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Jets 34, Patriots 31 (OT) – The Verdict

Okay so it took a week to publish this, it won’t happen again! I have to say I nearly turned this one off when it was 24-6 and the Jets took over on downs late in the second quarter. You have to love the comeback by the Pats led by Matt Cassel and the final drive was something magical. When Moss made the catch I didn’t even celebrate all that much because I truly didn’t believe that it had just happened. Should they have gone for two? I would have liked to see it happen, but I don’t blame Belichick for kicking the extra point either. Anyways, here are the answers to my pregame questions:

  1. Which quarterback do you trust more? The answer – right now – is Brett Favre. I think most New England fans watching the game kept waiting for Favre to make that one big game-changing mistake. For once, it didn’t come and that’s why the Jets ended up winning the game. Favre was excellent (26-33, 258 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs), which is quite a compliment coming from this Favre-hater. If he played like this almost every week, he’d be nearly unstoppable. Cassel also had quite a game with 400 yards passing, three TDs and 0 INTs and, of course, had the epic drive at the end of the game (one note on that drive, I can’t imagine how mad I’d be as a Jets fan to let the Pats dink and dunk down the field on that drive, inexplicable why they didn’t press to force Cassel throw the long ball). Cassel made a lot believers out of Pats fans last night and probably a lot of dollars in the free agent market, but for this game Favre was still the more reliable from start to finish.
  2. Who steps in for Adalius Thomas? REMEMBER THE NAME: Jerod Mayo. Kid was ridiculous last Thursday night, totaling 20 tackles, 16 of which were solo. He was all over the place and showed the speed and strength of a top 10 pick. More specifically at the outside linebacker position Thomas leaves open, Pierre Woods had 11 tackles and a sack which the Pats will take every game. Overall the linebackers played a pretty good game save for the inexplicable blown coverage in overtime. On a third and 15 for the Jets deep in their own territory, Vrabel blitzed off the edge and there was no one in the middle to cover Dustin Keller as the rookie tight end gained 16 yards and a killer first down. Keller finished with eight catches for 87 yards and just killed the Pats over the middle. It’s unclear who was supposed to cover Keller on that play but it was definitely a game changer in overtime.
  3. What kind of impact will Ty Law have? Law played very well on the outside against Randy Moss as he jammed the All-Pro wide receiver all night. It just goes to show you what kind of freak talent the former Patriot has, coming off the street and just days later holding Randy Moss to just three catches for 26 yards. What makes no sense whatsoever – and I’m talking to you Jets fans – is Law sagging off Moss on the final play of regulation. NFL Network color commentator Cris Collinsworth commented immediately that Law backed off Moss and let him get a free release. I’m not sure if it was Magini’s call or not but it sure was stupid.

Final Thoughts

You have to love the efforts from Cassel and Mayo. The problem in the game was the defense was simply run over in the first half and if not for a late TD before the end of the first half this game would have been over at the break. The Pats allowed far too many third down conversions (Jets were 9-16) which led to a big advantage in time of possession for the Mean Green. Patriots special teams were pathetic, allowing Leon Washington to return a kickoff for a touchdown. Without a high scoring offense week in, week out, the Patriots need to win the special teams battles. Again, it was a strong comeback but in the end it’s an L in the loss column. The defeat makes this weekend’s game against the Dolphins that more important.

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