began coaching and he teaches his team to do so as well.  Whatever the drill, the Patriots are ready.


These may seem like very simple things but its very difficult for other organizations to mirror them because they aren’t built with firm beliefs and ideas as the Patriots are.  They believe in something and go about operating under that truth-whether you agree with them or not.  These 5 examples aren’t meant to encompass every reason why the Patriots are successful, but it is meant to be a starting point, a manual to teams who are trying to get better.  Who better to follow than the team going to yet another super bowl after making yet another conference championship game and after winning yet another division.  It all seems easy, but that’s because the Patriots way makes it look easy.




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Headlines 1/14/13

After I posted an article about how bland the Divisional Round of the Playoffs usually are and writing a lengthy article about maybe one or two games you should be watching, the Divisional Round of the playoffs went and shut me up good.  We’ll get to Saturday’s games at some point today, but for now, its the Atlanta Falcons hosting the San Francisco 49ers after they squeaked by the Seattle Seahawks yesterday 30-28.  Nick Eaton of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer writes that the future is bright for Seattle despite the loss thanks to the play and (the hopeful) continued progression of rookie QB Russell Wilson.  Meanwhile, Nick Schultz of the Atlanta Journal Constitution writes that the Falcons decided to take every single fan on a rollercoaster ride of emotions on Sunday without any pause to give fans rest, but they finally did it.

In Beantown, Tom Brady and the Patriots once again dominated the Houston Texans and won 41-28 thanks to some unlikely heroes for the Pats, namely Shane Vereen.  Opportunity knocked and Shane Vereen, aka next man up, answered the call for the Pats writes Michael Whitmer of Boston.com.  Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle writes that the Texans will have a ton of what ifs as they dissect this season.  In other news, JJ Watt said its customary, home or away, for him to spit on the field and wipe the spit with his feet.  It just so happened that his spit landed on the Pats logo which caused a pregame stir. Jackie Mac of ESPNBoston wrote that perhaps that Monday Night win wasn’t a fluke, and the Pats are just that much better than the Texans.  There was bad news for Pats fans, they will be without superstar TE Rob Gronkowski for the remainder of the playoffs thanks to him reinjuring his forearm and this time breaking it.  Now comes the fairy tale that is the Ray Lewis thank you tour coming into town.

I’m not going to really delve that deep into the Pats/Texans game because I, and from the looks of it, most NFL fans knew what the result was going to be.  When the Texans Daneal Manning ran the opening kickoff deep into Patriots territory, I thought for a brief moment that maybe this day would be different, but that was quickly erased from my mind when the Patriots held the Texans to 3 points.  You can’t settle for three points playing against Tom Brady when you get that deep.  You have to convert and you have to score and the Texans just couldn’t do it and that told you all you needed to know.  When the Pats went up 7-3 and then 10-3, it felt like 35-3 and you just never got the sense that Matt Schaub was going to lead the Texans back.  The Texans just don’t have that many offensive weapons.  Yes, their defense was missing a few key pieces but this league is about match ups and the Patriots are just a terrible match up for the Texans.  Their defense got enough initial pressure but it was based on blitzing and against Tom Brady you can’t send an extra defender on the blitz because he’s the best QB at reading coverage and finding the one on one or one on none match ups and exploiting them.  The stats tell you the story.  He gets better when the blitz and pressure are put on him.  You have to get pressure from the front four and the Pats offensive line has been doing a brilliant job of getting that pressure on.  

The Ravens will be more of a challenge thanks to the talents of Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis being there at LB.  But according to ESPN Stats and info, Tom Brady has the quickest release in all of the NFL at 3 seconds.  The key for the Ravens will be to get pressure from the front four and hope that coverage holds up long enough to keep them honest.  The Pats being without Rob Gronkowski will help the Ravens but as the Texans found out, the Pats have more secret weapons stashed away for them to use and they know how to use it.

