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Monday, September 20, 2010

Jets repeat as Week 2 Super Bowl champions

There is no sport that clings to cliches like football, perhaps because so many of its players, coaches and announcers have suffered so many head injuries but I digress.

One of my current favorites that I truly believe is that the team with more urgency usually wins. Therefore yesterday's 28-14 by the Jets over the Patriots at the New Meadowlands was not a surprise at all.

New York (1-1) could simply not fall to 0-2 (when the Patriots and Dolphins would be 2-0) and New England (1-1) played over their heads in their Week 1 laugher vs. the Bengals.

The biggest surprise was how much Mark Sanchez (220 yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions) badly outplayed Tom Brady (248 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions). This wasn't a passing of the torch (there I go) but it was a sign that Sanchez isn't as hopeless as Hard Knocks and Week 1 vs. the Ravens made us believe.

The two hallmarks of the forgettable 2009 Patriots were that they were awful on the road (2-6; one of those in London) and they couldn't protect leads in the second half, forcing them to crumble.

Here we go again. True to form, the Pats started out on fire in the first quarter and went up 7-0 on a six-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Wes Welker (6 catches, 38 yards).

New England controlled the ball for the first half but couldn't go up further when Stephen Gostkowski missed a 37-yard field goal (he's 1 for 4 this season).

Braylon Edwards (5 catches, 45 yards) tied it up with a 10-yard touchdown grab from Sanchez.

Randy Moss (2 catches, 38 yards) helped New England go up 14-7 with an amazing 34-yard one-handed touchdown catch. It was the 150th catch of his NFL career, the fourth skill position player to reach that mark but it became a footnote when he was held without a catch in the second half.

That was shocking since Darrelle Revis went down with a hamstring injury on Moss' touchdown. Antonio Cromartie (4 tackles, interception) did a great job against Moss in the second half.

Nick Folk hit a 49-yard kick to end the first half and give the Jets a manageable 14-10 deficit.

From there, it was all Jets all the time. They outscored New England 18-0 in the second half as the Patriots were left to one play (throwing it deep to Moss) which never worked.

Folk added a 36-yard field goal, cutting it to 14-13 in the third quarter then Jerricho Cotchery put the Jets ahead for good with a two-yard touchdown catch. Edwards' two-point conversion catch put New York up 21-14 heading into the fourth quarter.

Dustin Keller (7 catches, 115 yards) capped the win with a 1-yard touchdown catch.

Trading Laurence Maroney was fine with me but I assumed that the Pats running game wouldn't be so pathetic (52 yards).

Rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez had a great game, catching six passes for 101 yards.

Too often, New England's young corners (Darius Butler and Devin McCourty) were beaten downfield against the Jets' bigger receivers.

Tully Banta-Cain had eight solo tackles and a sack and rookie Brandon Spikes added nine tackles (five solo). Gerard Warren had two sacks in the loss.

I'm sure the Patriots will beat up on the hopeless Buffalo Bills (0-2) next Sunday afternoon at Gillette and everything will be right in the world but there has to be some progress if they ever hope to beat any good teams and/or win on the road.


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