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The television broadcast of the Jets-Patriots game Sunday drew CBS Sports highest rating in 12 years, a 16.7.
CBS’ 16.7 rating includes companion broadcasts of the Houston-Washington and Jacksonville-San Diego games, but most of the country saw Patriots-Jets during that window.
Overall, CBS is drawing a 13.0 ratings for all of its broadcasts through two weeks, which is up 12% from last year.
The NFL set a 19-year high in viewership last season with an average of 16.6 million viewers per game and the Saints’ win in Super Bowl XLIV was the most-watched TV show of all time.
Gee, people love the NFL. Oh, and Rex Ryan’s mouth is good for ratings. Never would have guessed.
There was panic in New York last week after the loss in the opener to the Ravens. The Jets looked lousy. This week we saw what happens when everything is working. The result was dominating a team that dominated a division winner itself a week ago. The Jets are 1-1, and the AFC East looks like it will be a season long street fight.
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) – Mark Sanchez threw a career-high three touchdowns, and the New York Jets blanked the New England Patriots in the second half to come away with a 28-14 victory in a matchup of bitter AFC East rivals.
Sanchez threw for 220 yards on 21-of-30 efficiency and found Dustin Keller seven times for 115 yards and a score. Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery also hauled in a TD pass for the Jets (1-1), who scored 21 unanswered points to end the game.
“We didn’t pay much attention to any of the criticism,” Sanchez said of his team bouncing back from a season-opening loss to the Ravens. “This team has some great leaders and a lot of experience to lean on. I think it really showed today because we worked so hard all week. We knew that last week we lost a game to a good football team because they played hard and we had too many mistakes. You can’t win like that. We cleaned up a lot of them, but there are still more to clean up.”
Tom Brady ended with 248 yards on 20-of-36 throws but turned the ball over three times in the final 30 minutes with two interceptions and a lost fumble for New England (1-1), which was coming off a 38-24 win over Cincinnati.
“We didn’t do so well on defense,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “Twenty-eight points is not going to win many games in this league. Scoring 14 (points) and turning the ball over three times isn’t going (to win games) either. We just didn’t make enough plays this game.”
Randy Moss, who was referred to as a “slouch” by Darrelle Revis after a pair of subpar performances against the All-Pro cornerback last year, hauled in a remarkable one-handed catch in the end zone to give the Patriots a 14-7 lead late in the second quarter. Revis was defending Moss on the play and pulled up as the receiver blew by him, citing a hamstring injury as he exited the game for good.
The 34-yard TD, which was the 150th of Moss’ illustrious career, came with 53 seconds left in the half, enough time for the Jets to get in field goal range for Nick Folk, who booted a 49-yarder just as the gun sounded.
The Jets continued the momentum swing when Antonio Cromartie intercepted a long pass intended for Moss at New York’s own three-yard line early in the third quarter. Keller’s 39-yard reception and runs of 14 and 11 yards by LaDainian Tomlinson set up Folk’s 36-yard field goal with under five minutes to go in the frame, cutting New York’s deficit to 14-13.
“We just came together at halftime,” Cromartie said. “We found out that he (Revis) wasn’t going in the second half and we just wanted to come out and communicate and play the way we’re capable of playing. We had to step up (and say), ’He’s been out (before).’ Let’s get our secondary set up.”
New England followed with its second three-and-out, and the Jets ate up huge chunks of yardage on the ensuing 70-yard drive. Tomlinson highlighted it by shedding a tackle at the line of scrimmage and running up the right sideline for 31 yards down to the New England four. After a gain of two, Sanchez connected with an open Cotchery in the back of the end zone.
Edwards came down with a two-point toss after the touchdown for a 21-14 cushion heading to the fourth.
The Jets failed to capitalize on Brodney Pool’s acrobatic interception along the sideline near midfield on the first play of the final stanza, but after another quick New England punt, the Jets used a pair of defensive pass interference penalties to get inside the opposing 10-yard line.