I’m torn in the other game about what to say.  On the one hand, yes Seattle has nothing to be ashamed of.  They played their butts off, and they almost won the game.  But how can you ignore all the mistakes they made in the first half?  That first half put them in such a terrible spot going into the second half that if they had just played a bit better, they would’ve won.  Had they taken the three points in the first quarter, they would’ve won.  Had Wilson just thrown the ball away and left a few seconds on the clock and kicked another FG, they would’ve won the game.  Thats six points they gave up due to stupid playcalling (by rule you always take the points on the road no matter what) and by terrible clock management (had no timeouts to get the FG team out and Wilson took the sack).  That second half was enough to convince me that Seattle is the better team of the two, but the first half shows how much work they have to do.  Down 14-0 against the Redskins and 20-0 and then 27-7 against the Falcons put the Seahawks in a bind but they showed mental toughness and resiliency, two huge attributes to have during this time of year, that show that next year they won’t come as a surprise to anyone and there are lessons to grasp at here.

If I’m the Niners, I watched that second half and started licking my chops.  The intermediate areas were open all day for Wilson and he wisely took what the defense gave him.  There’s no doubt that they are wiping the sweat off their brow because going against the Seahawks may have been a tougher task but they will gladly take the away game against the Falcons over a home game against their division rivals.  The Seahawks know the Niners and would’ve easily been a tougher match up but the way Colin Kaepernick played Saturday, it may not have mattered who played against the Niners on Sunday.  

Yes Matt Ryan exercised demons on Sunday, but not before making Falcons fans sweat.  There was a sequence in that game where you saw all the confidence flushed from his face and him saying over and over again in his head “this is not happening.  Not again.”  I felt bad, but then he came with :31 seconds left and threw two beautiful passes to set up Matt Bryant’s game winning field goal.  I hope all the head coaches who think icing the kicker is a solid strategy watched Sunday as Matt Bryant shanked the first attempt.  I’ve never been a fan of the icing the kicker strategy as it is used in the NFL because making a kicker think about it is fine, but you call the timeout well before he gets to attempt a practice field goal.  You’re giving the guy a mulligan.  If you want him to think about the field goal then as soon as it seems like the team is lining up for a FG attempt you call the timeout.  Let him sit and stew about it and give him one shot at trying to make it.  That’s the best strategy and I hope that we end this silly strategy of icing the kicker as he’s taking his first shot at it.  But making the guy kick a pseudo practice FG is stupid and basically negates anything you were trying to accomplish in the first place.  Either you give the guy confidence that he will hit it, or you give the guy a better understanding of what not to do when attempting it for real.  

The Knicks ended their three game slide by defeating the New Orleans Hornets 100-87 Sunday thanks to 27 points from Carmelo Anthony.  Next up is a trip to London to take on a good young Pistons team.  That may be what the doctor ordered according to Jared Swerling of ESPNNY.com.  Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News writes that the Knicks feasted on a young Anthony Davis who didn’t do anything spectacular on Sunday.  Postgame was fun thanks to Amare’s revelation that he’s been on a vegan diet for the last three months and Carmelo Anthony was fasting for fifteen days. Nate Taylor of the New York Times writes that the Knicks were calling this a must win game for the and for several stretches, they played like it.

So Carmelo has been fasting for fifteen days huh?  Is it coincidental that he and the Knicks would get off to such slow starts or are there other reasons?  Who knows, but atleast we have another theory now to go with because I was lost.  Yes, the Knicks were playing some of the better defensive teams in the NBA in Chicago and Indiana and Boston this week, bu still, their offense seemed to play every bit the age Knicks fans were afraid they would wind up playing.  I said a few days ago that the Knicks are somewhere between the 18-5 team that shot out of the gate to begin the season and the team that struggled these last three games.  They weren’t as bad as they showed in Indiana, but they may not be as good as they showed in their early season win streak.  Look, the Knicks have a ton of talent and with Iman Shumpert’s return (he’s set to make his season debut against the Pistons on Thursday), I’m sure the Knicks will look better.  But then again, the Knicks are also hoping to get Rasheed Wallace back and Marcus Camby back and Raymond Felton back, so the never ending line of excuses for why the Knicks are playing so poorly won’t end with a Melo fast.  They aren’t at full strength.  I’m not going to judge the Knicks until they are whole, but at what point will they be whole again?  With this team, and its age, they are a fragile bunch.  Camby seems to get injured a ton and there’s no real timetable for Wallace’s return unless a day to day gives fans an exact timing on the healing process.  They are an old team with tons of veteran guidance but if they don’t have them playing what’s the use?

