Mark Sanchez could not lead the Jets to a single touchdown in the game, as the Jets suffered their most embarrassing defeat in the Rex Ryan era at the hands of their biggest rivals. The Patriots were out to prove that the AFC East still belongs to them, and that’s exactly what they did. The Jets came out cold after the long week off and could not keep up with the Patriots’ high-powered offense.
The Jets’ defense has not played as well this season since play calling duties were given to defensive coordinator, Mike Pettine. The Jets played a soft zone coverage for most of the game and it was torn apart. Man-to-man coverage is what helped the Jets stop Tom Brady in their week 2 matchup, and they decided to go with something different. Revis was not shadowing Wes Welker like he needed to all game and Antonio Cromartie had some trouble keeping up with Deion Branch. The Patriots’ rookie tight end duo was able to make some big catches and former Jet running back Danny Woodhead was able to accumulate more than 100 receiving yards. Brady did not need to throw downfield much as the Jets’ defense was giving up short passes easily and missing tackles left and right. Brady finished with 4 touchdown passes and 326 yards. It was clear that the absence of defensive captain Jim Leonhard played an impact in the overall defensive execution by the Jets, as they gave up over 400 yards of total offense to the Patriots.
The offense was a completely different disaster. The Jets came out with the no-huddle offense to start their first drive, but after some bad coaching decisions they ended up with no points on the drive after an abysmal field goal attempt by Nick Folk. The ground game was actually very effective against the Patriots. Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson led a rushing attack that totaled 152 yards for an average of 4.9 yards per carry. Mark Sanchez had his worst game of the season and was embarrassed for a second straight year in New England. Sanchez threw 3 interceptions in the second half including his first red zone interception of the season. All were terrible decisions on his part. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer’s play calling was questionable at best, as it has been all season, but Sanchez did not do himself any favors the way he played. He finished the game with a 27.8 passer rating for the game, a large deficit from Tom Brady’s 148.9 rating.
In a way, the Jets deserved to get pounded the way they did. They have done a lot of talking this season, but have not proved anything to anyone. In my opinion, I feel that Rex Ryan giving his team 3 days off after their Thanksgiving night victory was the first mistake they made this week. After having a full offseason to prepare, they scored only 9 points against the Ravens. After a bye week, the Packers shut them out. Now, after 10 days between games, they score 3 points. They have played some of their toughest opponents after these extended breaks, but they clearly come out stronger on a short week. The Jets’ 9-3 record is still very good, but they have a lot of respect to earn back in the coming weeks. The good news is that they still have a 3 game hold on a wildcard spot with only 4 games to go.