By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
The Jets dropped a heartbreaking loss at the hands of the Patriots in overtime, despite coming back from a two-score deficit to take the lead with just over two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
We say that there are no moral victories in football, but this was quite a gutsy effort by the entire Jets team. Here is a recap of how it all went down yesterday:
Defense comes to play: This was a vintage performance from Rex Ryan as a defensive play-caller. His coverages had Tom Brady beyond confused for most of the game, and held him to a completion percentage that was barely over 50 percent.
He was able to keep the tight ends in check, and Wes Welker was a virtual non-factor for most of the game. The Jets pass-rush still looked very average, but from a schematic standpoint, the Jets dominated this side of the ball.
In addition, the defense, despite playing with a light box for most of the game, held Stevan Ridley to under 70 yards. This was crucial in making the Patriots one-dimensional.
Sanchez plays tough: This was one of the grittiest, gutsiest performances of Sanchez’s career. He made a few mistakes, but he made a handful of rainbows that converted key first downs and kept drives alive. He engineered an epic 92-yard drive to give the Jets the touchdown they needed late in the game.
Detractors will point to his overtime strip-sack that ended the game, but Sanchez came to play yesterday.
Gutsy play all around: Between Joe McKnight playing with a high ankle sprain to Shonn Greene marching out of the training room to come back, this was a exhaustive effort by the entire team.
Young players like Jeremy Kerley came up huge in key situations, and even little Isiah Trufant had a nice game in dime packages. Demario Davis had a handful of nice plays in base packages at linebacker, and Muhammad Wilkerson turned in a dominant performance.
The Jets may have lost a handful of their elite players to injury, but there is a nice grounp of young players that stepped-up when they were needed most.
Antonio Cromartie – He did drop an interception, but his coverage was stellar all night.
Jeremy Kerley – The Jets leading receiver with 7 catches caused all kinds of problems for the Patriots defense.
Mark Sanchez – A tough performance where he showed his leadership colors.
Matt Slauson – Slauson was benched for Vladimir Ducasse after allowing Vince Wilfork to cause a forced fumble for a safety.
Stephen Hill – The drops continue to kill his rookie season, but this is hardly unexpected from a raw rookie.
Chaz Schilens – Schilens dropped what would have been a touchdown, but no one remembers it because Hill’s drop was later in the game.
Game Ball: Rex Ryan
Not only did he build a perfect defensive gameplan, but he had his young team motivated and willing to put everything on the line to win the game. He got the absolute most out of his depleted team, which is all you can ask from the coaching staff.