The Zionist Conspiracy
Monday, January 17, 2011
1. The defense set the tone for last night's win. After David Harris ran out of gas during his 1st quarter INT return, the offense went three and out and Nick Folk missed a short field goal, the defense continued to confuse Tom Brady, finally sustaining consistent pressure together with strong coverage from the Jets' cornerbacks and safeties.
2. After a slow start, the offense recovered. Mark Sanchez received excellent pass protection and big plays from his wide receivers. The Jets finally scored touchdowns in the red zone. They did have a few second half drives stall, allowing New England to remain in the game.
3. Special teams was mixed. Especially with the AFC Championship at Heinz Field, Folk's miss renews concerns about him. After an excellent regular season, Steve Weatherford continued punting into the end zone for touchbacks. The Jets did stop the Patriots' fake punt, a huge play that led to the Jets second touchdown and completely changed the momentum at halftime. They also recovered both onside kicks - though the first one could have gone either way.
4. I was fortunate enough to attend the Jets' two prior second round victories, the '98 Jets win over the Jaguars and last year's victory over the Chargers.
After both of those games, there was a feeling of elation. Two years after Rich Kotite, Bill Parcells had rebuilt the Jets to within a game of the Super Bowl. Last year, despite losing six of seven to fall to 4-6, and despite having a rookie quarterback, the Jets out of nowhere went to the AFC Championship.
5. For all of the hatred of the Patriots, I'm not feeling elation today. Just relief that the 2010 Jets' season has not ended. Playoff victories, even stunning upsets of New England, no longer suffice. The Jets now must do what the '82 Jets, the '98 Jets and the '09 Jets failed to do: Win the AFC Championship. And then they must win one more game.