New York Advances To Second Straight AFC Title Game With 28-21 Victory

-- Complete coverage of the Jets quest to shock the world --An Offensive Game Plan For The Jets --A Defensive Game Plan For The Jets -- Five ways for the Jets to upset the Patriots

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Bart Scott On Tom Brady: 'We Saw That Look In His Eyes'

New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott joined Boomer & Carton on WFAN this morning. Scott had some interesting things to say, both about New England quarterback Tom Brady and about the Pittsburgh Steelers, who the Jets face in the AFC Championship Game.

Sports Radio Interviews has the full transcript. Below are some exceprts.

When he knew Tom Brady was rattled:

“When he started throwing off his spot and doing uncharacteristic things like missing guys that were wide open and not putting the ball in place where his guys could catch it. This wasn’t the first time that we saw that look in his eyes. We saw that look in his eyes the first time we played him under the Rex Ryan regime. We just did it with all out blitzes and scheme and relentless pressure, but there’s more than one way to skin a cat. We understood that we could get what are called coverage sacks as well. This game we allowed them to use their pass rushing abilities because that was the game plan. These guys have been very unselfish in making sure they execute the game plan to make sure that we can be successful in the back as far as our DB’s getting sacks, linebackers getting sacks, things like that in taking two blockers up, but we turned those guys loose.”

On the maturation of Mark Sanchez:

“He’s maturing before our very eyes. Last year it was tough sledding for him and it would be tough sledding for anyone because we were only capable of winning one way, ground and pound. We didn’t have the guys that other teams would respect on the outside. Now with Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards, who has been a great vertical receiver, and Jerricho Cotchery being a tremendous route runner in the middle with Dustin Keller, now teams have to play us more balanced. Now we’ve get an opportunity to run and pass. We got an opportunity to play a close game where we didn’t let it get out of hand too early. Any defense can play when your defense is putting up 30 points per game. We knew if we could force those guys to play a tough game like we did in the first game that they would make the mistakes because at the end of the day we were the veteran playoff team, not them.”

How tough the matchup will be with the Steelers:

“If anybody knows this team, I know this team very well from my days in Baltimore. I know that they’re a tremendous franchise. Ben Roethlisberger unlike Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will take the bumps and take the hits, he’s a grown man in there and that’s why I respect him so much because he’s willing to look down the barrel of the gun and take it for his team. He will stand on that spot knowing that he’s going to get drilled and continue to take it. It’s going to take a complete effort and a complete game. The last time we faced them we didn’t play them with Troy Polamalu who makes a tremendous difference. The goal at the end of the day wasn’t to beat the Patriots. It was part of the process of the big picture, it was a step. We have another step to take to get to where we feel like we are capable of going and that’s the Super Bowl.”


Grading Out the Jets Win Over the Patriots

Quarterback (A) - Mark Sanchez turned in arguably his finest performance since becoming a starting quarterback in the NFL by out playing Tom Brady in his own building, to the tune of 16/25, 194 yards, and three TDs. The Sanchez discussion is over, the guy has four road playoff wins in his first two years in league and always rises to the occasion in a big spot. The Jets have their franchise quarterback.

Running Back (A) - The Jets made the right call by making Shonn Greene the lead horse with 17 carries and he responded with 76 yards and a touchdown. LaDainian Tomlinson looked good in his 10 carries for 43 yards and added a touchdown reception.

Wide Receivers (A) - The Flight Boys in the building! All three of the Jets receivers made their mark on this game. Braylon Edwards continued his terrific season and displayed his athleticism by carrying two Patriots defensive backs into the end-zone. Santonio Holmes showed his fancy footwork again on a beautiful touchdown reception. Jerricho Cotchery, the guy you nearly forgot about, led the way with 5 receptions for 96 yards including a momentum swinging 58 yard reception in the 4th quarter.

Tight Ends (B) - A quiet day from Dustin Keller but him and Ben Hartsock did the job in the running game.

Offensive Line (A) - Controlled the line of scrimmage for the second week in a row and kept Mark Sanchez clean all game. Wayne Hunter did an excellent job filling in for Damien Woody.