I’m looking forward to this road trip especially playing against the Pistons who are figuring things out as of late.  Their record doesn’t reflect the young talent they have that’s starting to flourish.  Greg Monroe is a very good center.  Andre Drummond is a rebounding machine and has tons of untapped potential as a finisher in this league.  Brandon Knight can turn into a very good point guard though I think his ceiling is limited.  The Pistons won’t be a lay up win for the Knicks and so they will have to take this next game seriously and win.  Getting Shumpert back will be helpful but the Knicks constantly having to work guys back into the rotation is tough to gain any kind of consistent play.  The Knicks will play better once they have everyone healthy and whole and will be able to wear teams out without wearing their own team out.  Jason Kidd has played 30 minutes or more in 10 of their last 14 games.  That kind of heavy workload consistently does not bode well for the elder statesman.  Here’s hoping that Felton gets back sooner and Shump can hold down the fort as he’s recovering as well.  

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The Jets win postgame reax!

A few observations from the Jets divisional playoff victory over the New England Patriots.

-Go ahead Jet fans, get excited.  You deserve it.  You do.  Rex Ryan deserves a ton of credit for a few reasons.  First, the game plan on Tom Brady was excellent and make no mistake, the game plan was against Tom Brady.  Take out the head and the rest of the body basically crumbles and that’s precisely what the Jet defense did.  Peter King reported that the Jets dressed 11 defensive backs.  Prior to the game the Jets injury report had Drew Coleman and Brad Smith on it.  Coleman was declared active by game time and I thought that not having Brad Smith would be a much bigger loss than having Drew Coleman in the game but turns out, for the game plan to work, they needed the extra corner out there.  We’ll get to the game plan later.

Second, much has been made of Rex Ryan and his press conferences, but give the man credit.  An underrated part of coaching is going beyond the X’s and O’s and being able to motivate his team and making them believe in what you’re preaching.  Rex has the undivided attention of his players and their undying loyalty and by making all of the pre-game bluster about him and his antics, it takes a lot of the pressure off his second year QB who may have too much expectations heaped on him now that he’s entering his second consecutive AFC Championship game.  On a defense that he’s constantly called the best in the game.  On an offense that he thinks is Super Bowl caliber.  All of the pressure is put mainly on his wide back.  Good thing he’s built the way he is, that’s a ton to be carrying around on the lonesome.

Interesting side theory that was brought up recently on the Bill Simmons podcast where Cousin Sal said perhaps the whole foot fetish video was staged so that the opposition would use it to tease the Jets which in turn would motivate the Jets more to catch their coach’s back which actually worked.  Wes Welker’s backhanded shots at Rex Ryan’s expense was not received well by the Jet locker room (Bart Scott replied by saying his days in a uniform were numbered) OR the Patriot locker room (Bill Belichiek held him out of the first drive of the game).  I don’t think it was that underhanded but if years later Rex writes a book and admits to it, just know that I acknowledged the actual person who made the suggestion.

– Brady’s discomfort was so evident all day.  Every single drive had no fluidity to it.  They weren’t marching up and down the field like they were during their 8 game stretch where they looked unbeatable.  Watching the game for a second time I came to one conclusion: a major reason the Patriots lost was because of Tom Brady.  He saved his worst throws for the most important times.  Check this out:

8:02 left in the 1st quarter-  Brady on a double fake tries to throw a screen pass to the law firm, BenJarvis Green-Ellis and shoots it about 4 feet over his head.  Phil Simms, like most broadcasters will do in his position so I won’t kill him for it, said that Calvin Pace’s arm being raised made Brady re-load and throw it higher, but I watched it and No it didn’t.  I’m not going to kill Phil Simms for 3 reasons: he’s a former Giant, he’s one of the best in the business at getting right to the point, and in the midst of action I’m sure that’s what it looked like.  But Brady just straight overthrew the football to a cutting David Harris who was going for the tackle until he realized the ball was coming to him.  He caught the pass and if he had any kind of speed- the Jets would’ve been up 7-0.  Also if you look at the pass, Ellis immediately gives up on the play and just watches the ball sail over his head not even trying to make an attempt at the catch which tells you how high the pass was- so Brady just threw a terrible pass.

2nd quarter- 8:58 left- 3rd and 2-  The Jets just scored and now lead the game 7-3.  Pats are on their own 34.  Brady only has a 3 man rush and can’t find a man open.  Looks for Gronkowski after he comes out of his blocking assignment and he throws it 3 yards behind him.  Terrible throw on a sure-fire first down which would’ve extended the play, instead its a 3 and out.

