Since Rex Ryan has taken over as Head Coach of the New York Jets in 2009, there have been a few ongoing trends with the team. They generally play very good defense that can be shaky at holding leads late. Offensively, they prefer to run the football and have had ongoing inconsistencies. Rex owns Buffalo. Miami owns Rex. New England? Boom or bust. They’ve had their good moments but when it is bad, it has been really…really bad and those nightmare performances have always been in the team’s second regular season meeting.
2009: New England Patriots – 31 New York Jets – 14 (In New England)The exclamation point on a mid-season three game losing streak. Mark Sanchez went 8/21 and threw 4 interceptions, 1 of which was returned for a touchdown. Tom Brady carved the Jets up for 310 yards on 28/41 passing with zero turnovers and a touchdown. Wes Welker had a mind numbing 15 receptions for 192 yards…that’s not a misprint.
2010: New England Patriots – 45 New York Jets – 3 (In New England)
The Monday Night Massacre. The 9-2 Jets were humiliated by the 9-2 Patriots on national television. Sanchez went 17/33 with 3 interceptions while Brady went 21/29 with 4 touchdowns and zero turnovers. Danny Woodhead had 104 receiving yards…yikes.
2011: New England Patriots – 37 New York Jets – 16 (In New York)Sanchez went 20/39 with 2 interceptions, including 1 that was returned for a touchdown. Brady threw 3 more touchdowns….and again had zero turnovers. Rob Gronkowski (remember him?) had 113 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns.
2012: New England Patriots – 49 New York Jets – 19 (In New York)
Sanchez threw 1 INT and had 1 fumble caused by a butt that was returned for a touchdown. Brady threw 3 touchdowns and again had zero turnovers. Stevan Ridley racked up 97 yards rushing and a touchdown.
–The Jets average margin of defeat has been 27.5 points. Tom Brady has owned them to the tune of 11 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Mark Sanchez had 4 atrocious performances as the Jets starting quarterback. In contrast, the Jets are 2-3 against New England in the first regular season match-up under Ryan and the average margin of defeat in the losses was only 5 points, including a pair of 3 point defeats.
This is obviously a credit to an all-time great head coach in Bill Belichick and quarterback in Tom Brady who have adjusted well to how the Jets attack them in the first match-up. Meanwhile, Rex Ryan and the Jets offensive staff haven’t been prepared for New England’s counter moves. Rex did get a crack at a third match-up one season and we all remember how that went…
So, how do the Jets prevent this nightmare from occurring again? The consistent thread across all of these games is the Jets getting dominated in the turnover battle and allowing Brady to carve them up. There is never an easy answer to the latter but as to the former, let’s hope Geno Smith learned from his first career meeting with New England and protects the football this Sunday. The Jets had some success running the football in week 2 against the Patriots but went away from the run game too much in the 2nd half. Hopefully, they will stick with it more this time around and pound on a Patriots defensive front that is now without Vince Wilfork. A strong running game will help protect Geno Smith and keep Tom Brady on the sideline more frequently.