Hmmm…where to start? So many bad things to write about, so little time. And by now you’ve probably read enough analysis to revisit it all again. So I will try to avoid that and will start with a few high level observations:
- Why did they abandon the running game? You play to your team’s strengths, not to your opponent’s weaknesses. I know that may sound a bit counterintuitive, but it’s no coincidence that the Jets won 3 in a row when they rediscovered their run game, and the play-action pass that it sets up. Last night they fell in love with the passing game early and never established a rhythm on the ground. Poor gameplan and that goes on Schotty and Rex.
- The Jets were outcoached: You could see it in the 2nd half – the Pats go no huddle and the Jets have no answer. They exploited all of our weaknesses on D – going after our safeties and throwing down the middle to the TE. They pressured Sanchez and forced some stupid mistakes. They just looked better prepared and they looked calm. Quite simply, they were the better coached team. How could a team be so poorly prepared on such a big night?
- They were outplayed: In every facet of the game, the Jets were outplayed. It started on the opening drive and just went downhill from there. Silly mistakes, missed opportunities, poor communication and bad decisions. All night. It was embarrassing. Most sobering stat: The Patriots STARTED two defensive players who NEVER played a defensive SNAP in the NFL. Not one. Before last night, I played the same amount of snaps in the NFL as they had. ZERO. Wow. And we still lost.
Tom Brady is still pretty good – the gap between Brady and Sanchez (and the rest of the league bar Aaron Rodgers) was never more apparent last night. It pains me to say it, but I’ve loved watching this guy for the last 10 years. He’s just the epitome of accuracy and calm. Which is why it will make beating him in the playoffs so much sweeter…again (more on that later).
- Why is Joe McKnight fielding punts in the biggest game of the year when he had done that only 4 times the entire season? Dumb.
- Why is Antonio Cromartie still starting over Kyle Wilson? Let’s end this love affair with the most virile, yet subpar CB in the NFL.
- Why would the Jets not jam Gronkowski at the line of scrimmage as they’ve done against most TEs all year long? Were they just afraid of him?
- Why does Mark Sanchez still make rookie mistakes? Cue the “Sanchez is not the answer” whispers…
If you have the answers to these questions, please comment. I need help.
But alas Jets fans, all is not lost. As avid reader and fellow suffering fan Greg points out, the Jets schedule gets remarkably easy the rest of the way and they could (gulp) run the table. And while I disagreed with that prediction, they do still have a good chance of going 6-1 the rest of the way. And in the crowded AFC, that is what they will probably have to do to make it to the playoffs. 11 wins gets you into the wild card. 10 does not. I think they can get there.
No matter what they do, they better forget about this loss, and quickly. They board a plane on Wednesday to head to Mile High for a battle Thursday Night with the phenomenon that is Tebow – the first starting QB to have more rushing attempts than passing attempts in a single game. The Jets should own this match-up. If they don’t, we have real problems.
So another year left wondering – how do we take down the Evil Empire? Will it ever happen in the Belichick-Brady (now the winningest HC-QB combo in NFL history) era?
This loss has left me with lots of questions. Both I, and the Jets, need some answers…