2nd quarter- 1:24 left- 3rd and 4- Jets show 7, bring three.  The Pats run their patented pick play but Dwight Lowery wisely goes over the top to pick up Rob Gronkowski as the pass sails right by him by about four yards.  There wasn’t pressure in Brady’s face, Brady just hurried the throw and made a terrible throw.  This led to the miffed fake punt play.  No one has yet to take credit for making the call here to run this play.  Its one of those if it works then we’re geniuses and if it doesn’t we’re idiots so I’m not going to completely crap on the Pats for making the play call with such little time, but the Pats aren’t usually this sloppy in execution.

4th quarter 5:30 left on the Jets 34-  Brady looking through his progression not once but twice (That’s how much time he had- of course Shaun Ellis being out of the game and the Jets going with max coverage may have had something to do with that) and patting the ball 5 times throws it into triple coverage for Woodhead and it went in complete.  Just a terrible decision.  He had Brandon Tate going on an out route and he could’ve not only caught the pass but stopped the clock which for some strange reason the Patriots had no interest in doing considering they were down 10 with about five minutes left to play in a game that they had been outplayed up until that point.

4th quarter 5:18 left on the Jets 34- They go for it and forego the opportunity for a 52 yard field goal into the wind which I understand.  Revis is not in on this play and the person he’s been covering all game Deion Branch has Cromartie on him, so naturally on such a crucial play Brady is going to go to his safety valve, the guy he knows can make a play and he would’ve converted had he made a good throw.  The pass goes to the wrong shoulder- a terrible read by Brady who normally converts that pass.  Brady was blitzed on the play, but it was the cumulative effect of the entire day- receivers not being open, the Jets getting pressure with just three guys and the overall lack of sync on offense-  The Jets never let him feel comfortable and he just could never get anything going.

– I always kill Brian Schottenheimer for terrible play calling but beginning with the 3rd quarter of the Wild Card round against the Colts, he has been very good.   Now, I’m not going to say that he’s been a genius because he went to a game plan that I think 90% of the fan base was yelling at him to go to anyway: GROUND AND POUND.  But credit Schotty for putting Mark Sanchez, his second year QB, into manageable situations.  Sanchez faced a 3rd and long (over 10 yards) only ONCE in the game.  That was in the first quarter after the Jets had taken the interception down.  Initially I criticized their third down play call of running the football on 3rd and 18 as typical unimaginative Schottenheimer, but it being early in the game, the Jets did NOT want to rattle the young QB’s confidence and allowed him to be comfortable fro the rest of the game and not force him into a situation where he felt the onus was on him to make a play.  Smart decision.

To go further consider the 3rd down plays that Mark Sanchez, Brady’s counterpart DID make:

2nd quarter- 3rd and 5 with :39 left- Sanchez shoots it right to Braylon Edwards and he does the rest, muscling Devin McCourty AND Brandon Merriweather into the end zone.  Two of the Patriot Pro-Bowlers by the way.

4th quarter- 3rd and 4 with 13:00 left- Sanchez lofts a beautiful pass as Holmes does his now patented toe tapping corner of the end zone touchdown catch.  That’s a huge TD pass after the Patriots score and make it a field goal game.

–  The Jets did a fantastic job of answering EVERY single swing of momentum the Patriots had.

1st Q- 1st and 10 on their own 22- Brady gets sacked by Shaun Ellis for the first of his 2 sacks on the day.  This immediately followed the Jets losing any momentum after getting the interception by missing the FG attempt by Nick Folk.  Ellis played like a man possessed.  Loss of 8.  Were it NOT for a facemask penalty that would’ve been a likely 3 and out but the Patriots were able to move down the field like they seem to always do when given new life.  Shaun Ellis comes in and sacks Brady for the second time on the drive to force them to kick a field goal which is huge because the Pats were on the doorstep of scoring and had an opportunity go right through Alge Crumpler’s finger tips.  Sometimes luck is necessary, but the majority of this rally stuffer was provided thanks to Shaun Ellis’ fantastic performance.