Shonn Greene rushed twice to the one, and Sanchez, off his back foot, was able to find Keller for a pivotal TD with 6:09 remaining in the contest.
Jason Taylor then thwarted a promising Patriots drive by sacking Brady and forcing a fumble at the New York 25. David Harris recovered the loose ball with just over four minutes remaining, and the Jets ran out the clock to seal the victory, the team’s second over their division foe in their last 10 home games.
New England burned 7 1/2 minutes off the clock on its first possession but failed to get any points. Stephen Gostkowski lined up for a 32-yard field goal, but an illegal formation pushed it back five yards and the kicker was wide left.
After a Jets punt, another lengthy march was aided by a personal foul penalty after an incomplete pass on third down. On 2nd-and-goal from the Jets’ six — the 15th play of the drive — Brady hit Wes Welker on an out route and the receiver was able to reach the ball over the goal line early in the second.
The hosts answered with their own seven-minute drive, converting three third downs, including a jump ball that Edwards pulled down in the left corner of the end zone on 3rd-and-3 from the 10 with just over six minutes left before halftime.
These teams split last year’s series…Moss has 149 receiving touchdowns and another on a punt return, joining Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith and Tomlinson as the only players with 150 career TDs…Tomlinson logged 76 yards on 11 carries, while Greene gained 52 on 15…Aaron Hernandez had a team-high 101 yards on six catches for New England…Moss and Welker each had 38 receiving yards.
Star cornerback Darrelle Revis has been listed as probably for Sunday’s game against New England with a hamstring injury, but coach Rex Ryan said Friday Revis will definitely play.
The Jets are listing safety Brodney Pool as questionable with an ankle injury.
The last thing the New York Jets need heading into a Sunday matchup with AFC East rival New England is Darrelle Revis at less than 100 percent. That, however, might be the case.
Revis missed part of Thursday’s practice with a tight hamstring.
[Rex] Ryan said Thursday that he’s ‘’not overly concerned’’ about the injury, but wants to ‘’err on the side of caution’’ with his star player. Revis is expected to cover Randy Moss on Sunday, a role he successfully filled last season.
Ryan says the team’s defensive strategy could be affected if Revis is not 100 percent, so he wants to be safe.
New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer tried to take some heat off quarterback Mark Sanchez Thursday. By turning it on himself.
"I’d like to have a couple plays back, as a play-caller,'' Schottenheimer said today in the weekly coordinator media briefing. "I had a hard time getting into a rhythm. I really did. You’ve got to convert on third downs to sustain drives... We broke down in different ways, whether it was a drop, a penalty – three different times we came up a yard short – it was frustrating.''
The Jets gained just 176 yards in total offense and Sanchez was just 10-of-21 for a meager 74 yards. But Schottenheimer said his unwillingness to throw downfield more was not because he lacks trust in the second-year quarterback.
"I think Mark’s matured enough to where he knows when a guy’s open now, and when he’s not,'' Schottenheimer said. "I’ll be honest – there were times last year… that I was concerned to call shots with Mark, because I just had no idea where the ball was going to go. A shot called was a shot taken. He was going to throw it. I had to come in and talk about some of those on Fridays.
"But he’s matured – he knows when to take the shot and when not to. What we need to do is we need to continue to tie up our protections, tie up some of the play action, run action, some of the things we’re going to do. I know we have to get Braylon Edwards involved, but in order to get into a rhythm, you’ve got to sustain the ball. You can’t have the ball for 22 minutes.''
OK, Brian. Now try proving you trust your quarterback by actually giving him a chance to make some plays Sunday against New England.
(Sports Network) – OK, it could have been a lot worse.
Instead of simply losing the opening game of a regular season that followed an unprecedentedly noisy summer, the New York Jets could have walked away from that loss in tatters.
They could have found out 24 hours later that mammoth nose tackle Kris Jenkins, who missed two-thirds of last season with a blown-out knee, had re- injured the very same part early in last Monday’s game with the Baltimore Ravens and would be lost for yet another season — possibly the last of a snake-bitten career.
