After a humbling defeat at home to division rival New England in prime time on Sunday, the Jets have…
Jets Lament Mistakes vs Patriots
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)
Life at the top is too heady for the New York Jets right now.
Plagued by errors on offense, defense and special teams, the Jets were routed by New England 37-16 Sunday night. While the Patriots took command of the AFC East, the Jets not only fell one game behind in the standings, they fell so flat on the field that they were thoroughly outclassed.
''It hurts bad,'' star cornerback Darrelle Revis said. ''We knew what position we could have been in if we won. We wanted this very bad.''
But they played so badly, especially in the second half, that they had little chance of slowing Tom Brady and the team that has dominated the division for a decade.
''We made too many mistakes and it cost us,'' Revis added. ''You can't do that against an offense and against No. 12 (Brady).
Brady threw three touchdown passes, including two to Rob Gronkowski, and the Patriots moved to 6-3. They also have swept the Jets (5-4), who are tied for second place with Buffalo.
While New England pulled away in the second half, the game turned late in the second quarter. Mark Sanchez took a timeout at the wrong time - coach Rex Ryan took responsibility for it, but Sanchez admitted it was his goof. The Jets didn't take advantage of kicking off from the 50-yard line after going ahead 9-6. And they couldn't get any pressure on Brady, who picked them apart on a quick 80-yard drive.
All part of a bad night for New York, which had won three in a row.
Ryan was so angry, he told NBC at halftime that the timeout was the ''stupidest play in NFL history.''
''They (the coaches) were talking about taking a timeout and as soon as I heard it, I walked over to the ref. As soon as I did it, I saw Rex when I was walking off ... It was a horrible mistake and one you can't make,'' Sanchez said.
There also was a muffed punt by Joe McKnight that two other Jets also mishandled before the Patriots recovered, leading to a field goal. And two interceptions by linebacker Rob Ninkovich. And a team-record 4 1-2 sacks by Andre Carter.
''We had some big mistakes that you just can't overcome,'' said Plaxico Burress, who caught a TD pass from Sanchez. ''We kept putting our defense in tough situations against a quarterback like that.''
That quarterback and his coach set an NFL mark with their 117th victory, breaking a tie with Miami's Dan Marino and Don Shula as the winningest duo since 1966.
After the Jets got within a score at 23-16 early in the fourth quarter, Brady coolly led the Patriots down the field on an 84-yard drive that was capped by an 8-yard touchdown catch by Deion Branch.
Ninkovich then sealed the victory - which snapped a two-game skid - on the Jets' next possession with a 12-yard interception return for a touchdown midway through the final quarter.
It was also the first home loss for the Jets (5-4) after opening 4-0, but they can't dwell on it because they play again at Denver on Thursday night.
Ryan insisted his team was greatly improved since a 30-21 loss at New England on Oct. 9 and declared it a must-win if New York wanted to get some home playoff games. Turns out, the Jets still have plenty of work to do if they expect to dethrone the Patriots.
New England was coming off losses to Pittsburgh and the Giants, but said there was no concern in its locker room. It certainly showed as the Patriots avoided their first three-game losing streak since 2002.
Brady finished 26 of 39 for 329 yards, the 40th time he reached the 300-yard mark in a regular-season game, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Joe Montana for eighth on the NFL's list. He also joined New Orleans' Drew Brees as the only players to throw for 3,000 yards in their team's first nine games. Brees also accomplished the feat this season.
Gronkowski finished with eight catches for 113 yards and the two scores, and Stephen Gostkowski kicked three field goals. Carter had all those sacks as the Patriots' defense, ranked last in the league coming in, harassed Sanchez all night.
Sanchez was 20 of 39 for 306 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted twice and sacked five times.
The Jets appeared to get back in it when Burress caught a 7-yard fade pass over Antwaun Molden in the right corner of the end zone on the first play of the fourth quarter, making it 23-16.
But Brady led the Patriots on a typically efficient drive, going 84 yards on 13 plays using a no-huddle offense that kept the Jets' defense off balance. Brady coolly spread the ball around to his receivers before connecting with Branch with 8:04 remaining.
''We got caught,'' Jets safety Jim Leonhard said. ''We do a lot of things where we're trying to match personnel, and every once in a while they get in that hurry-up and it catches us.''
The score sent many in the crowd at MetLife Stadium heading for the exits.
Earlier, Gronkowski appeared to catch his second TD pass of the night, but video replay showed he stepped out of bounds. Gostkowski then booted his third field goal, from 27 yards.
But Gronkowski got into the end zone again a few minutes later after Ninkovich returned a twice-tipped interception as Sanchez's throw went off the hands of running back Shonn Greene, then was deflected by linebacker Jerod Mayo.
The Jets got on the scoreboard when they got some rare pressure on Brady. Jamaal Westerman got to him in the end zone, and Brady threw the ball away left-handed. He was called for intentional grounding and a safety.
New York took the free kick and moved 65 yards on seven plays, including a 21-yard run by LaDainian Tomlinson and a 22-yard grab by Patrick Turner, his first catch of the season. Sanchez ran in from the 2 on a quarterback draw for a 9-6 lead.
Adding to the frustration was New York not opting to try a pooch kickoff following a 15-yard penalty on New England's Vince Wilfork, and Nick Folk kicked the ball through the end zone. Brady hit five passes on an 80-yard drive, with Gronkowski getting open over the middle for the 18-yard score with 9 seconds left in the half that made it 13-9.
Folk was wide left on a 24-yard field goal attempt at the end of New York's opening drive.
New England took advantage, taking a 3-0 lead on Gostkowski's 50-yard field goal that squeezed over the crossbar.
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