4th quarter- 15:00- After the Patriots score and convert the two point conversion, Sanchize throws to Jerricho Cotchery who sits in the hole of the zone defense the Pats were playing and he goes for 58 yards putting the Jets deep into Patriot territory.  Three plays later, Sanchez connects with Santonio Holmes for his third TD pass and yet another clutch catch by Holmes.

– Many people want to assign specific heroes to this Jet victory and will likely gawk over Santonio Holmes’ catch or Sanchez’s numbers (3 TD’s, 0 Picks) or Bart Scott’s interview with Sal Paolontonio.  But Eric Smith, the guy who took over for Jim Leonhard, had a huge game.  I agree with Peter King that he made some of the most crucial tackles in the game.

2nd Quarter- 1:14- Smith lines up on the left side of the formation and comes off the edge and Jim Nantz opined that Patrick Chung was perhaps distracted by Smith’s presence speeding around the edge and he took his eyes off the ball long enough for it to shoot off his stomach, land on the floor, and destroy any chance of it succeeding.  Of course Smith’s role doesn’t end there because as Chung is trying to get the first down, Smith spins past his defender and smacks Chung down short of the line of scrimmage for a loss and gives the Jets fantastic field position.  Position they would use to score and go up 11 heading into the half.  So credit Smith for the fumble AND the tackle.

2nd Quarter :33 left- Jets kick off to the Patriots and Brandon Tate, gets the ball and gets a seam, and he’s a full head of steam and he just needs to beat one man to take it to the house.  Eric Smith of course is that one man and he tackles him at the 45.  Consider the change of momentum that might have occurred had Tate beaten Smith.  The Patriots score a touchdown in the final 30 seconds of the first half.  They shift all of the steam back on to their side and they get the ball back to start the second half.  Suddenly the Patriots have negated a first half full of idiotic moves so yeah, HUGE save by Smith.

Drive of the game:

I loved the opening drive of the 2nd half by the Patriots being stuffed by the Jets especially after a first down play netted them 8 yards making it a 2nd and 3rd and short.  The Jets came up huge but my drive of the game goes to the final drive of the first half by the Jets.  They force the second turnover of the game thanks to a rare miscommunication from the Patriots and they get the ball at the New England 37.  They forced Brady’s first interception in 405 pass attempts earlier in the game and hadn’t turned that into points.  In fact, they gained 0 yards in 3 downs and Nick Folk missed a 30 yard field goal.  With the Patriots giving up the ball a second time on a mistake, the Jets HAD to score on this drive and they did just that.

1st-10, NE37 1:06 L. Tomlinson rushed up the middle for 16 yard gain-  Huge to start off the drive by moving the ball on the ground like that.  LDT shot out like a cannonball and gained 16 yards.

1st-10, NE21 0:50 L. Tomlinson rushed to the right for 6 yard gain- A great run to the right edge to gain 6 yards and make it a manageable down and distance.

2nd-4, NE15 0:45 M. Sanchez incomplete pass down the middle.  Bad decision to throw here when the running game was working so well and clearly momentum was going the Jets way.

3rd-4, NE15 0:33 M. Sanchez passed to B. Edwards to the right for 15 yard touchdown.  This was all Edwards after the catch as he muscled his way into the end zone but great read and throw by Sanchez.  McCourty was ALL OVER Edwards, but being 6’5 and that big can be a useful weapon on those inside slant routes that the Jets offense uses so much and New England, thus far into the game, had done such a great job in negating.

Jets needed points here to take advantage of the New England turn over and they did just that.

What I thought was the most crucial play of the game:  1:57 left in the game- Patriots onside kick the football down the middle.  Perfectly executed, the Jets had only Darrelle Revis who almost made a disastrous play by trying to scoop up the football.  Due to the tackle on him by the Patriots special teams, the ball gets kicked all the way out to Antonio Cromartie who had been a special teams demon all day on kick returns and he takes it 23 yards to the New England 20.  Now, of course all the Jets needed to do was to run the clock out at this point.  The Patriots had two time outs.  Shonn Greene runs it in for a TD.  Most people suggested that Greene should’ve downed it at the one, forcing the Patriots to use their timeouts and still be down 7.  The Jets would have the first down, the Pats would be down to one timeout.  The clock would’ve been stopped at 1:41.  Now if the Jets just kneel with the football and force New England into their final timeout, they could’ve wasted about max 3 seconds so it would’ve been stopped at 1:38.  You kneel down the rest of the way and the game is over 21-14.  Which of course brings up did the Jets run up the score by scoring that final touchdown when strategy wise it would’ve made more sense to down it at the 1?  I think when you consider how soundly the Patriots beat them, the Jets deserved to rub it in a little.  Of course, the Patriots made a go of it and as any proud champion would do, made one final push but it was too late.