And on top of the 10-9 defeat to the Ravens and the personnel loss, the Jets could have spent the early part of this week fielding questions from the media and the NFL about a recent unsavory run-in with a female reporter along the practice-field sidelines and in the locker room.
As the coup de grace, all of this turmoil could be occurring as the lead-in to a suddenly season-defining home game this Sunday with their most prolific and motivated opponent, the New England Patriots.
If all that were true…whew, it’d be a tough time to be Jets head coach Rex Ryan. And the problem for the leader of a fatalist Gang Green Nation…it all is.
“There was no rhythm. There was nothing,” a crestfallen Ryan said in reference to the Week 1 debacle with Baltimore. "(Against) this team we’re going up against, obviously we’ve got to find a way, because (New England) is going to score and we have to be able to score.
“I think we have the ability. I don’t think theres any doubt. But we’ve got to find a way to convert on third down and keep drives alive. When you’re 1- of-11 on third down you’re not going to beat anybody. We’ve got to be better. If that’s dialing things back, whatever, we’ll search for an answer.
“We’re obviously not going to go undefeated this year, but our goals remain the same.”
Not exactly the Week 2 pre-Patriot blather a success-starved North Jersey fan base had anticipated.
As for the Patriots, their 2010 debut could have hardly gone better.
Faced with a similarly brash 2009 playoff qualifier many observers had dubbed a potential AFC powerhouse for this season, Tom Brady and company surged to a 28-point lead after 31 minutes en route to a convincing 38-24 home defeat of the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday.
The three-time Super Bowl champion passer was in mid-year form, completing 25 throws to seven receivers for 258 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions while outgunning a chronically-behind Carson Palmer, with the Cincinnati signal-caller forced to throw 50 times and getting picked off once for a touchdown.
“How can you not hear it? Of course we hear it,” he said of the Jets’ insistent summertime chatter. "We just go about our business a different way and a way that has worked for us. We typically don’t say much. And when we do, we get yelled at pretty good (by head coach Bill Belichick).
“That doesn’t seem that’s the program the Jets are on. That’s the way it is. What wins games is preparation and work and commitment and being on the same page with your teammates. That’s why you win games. I can really make all the predictions in the world, but I got to go out there and play. That’s what’s important to us.”
Aside from Jenkins, New York will be without linebacker Calvin Pace, who broke a foot in the preseason and is expected to return in Week 3 at the earliest. Additionally, safety Brodney Pool was limited in this week’s practices with an ankle injury and is listed as questionable for Sunday.
Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes, one of the team’s prized offseason acquisitions, is serving the second of a four-game season-opening suspension.
For New England, offensive tackle Nick Kaczur and cornerback Terrence Wheatley were held out of practice with back and foot injuries, respectively, and are questionable for Sunday. Also questionable are running back Fred Taylor (toe) and wide receiver Julian Edelman (foot), while Brady himself is listed probable with an apparent right shoulder concern.
“I have always said that I think (Belichick) the best coach in the league,” Ryan said, “Nut again, I’m here to beat him. It’s not about my skills against his skills. We’d lose that. It’s about his team and my team, and I have confidence in my team.”
The Jets hold a 50-48-1 edge in the all-time regular season series with the Patriots, including a conventional split of last year’s home-and-home. The Jets were 16-9 victors when the clubs met at the Meadowlands in Week 2 of last season, and the Pats returned the favor with a 31-14 rout at Gillette Stadium in Week 11. Prior to last year’s loss in North Jersey, the Patriots had an eight-game road winning streak against the Jets.
The teams have also met twice in the postseason, including a 26-14 road victory for New England in a 1985 AFC First-Round Playoff and a 37-16 triumph for the Pats in a 2006 opening-round tilt.
Belichick has a career mark of 15-8 against the Jets, for whom he served as defensive coordinator from 1997 through 1999, including 14-7 while with New England. Ryan is 1-1 against both Belichick and the Pats as a head coach.
