Four Downs: The New England Game

Four Downs explores the plays and players that gave the Jets a 28-14 win over the patriots.

The New York Jets beat the New England Patriots 28-14 in an AFC East divisional battle that seemed a lot closer then the final score would indicated. A look at the plays and the players that evened the Jets record at 1-1 following the week two win:

1. No Dirt On Sanchez - NFL analysts spent the week opining on Mark Sanchez's flaws. The second-year quarterback "tanks it" according to one while others stated that Sanchez would be the impediment that causes the Super Bowl-or-bust Jets to not win big. So there was no way he could steward the Jets to a win over Tom Brady and the Patriots, right? Not so fast. Sanchez shredded the Pats for 220 yards and three touchdowns in the late afternoon win and most importantly, he didn't have any interceptions. Turns out those NFL analysts didn't exactly have the dirt on #6 after all, did they?

2. The No Longer Offensive Offense - Unlike the Monday Night opener, the Jets offensive playmakers were front-and-center against their AFC East rivals. Dustin Keller shredded the New England secondary for 115 yards and a touchdown one week after he stepped out of bounds in the fourth quarter short of the yard marker on a crucial late quarter play. Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery each added a touchdown catch—Edwards also snagged a two point conversion—while LaDainian Tomlinson totaled 102 all-purpose yards. For Tomlinson, it was a statement game as he opened up the Pats with his ability to stretch the defense when he gets out wide.

3. More Than Meets The Eye - The blitz first, last and always Jets only sacked Tom Brady once in Sunday afternoon's win. That is not to say that the defensive line and linebackers did not make the New England quarterback's life unpleasant. Due to constant pressure Brady only completed seven passes in the second half for 69 yards and was picked off twice. You had to love Bart Scott's swatted pass in the first quarter, when he just mauled the ball in Brady's face.

4. They Had No Runs - The lone positive in Monday night's loss was the performance of the run defense. Nothing changed in the six days between games. The Jets front seven only yielded 52 yards to Kevin Faulk, Fred Taylor and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The trio combined to rush 20 times in the game and got no rhythm going at all. On Sunday afternoon, the longest run for New England was just eight yards. Kudos to Sione Pouha, who was constantly swarming to the ball.

You can follow Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman


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