NFL Game Summary - NY Jets at New England|
(Sunday, January 16th)
Final Score: NY Jets 28, New England 21
Foxboro, MA (Sports Network) - The Jets defense backed up its boisterous talk
Sunday by silencing the league's best offense, and Mark Sanchez threw for
three touchdowns to carry New York to its second straight AFC Championship
Game with a 28-21 upset of the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
The Jets sacked Tom Brady five times, forced the All-Pro quarterback into his
first interception since Week 6 and held the Patriots 11 points below their
season average, stunning their AFC East rivals a mere 41 days after getting
embarrassed, 45-3, on the same field.
Sanchez was an efficient 16-of-25 passing for 194 yards and tossed TDs to
Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes and LaDainian Tomlinson.
Jerricho Cotchery chipped in with 96 yards on five receptions for the sixth-
seeded Jets, none bigger than a 58-yard catch-and-run that set up a critical
fourth-quarter touchdown after New England cut its deficit to three.
The Jets, winners of four road playoff games the past two seasons, next head
to Pittsburgh for a right to play in the Super Bowl. New York has already won
at Heinz Field this season, beating the Steelers, 22-17, in Week 15.
The Patriots have not lost in Brady's last 27 regular season home starts, but
have dropped consecutive playoffs games at Gillette Stadium. The Ravens rolled
to a 33-14 win against New England in last year's Wild Card round.
Brady ended 29-of-45 for 299 yards and two touchdowns, including one to Deion
Branch with 24 seconds remaining.
However, the Jets recovered their second onside kick of the final two minutes
to seal the surprising decision.
"Bottom line is we didn't play well enough," deadpanned Patriots head coach
Bill Belichick. "We had some chances that we weren't able to take advantage
The Patriots trailed 14-3 in the third quarter and were on their heels when
Shonn Greene gained their 42-yard line with a 20-yard run.
The hosts forced a punt, though, and Brady guided them on an eight-play, 80-
yard march that ended in Alge Crumpler's two-yard TD grab with 13 seconds left
in the frame. They went for two and converted, as Sammy Morris took a direct
snap and dove over the goal line to make it a three-point game.
Undeterred, the Jets answered immediately, in no small part to the efforts of
Cotchery, who took a short pass over the middle, made his way up the right
sideline, leapt over a defender and went 58 yards to the New England 13.
Three plays later, from the seven, Sanchez threw a fade route to Holmes in the
left corner of the end zone, and the Super Bowl XLIII MVP made a spectacular
diving grab while getting his right knee inbounds for the score.
A run-heavy drive chewed up eight minutes on the ensuing Patriots possession.
They reached the Jets' 31 with seven minutes left, but the Jets stuffed Danny
Woodhead at the line of scrimmage, sacked Brady on second down and caused two
incompletions, the last a throw that went behind Branch and resulted in a
turnover on downs with 5:15 to go.
New York played conservatively with three straight runs and punted away with 3
1/2 minutes remaining. Brady made three straight completions to gain the Jets'
18, but netted just one yard the next three plays, bringing out Shayne Graham
for a 35-yard field goal just past the two-minute warning.
The onside kick scooted away from the receiving team, and as the ball rolled
around, Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie scooped it up near midfield and
returned it to the New England 25. Two play later, Greene went in for the
game-winning score, a 16-yard gallop that ended with Rex Ryan celebrating with
his team in the end zone.
"I knew if we applied ourselves and played the way we were capable of playing
we could beat them, and that's exactly what happened," said Ryan, who
proclaimed earlier in the week this was the second biggest game in franchise
history behind Super Bowl III. "Same old Jets, going to the AFC Championship
Game two years in a row. The only difference is we plan on winning this one."
Last year, the Jets lost to Indianapolis in the AFC title game, 30-17.
Jets linebacker David Harris picked off Brady's fifth pass of the game and
returned it 58 yards to the New England 12-yard line, getting chased down from
behind by Crumpler.
The Jets failed to capitalize as Nick Folk, who booted a 32-yard field goal as
time expired to beat the Colts last week, was narrowly wide-left on a 30-yard
try to keep it scoreless.
It was the first interception for Brady in an NFL-record 340 pass attempts,
but the All-Pro quarterback brought the hosts right back down the field. He
hit Crumpler for a 28-yard pickup to gain the Jets' 12, but after the veteran
tight end dropped a sure touchdown a little later, the Patriots settled for a
34-yard field goal by Graham.
The Jets got on the scoreboard 4:36 into the second. Sanchez bought time with
his legs and hit Edwards for a 37-yard gain to move into the red zone, then
found Tomlinson in the left flat for a seven-yard touchdown.
New England had one first down in four possessions during the second quarter,
and opted for a fake punt with just over a minute left in the half. On 4th-
and-4 from their own 38, upback Pat Chung dropped the direct snap and was
tackled for no gain.
The Jets took advantage of the short field and went into the break ahead 14-3
after Edwards caught a short slant and carried a pair of defensive backs --
Brandon Meriweather and Devin McCourty -- into the end zone for a 15-yard TD.
The sixth seed has prevailed over the top seed in six of the last seven
instances in the playoffs, including the Packers upending the Falcons in
Atlanta in the NFC Divisional round on Saturday....The Jets were playing
without right tackle Damien Woody (Achilles) and wide receiver/punt returner
Brad Smith (groin), both of whom were injured in last week's win over
Indianapolis...New England wide receiver Wes Welker sat out the Patriots'
first offensive series. He ended with seven catches for 57 yards...Greene
gained 76 yards on 17 carries, while Woodhead, who was released by the Jets
earlier this season, led the Patriots with 46 yards on 14 totes....The Jets
set a franchise-record with eight road victories in a single season (including
postseason). The previous high was seven set in 2009..Brady is 4-5 in his last
nine playoff games after winning his first 10. He is currently tied with Terry
Bradshaw for the fifth most playoff touchdown passes with 30.
01/17 00:24:59 ET