WHEN THE PATRIOTS HAVE THE BALL
Expect success — especially in New Jersey, where New England has won eight of the last nine games between the teams. Belichick, who was to coach the Jets before an impromptu resignation at an introductory press conference in 1999, is 8-2 with the Patriots on the road against New York. Brady is 7-1 in road games in the series and has completed 159-of-253 passes for 1,802 yards, 12 touchdowns and a 93.4 passer rating. Back in a primary role after the mid-week trade that sent Laurence Maroney to Denver, Taylor averaged 5.1 yards per carry on 14 rushes against Cincinnati. On the outside, Randy Moss is a touchdown away from becoming the fourth receiver in NFL history to reach 150, while slot man Wes Welker tries to echo the career-bests of 15 catches and 192 yards he posted in the teams’ most recent matchup last season. He scored twice against the Bengals last week, when tight end Rob Gronkowski scored his first career touchdown.
Statistically, the Jets fared well enough against the Ravens, allowing just two scores and 10 points in spite of a barrage of penalties. Situationally, however, they were consistently unsuccessful getting Baltimore off the field on third down and allowed 100-plus receiving yards to wideout Anquan Boldin in his AFC debut. Welker has presented similar problems in past meetings, as his 15-catch, 192-yard effort last season demonstrates. On the positive side, the Jets did force three turnovers (two fumbles and an interception) against the Ravens. Tackle Sione Pouha recovered both fumbles and will see more rotation time with Jenkins on the shelf. Linebacker Bryan Thomas had 1.5 sacks in the opener, while veteran newcomer Jason Taylor has a career-best 12 sacks against the Patriots. In the backfield, former San Diego corner Antonio Cromartie had an interception in his initial game with New York on Monday, and former holdout Darrelle Revis had an interception in last year’s home victory over the Patriots.
WHEN THE JETS HAVE THE BALL
Expect, well…who knows? Sanchez used a Week 2 defeat of the Patriots last season as a “Welcome to the NFL” statement by completing 14-of-22 passes for 163 yards, a touchdown and a 101.1 passer rating in a 14-9 win, but would up with 12 touchdowns and 20 interceptions on the season. His reviews after the Ravens game were universally bad after one New York converted just 1-of-11 third-down chances and produced an overall offensive output of just 176 yards. Similarly panned was running back Shonn Greene, who fumbled twice in his initial turn as the feature back after Thomas Jones’ offseason departure to Kansas City. In his brief career, Greene has averaged five yards per carry against AFC foes (85 carries, 428 yards). Resurgent veteran LaDainian Tomlinson may have played his way into more time after racking up 62 yards on 11 carries against Baltimore. He’s averaged 108.4 yards per game for his career against New England. Among the receivers, Braylon Edwards has a 17.1 yards-per-catch career average against the Patriots.
The non-Brady side of things for New England isn’t quite as glittery. Though they played with the lead all game, the Patriots were gashed for 428 yards by the Bengals and allowed a 12-catch, 159-yard output from wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. Opportunism saved the defensive day, however, as the Patriots mustered a pair of takeaways, including a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown by linebacker Gary Guyton that extended the team’s advantage before halftime. Linebacker Tully Banta-Cain and tackle Myron Pryor shared the Patriots’ only sack of Palmer, though Banta-Cain had a pair of sacks in his last meeting with the Jets. Safety Pat Chung and linebacker Jerod Mayo were the tackling leaders for the opening week, recording 16 (12 solo) and 12 (8 solo) stops, respectively. Palmer saw six of his 50 pass attempts deflected as well in addition to the one pick.
Brady is a fantasy must-start even if none of his targets are remarkably prolific, because he’ll spread the ball around enough to post good numbers. Welker also gets a nod this week for his matchup with the suddenly less- imposing non-Revis element of the Jets’ coverage team. Look for kicker Stephen Gostkowski to get his points as well. For New York, Greene will probably get a chance to reassert himself against a sometimes balky New England run defense. And the Jets defense is a must-start most weeks, especially after forcing three turnovers in the otherwise-forgettable Baltimore outing.
