Forgive me for a moment if I rant… you see, my dark secret is that I am a New York native and a die hard Jets fan. I happened to be at yesterday’s game with great seats, first row of the upper deck, right on the 50. All that got me was a bird’s eye view of a terrible Jets performance against a Patriots team that seemed to turn back the clock.
The first thing readily apparent was how unprepared the Jets were. Substitutions on defense were late. Brett Favre clearly had trouble with the playbook, often not snapping the ball until the play clock had just about expired. And the lack of imagination on offense, trying to pound the ball in to the endzone against the Pats’ beefy front line when you have one of the best quarterbacks ever and some good possession receivers is mind boggling.
Meanwhile, the Patriots did what they used to do best: hold on to the football and play good defense. Remember those days, back when Brady was still a longshot sub and not a GQ cover boy? Belichick clearly hasn’t forgotten how to go old school.
The biggest surprise to me was Pats kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who boomed nearly all of his kickoffs through the endzone. Not once that I can recall did the Jets start past their own 20-yard line. You are not going to win a game with that kind of field position every time.
This has to take the pressure off Matt Cassel. He didn’t really do anything except throw screens and short routes over the middle (save for the one bomb where Darrelle Revis made a spectacular play on a wide-open Randy Moss), but he wasn’t asked to do anything more than that and New England still won the game.
Jets fans may snicker, but the Patriots have a ridiculously easy schedule (have you seen the NFC West?) and plenty of good players on both sides of the ball. Don’t be shocked when they go deep into the playoffs yet again.