Gut Punch – New York Jets Lose Heartbreaker To Patriots

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The New York Jets lost a brutally painful game today to New England, in one that will be intensely debated about and vented over the next few days. Let’s try to go over a few key points of contention -

- Mark Sanchez finished 28/41 for 328 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Throughout the game he made impressive throws into tight windows and pushed the ball down the field, completing a large collection of passes over 20 yards. He also put the team on his back for a key 92 yard drive that got them back within 3 in the 4th quarter. Regardless, he threw an awful interception in the first half and fumbled the ball away in overtime. There will be intense criticism for those plays with a general ignorance of the 70% completion percentage and all the positive he accomplished, that is the nature of the business. However, you are kidding yourself if you think Tim Tebow should get anywhere near the starting quarterback job on this team. You are also kidding yourself if you think this loss falls 100% on Sanchez’s lap.

- The coaching left something to be desired today, to say the least. Tony Sparano calling a slant route to Chaz Schilens on a 3rd and 1 near the goal-line was just negligent considering how the Jets were running the ball in short yardage. They were content to settle for a field goal after recovering a fumble deep in Patriots territory after a kickoff return, when they could have attacked the end-zone.  Rex Ryan’s defense was also not aggressive enough on the final drive of regulation or the first drive in overtime. They repeatedly kept rushing 3 or 4, instead of mixing a blitz in. If they needed to switch personnel (which they did), they should sacrificed a timeout for it in overtime.

- You can’t allow a kick return for a touchdown to be that easy .You can’t repeatedly go offsides. You can’t get personal fouls on punts that keeps the ball in New England’s hands. You can’t drop passes. These are mistakes that happen when you go young because of injuries and other necessities but they must be avoided to beat a team like New England.

- The Jets can’t afford their traditional post-Patriots game hangover. Next week’s game against Miami is of critical importance. They cannot afford to lose a home division game to them considering how tight the division and conference is going to be.

- Yes, the division remains wide open. The Jets are a flawed team. So is New England. They aren’t a 12 win team. They might not be a 10 win team. The Jets let one get away, which is what made this loss so painful but the Patriots aren’t running away in the division race.

- Jeremy Kerley is developing into a legitimate number one receiver. Dustin Keller was terrific today. Joe McKnight deserves a ton of credit for gutting through his ankle injury and putting together a productive game. Demario Davis showed flashes of why so many Jets fans were excited about him this summer.

- Get the venting out now Jets fans, you need to. It was an emotional roller coaster today. The Jets blew a golden opportunity but must now quickly regroup to keep pace in the jumbled AFC East.

  • David Acosta

    Angerrrrrrrrrr !

  • joe defiant

    Stephen Hill’s drop at the end of the 4th quarter was the backbreaker in this one.

  • Resonable Jet Fan

    agreed, joe d. He would have scored or we would have been able to take all their timeouts and some time off the clock..Still,the whole team made too many critical mistakes to win.

    Sanchez made some gutsy great throws and some terrible miscues. I cant believe he kept taking sacks in the 4th and overtime instead of throwing it away and he had reuland wide open forever and never looked his way. Will he ever have a stretch of solid play for 4 quarters? I still want Sanchez as the QB and I hope Mark learns from this and puts a good string of games together to build some confindence.

    Defense played well, however, they needed just one more stop and couldnt do it. I know it was Brady and the pats, but they still could have made it more difficult on the pats by trying to take gronk away with double teams. After the long comp% on gronk for 1st down, you gotta realize its Tom freaking brady and you cant be vanilla in crunch time..

    Special teams despite Folk being perfect still would grade low for me because of the ‘gut punch’ of the kick return. Westhoff will have heads for that.

    Coaching needs to realize game situations better. Even putting Tebow in at the 3rd and 1 situation in the 3rd would have made more sense.

    Bitter loss.. I dont like good losses, moral victories, whatever you wanna call it to make you feel better about the loss. 6-3 the rest of way gets them 10-6..seems possible if team keeps improving week by week.. p.s. you guys run a pretty good site.

  • Reasonable Jet Fan

    still depressed about the loss, didnt realize my math sucked..9-7 could still get them in the playoffs. I cant see this team going 7-2 to get ten wins, but it would be nice for them to prove me wrong.

  • mike

    for the record, demario davis was the guy who went way out of his lane and got sucked into the middle on the return TD.
    great overall effort but ultimately the defense had a chance to win the game and couldn’t get it done.

  • Jonathan Richter

    You can’t put this loss on the defense. They weren’t responsible for the safety, or the kickoff return, both of which would have changed the outcome. They didn’t throw an interception, which took at least 3 points off the board, if not 7. They weren’t responsible for the failure to use Tebow inside the 5 yard line, which forced us to settle for 3 when we should have had. They held Tom Brady to 20 points at home, which is a pretty decent performance.

  • Frank Rukaj

    I’d say that most people had this game pegged as a Jets loss before the opening kickoff. I like what i saw out of Sanchez. Minus the interception he played a very solid game. Stephen Hill needs to get his stuff together, that drop could be pointed out as the reason we lost the game. Love what we are getting out of Kerley, he is really becoming a threat to break one at any moment he gets his hands on the ball. Keller is playing really really well, and my money says he’s no where near full speed yet.

    Team gets serious points in my book for showing the grit they did on sunday. But now its time to build off of this when Miami comes to town.

    FR

  • Jason

    We’ve played the Texans and the Patriots to the last possession 2 of the last 3 weeks. With Keller back, Kerley clicking with Sanchez and increased reps to our young D players we may not be as far off from a 10-12 win team. Replacing Scott and Pace in the offseason will be huge, they are both way past their prime and are liabilities in coverage.

    This will certainly make Thanksgiving far more interesting.