It’s Week 2 and far too early for ship-jumping, yet it’s not surprising that this game is already being framed as a serious test for the dizzied Jets. Two consecutive losses at home to start the schedule would be bad enough, but the combined mental blow it would deal to a team primed for far better things might be more impactful — and more important to avoid. Expect Ryan to dig into an “everyone’s turned against us” bag of motivational tricks to summon a turnaround against his teams signature foe.
New York Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards wants to see Joe Namath criticize him face-to-face.
Responding to Namath saying Edwards “can’t catch the ball … or rarely does. He has as many drops as he does catches,” Edwards said, "That’s his mouth, his words. I really don’t think Mr. Namath knows me. I’m sure he’s never followed me. He’s a Jet guy, and I was in Cleveland for five years, and I had one bad season.
“I’m not going to get into a back-and-forth with Mr. Namath,” he said. “Too much respect. All I can say is, I don’t think he really knows me. Tell him next time he’s here, stop by my locker and he can tell me that.”
Former New England linebacker Tedi Bruschi, now an ESPN analyst, joined the chorus of Mark Sanchez critics Thursday. Bruschi said Sanchez “tanks it” when things go bad.
“I’ve got a big concern with the New York Jets, and that’s the quarterback, and that’s a huge concern,” Bruschi said. "As you saw in the offseason, all the confidence that Rex Ryan has, it exudes to his team.
“But when Sanchez gets going and things are going well, I think he’s a great quarterback. His attitude is infectious. He’s a leader of that team. But when things go bad I think he tanks it. Right now I see Mark Sanchez as a front-runner, and that’s not something that you want at that quarterback position.
“A quarterback should have to lead his team when you’re down one point with two minutes left to go on Monday night. You should have that sort of aura about yourself that wants to lead your team down the field.”
Maybe part of that is leftover dislike of the Jets from Bruschi’s playing days, but that’s pretty strong criticism. It’s pretty much akin to saying the quarterback just quits on his team, which is about the worst thing you can say about any player.
There are not a whole lot of wide receivers who would actually look forward to playing against Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis. By now, though, we should know that New England’s Randy Moss is not like most wide receivers.
Moss has extra motivation for Sunday since Revis referred to him as a “slouch” during the offseason.
“Words don’t really hurt me. I guess he’s entitled to say what he wants to say,” Moss said. "Then again, we’re coming to the Meadowlands on Sunday, man, so you got 60 minutes of this ‘slouch.’ I don’t really get into the trash talking, but if what he called me was a ‘slouch,’ then I guess the ‘slouch’ will be there to see you on Sunday.
“There was a lot of talk last year — and I’m not taking anything from him, he did some good things to be the shutdown corner that he is — I’m not here to say that I prided my offseason on Revis,” Moss said. “But like I said, I take pride in what I do. What he did last year, was something that, he opened my eyes up as a wide receiver. That there’s a cornerback out here where I have to be on my A-game. I prided my offseason on staying off Revis Island.”
A motivated Moss is still as good as any receiver in the game. Just another reason why Jets-Patriots is must-see TV on Sunday.
"I'm a very confident player, and like I said, I've covered this guy before," Revis said. "We've seen each other in the past. I just need to focus on my game plan and do what I do best."
He did, however, offer up a couple of comments about the Jets.
"I don't really care what they do to tell you the truth. I'm concerned with what we do. That's been our M.O. for a lot of years. I think it was successful for us. Jets are going to do what they're going to do and we're going to do what we're going to do. The reality is none of it really matters. What matters is how we go out and play this weekend," Brady said. "It's an intense rivalry. There are not many New Yorkers that like people from Boston and vice versa. When I got here, it was always Yankees/Red Sox. There's just something between New York and Boston. The teams have been very competitive. It's been a great rivalry."
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