The unsportsmanlike conduct provided us a perfect opportunity to bring up the constant argument that goes on between those in the rigid conservative sector of football who scoff at any kind of emotion being shown after scoring a touchdown (Jim Nantz) and those who don’t mind a bit of celebration (Phil Simms).  Nantz talked about how the penalty gave New England some sort of life (which he was absolutely correct about)

Nantz: “I’ve never understood the absurdity of all this self aggrandizing, now your’e going to cost your team 15 yards on the kick and you’re going to give Brady and his unit a little something.”

Simms: “I’ll tell you this, there’s a time to celebrate and Jim- that was it.  What a job by the Jets.  Sometimes you can’t control yourself.”

Two polar opposite viewpoints on the subject and I must agree with Simms.  Forget the fact that Nantz is absolutely correct in the point he was making.  Strategy wise, like I said before, its a poor decision by Shonn Greene to go in for the touchdown and something his coaches should’ve been telling him about.  Should he get the opportunity, his role was to bleed the clock to :00 left.  But given the circumstances and given the nature of the rivalry and the fact that they were blown out by 42 points and had their noses rubbed in by the Patriots who everyone viewed as the classier organization because they seemed to hide their evil nature better (see Spygate for more information).  The Jets came in as the loud mouths with their chests poked out for no reason, and they left with a huge smile and vindication most importantly.  For their belief in their game plan and the joy of leaping over a huge hurdle: the Patriots.  A team for so long that had blocked the path is now just another victim of Rex Ryan’s bunch.

Look at the numbers since Rex has come into this rivalry:  Jets and Patriots have won 23 games.  The Jets have won 4 playoff games to New England’s 0.  This must be an alternate universe in which Bill Belichiek, the master of his domain is being outsmarted by a loud mouth coach who only gets credit for his wit on a stage in front of a microphone.  What we learned this weekend is that he’s more than just feet and a mouth.  He designed two excellent defensive game plans to effectively shut down the two best quarterbacks this league has.  CBS showed us a ridiculous statistic: NO TEAM had ever defeated Manning and Brady in consecutive weeks since 2001 when Tom Brady graced us with his magnificent presence.  Of course since 2001 only two other teams had the opportunity to accomplish such a feat, and that would be the 2007 San Diego Chargers but if you’ll remember, Brady and Co. were on a historic run through the playoffs that year and the 2009 Baltimore Ravens.  Indy knocked out the Ravens that year after they destroyed the Patriots at Foxboro.

What does this all mean for Belichiek and Brady’s career if they haven’t won a Super Bowl since the Spygate Scandal broke?  Does it offer up some kind of evidence of wrong doing on their part?  That perhaps their success was a byproduct of all their underhanded dealings?  That there is no genius residing in that brain of Belichiek’s?  That Brady’s post season success is built upon an unfair advantage that he had?  Is it a coincedence that since the Spygate scandal, the Patriots are a very human 2-2 in the playoffs?

I don’t think you should read much into all of that.  Belichiek’s coaching job this year will get him a Coach of the Year Plaque and Brady HAD to play lights out for this team to be 14-2 like they were.  Tom Brady played perfect for almost an entire season throwing for only four interceptions  and in the one game that he cracked under the pressure, it just so happened to be the one game he’ll most likely regret losing.  Because he didn’t lose to some non-divisional team, he lost to the team he hates the most.  The team that won’t shut up and the team he now CAN’T SHUT UP.  God forbid this team wins the Super Bowl; will Tom Brady lose it?  What will he do?  Who knows?  This Jet story has some legs and let’s see how far it runs.  If it runs to Dallas, Brady may need some psychological counseling for all the mistakes he made that led to this ugly loss to the hated Jets because make no mistake, Tom Brady lost this game with his ineffectiveness.

I’m no Jet fan or claim to be, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t end this off with THIS CLIP and THIS ONE to close things out with THIS CLIP.


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