Ryan Beats Belichick in a Battle of the Coaches

January 17, 2011 | Michael Schwartz

The loud mouth, trash talking Jets went against the soft spoken, quiet Patriots. Rex Ryan was talking trash all week, and this is not new for the Jets but it puts a lot of pressure on them. Bill Belichick doesn’t get into Rex Ryan’s trash talking game, but one of his players did and that was Wes Welker. Belichick has a rule about trash talk, and Welker broke the rule so he sat one possession. Rex Ryan’s players all talked about how their defense was going to shut down Brady, and the main culprit was Antonio Cromartie. He had some very interesting words to Tom Brady and many thought that during the game Brady would make him pay. Rex Ryan doesn’t mind that his team does this and that is because he wants them to be as arrogant as he is. When he was a coordinator he couldn’t do this, but since he’s a coach now he can do whatever he wants. In the past Ryan’s team has backed up his talk but this was a whole new challenge since they lost by 42 points the last time they played the Patriots. That is why there was so much pressure on the Jets.

The Jets backed up their talk by playing great defense. The defense never let Brady get comfortable and that is key if you want to beat the Patriots. The Jets were getting pressure with three man rushes, and that is pretty amazing since it’s five on three and the three wins. Brady is usually great at throwing the ball away and not taking a sack, but the Jets sacked him five times. Shaun Ellis had two sacks on the three man rush. The Jets are very good at getting to the quarterback but this was a whole different story, they got to him without blitzing often. Rex Ryan is known for his exotic blitzes but he only blitzed 12% of the time in this game. It worked and they also made Tom Brady throw his first interception since Week 6. He set the record for longest consecutive passes without an interception, but the Jets didn’t get that memo. They intercepted Brady while the Patriots were driving in the first quarter. The Pats offense was not their normal explosive self, they only scored 21 points. They also were great in coverage, on one play Brady extended the play for over eight seconds, but the Jets were in such great coverage that it was incomplete. Usually Brady would have thrown a touchdown or a long pass because it’s a broken play.

The Jets offense played one of their best games of the season. They scored 28 points and they were running well and passing well. Mark Sanchez threw for 194 yards and 3 touchdowns. This is his career high for the postseason, and ties the franchise record. The Jets were able to run the ball for 120 yards against a good Patriots run defense. They were able to contain Vince Wilfork and that’s why they had so much success. They knew how to beat the Patriots defense and they did.

Bart Scott was very upset that the Patriots defense was getting talked about all week when they aren’t in the top 5 in the NFL. The Jets are number 3 so Scott was upset that their defense wasn’t being talked about as being a team that could stop Tom Brady. After the game when Sal Paolantonio interviewed Scott, he was yelling and then he said how their defense is much better than the Pats and it deserved to be talked about. He said he is ready for next week, and if they play defense how they played Brady then they have a chance to make it to the Super Bowl.

The Jets will need to stop their celebrating at beating their division rivals and focus on the Steelers. They beat the Steelers during the regular season 22-17, but Troy Polamalu didn’t play in that game. With Polamalu the Steelers defense is much better, they allow less points and yards per game. Mark Sanchez will need to find Polamalu before every play or else he will make big plays in big situations. The Jets defense will need to get pressure on Roethlisberger and bring him down, since he is so big that is a challenge but if there is one team that can do it it’s the Jets.