  • Greg

    Worst call of the day – not using Tebow on 3rd and 1 at the goal line. If we don’t use him then, WHEN do we use him? It’s absolutely incredible that a guy who was unstoppable in college as a runner around the goal line would not be asked to try to score in that situation.

    Who do you want to put the game in the hands of when you MUST have a TD? Schilens or Tebow?

    I hope you guys crucify Sparano for this mistake.

  • Greg

    Something else –

    Sanchez’s pick was ATROCIOUS! What was he thinking? Hill had no chance for that ball. It was really, nothing more than a Hail Mary throw.

    Terrible, and to make matters worse he missed Hill when he was open.

  • Anthony

    Pinning this loss on am extremely raw rookie dropping a pass in the 4th quarter of a division road game in which this team was an 11.5 point underdog is purposterous. Read this very site from 3 days ago and everything says, we need to play mistake free football, or we cant win. The list of errors that were made om the jets side is comical, and they were within a first down of a win.

    That the Jets made a show of this game was the mirical that is being completely overlooked. This was a gutty performance and a loss that quite frankly we needed. What did we learn?

    1) New England is over. They won a 3 point game at home against a team missing 2 all of its defensive tackles, injuries at linebacker, the single best corner in the game, 1 1/2 of its runingbacks and it’s top receiver.

    2) The Jets depth is better than its starters in half of its position. Seriously, Mcknight is better than Shonn Green, Demario Davis is better than David Harris or Bart Scott. Trufant is super solid in the slot over Kyle Wilson. Sorry, but Kerley is better (and less crazy) than Santonio.

    Lex Hilliard has turned out to be a more versatile and less gaff prone fullback, and Conner Reuland has been a revelation at backup TE/H back.

  • joeydefiant

    The receivers never do Sanchez any favors. No one ever makes a catch that isn’t right on the money and even those are dropped sometimes. What is preposterous (purposterous)about expecting a reciever to catch the ball wide open with 2 minutes left on the opponents 10 yard line? Would Victor Cruz have dropped that ball? Don’t like what I’m seeing from Stephen Hill… Always gimpy and drops clutch throws. He was also on the ground for one of the sacks.

    And seriously on the last play in OT, did anyone block? How many guys get thru?

    Defense played beautiful. After the Coples sack it was great seeing Brady yell at his O-line. Funny how the media crucifies Cutler for the same shit.

  • joeydefiant

    At first I was pissed about kicking the field goal in the second quarter on the 2 yard line instead of going for the TD. But after watching the rest of the game Rex thought the D was capable of stopping them, which they did and were. Don’t think it was a bad call.

    At least Sanchez doesn’t dress like a Jedi in his post game interviews. Anyone else see Cam Newtons post game???

  • joeydefiant

    The coaches and QB put the team in position to win. The players didn’t execute in crunch time. Simple. To even think about blaming the coaching staff who put the pieces they have in position to win when considered 11 point underdogs is insane. The coaches can’t control execution. They put the pieces in position to win the game. The pieces were in position to win this game. Failure to execute. Move on to next game. As long as the coaches can put the team in a position to win we have a shot. There are 20-25 teams in the NFL who don’t even have that shot…

  • mike

    even with all the mistakes the jets made, the game was only lost because antonio allen couldn’t keep up with gronkowski or woodhead on the last drive of regulation. given the skill level of those receivers, it’s kind of absurd to ask a rookie 7th rounder playing in his second career nfl game to lock them down in the two-minute defense.
    the jets played a tough game and mounted a hell of a surge in the 4th quarter to take the lead back. it was an impressive performance from an inexperienced offense, which only wilted when they were asked to win the game for a second time.
    the loss comes down to the patriots’ two-minute march at the end of regulation, and that failure should be chalked up to a lack of cornerback depth and an inability to generate a pass rush without blitzing. rex the guru needed to have a two-minute plan that accounted for those weaknesses and he didn’t.
    also, sanchez’ “fumble” to end the game should have been a high-low hit on the qb, 15 yards and automatic first down. you can bet that would’ve been the call if it’d been brady getting hit.

  • http://turnonthejets.com Jersey Joe

    It looked like Sanchez and Sparano had a heated exchange walking off the field at half-time, anyone else see this? When you get handed the ball in the red zone all momentum shifts back to the opponent if you fail to score a TD.

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  • paul

    First off let me start by saying this site is amazing. I feel like I just came from therapy every time I read up on all the articles. It’s as though I have a Jets therapist readily on hand. Every time I go to read an article you guys manage to say what I was thinking before during and after the games. Now that I have paid much needed homage to all you turnonthejets writers. I have to know how you guys can continue being dedicated to this site. Please don’t miss interpret me I am glad you guys do but I am so feed up with the Jets blown chances I have given myself high blood pressure and ulcers rooting for this team. Jets blew a huge opportunity to show the NFL and their fans that they are worthy adversaries and instead choked. I would like to blame one individual for this loss or give credit to NE but I can’t. There are 10 different reasons the Jets lost this game and only about three NE won. You cannot make mistakes against better executing team’s period! I want to vent so more but I can’t even think straight and I would just be babbling. Again thanks for all the good articles they help me get through the week and a lot cheaper than therapy.

  • twoshady

    Rex Ryan’s constant crediting the other team for playing well, irks me. I can’t name one team they have played yet that was playing well,with the exception of maybe SF but even their offense was pretty sloppy at times and left doors open. The fact is Rex, your team is not playing well. That’s why you are losing games. I’m also a bit sick of Sanchez’s seemingly attitude of being satisfied with mediocre performance both of himself and his team. They honestly should be 6-1 right now if it wasnt for poor decisions,missed opportunities, and avoidable mistakes.

  • joeydefiant

    maybe the other teams are not playing well against the jets because the jets defense is forcing them to not play well???