Defensive Line (A) - You can't really say enough about the effort put forth by Shaun Ellis who was a man possessed yesterday, with two sacks and 5 tackles. Sione Pouha added a sack and was strong in run support all day, as was Mike DeVito and Trevor Pryce.

Linebackers (A) - David Harris had a timely interception that stopped the early momentum New England was building and had 12 tackles. Calvin Pace had a monster sack of Brady late in the game that nearly ripped his shoulder out. The rest of linebackers deserve credit for the job they did in run support.

Secondary (A) - Just a terrific all around job by everybody, especially Eric Smith who played the game of his life with 10 tackles and a TFL. Drew Coleman was also all over the field with 4 tackles, a sack, and a pass defensed. Darrelle Revis did what he does and Antonio Cromartie played one of his better games of the year.

Special Teams (C) - You hate to see Nick Folk miss such an easy field goal and Steve Weatherford had an off day but they were alert on the fake punt and had a few nice returns.

Coaching (A++) - Brilliant game plan by Rex Ryan who was two steps ahead of Bill Belichick all game.


New York Jets 14, New England Patriots 3: LaDainian Tomlinson's TD Allows For Lead At Halftime

Former All-Pro running back LaDainian Tomlinson and wide receiver Braylon Edwards caught second-quarter touchdown passes from quarterback Mark Sanchez to help the New York Jets take a 14-3 lead at halftime of the AFC Divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.

Tomlinson scored on a seven-yard pass with 10:30 remaining in the quarter to help give the Jets a 7-3 lead. Edwards, who has 52-receiving yards on two catches, extended the advantage to 14-3 with a 15-yard TD reception that came with 39 seconds to go in the half.

Currently, Sanchez is 10-of-16 with 101 yards passing. Tomlinson has a team-best 38 rushing yards on seven carries. Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery has a team-best three catches for 31 yards.

The Patriots took an early 3-0 lead when kicker Shayne Graham nailed a 34-yard first-quarter field goal. The three points came after Jets' kicker Nick Folk missed a 30-yard field goal on an earlier possession by New York.

Also in the first quarter, Jets' linebacker David Harris intercepted New England quarterback Tom Brady. Harris caught the ball at the Jets' 30-yard line and ran down to the Patriots' 12. It was the first interception that Brady had thrown in 355 attempts. Three plays later, Folk missed the field goal to the left.

Brady is 10-of-17 for 99 passing yards.


NFL Playoff Schedule, Jets At Patriots: Brad Smith, Drew Coleman 'Game-Time Decisions'

Injured New York Jets Brad Smith and Drew Coleman are expected to be ‘game-time decisions’ for Sunday’s AFC divisional round playoff game against the New England Patriots.

Smith is the Jets primary kick returners and plays quarterback in the Wildcat package. Antonio Cromartie will return kickoffs if Smith is unable to. He suffered a groin injury last week against the Indianapolis Colts.

Coleman is the Jets nickel cornerback. He injured a knee during practice on Thursday, and reportedly did not practice on Friday. Rookie Kyle Wilson is next on the depth chart if Coleman is unable to play.

Coleman, Smith and safety James Ihedigbo (knee, ankle) are all listed as questionable for the Jets.

For New England, defensive end Myron Pryor (back) is listed as doubtful. Linebacker Tully Banta-Cain (groin), wide receiver Deion Branch (knee), defensive end Jermaine Cunningham (calf), tight end Aaron Hernandez (hip), defensive end Eric Moore (hamstring) and tackle Sebastian Vollmer (shin) are all listed as questionable.


Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum Defends Rex Ryan, Antonio Cromartie

Maybe Reggie Jackson has a problem with Rex Ryan and Antonio Cromartie running their mouths. Maybe everyone who does not root for the New York Jets does.

That doesn’t mean Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum is bothered by all the talk. Tannenbaum was on ESPN Radio in New York with Boomer & Carton earlier this week to talk about the Jets upcoming divisional round playoff game with New England. Sports Radio Interviews has the transcript, and we have some of the excerpts for you.

On Antonio Cromartie’s pointed words about Tom Brady:

"Sure, I know a lot’s been made of it. But from a big picture standpoint I’m really glad that Antonio’s here, he’s been good for us, he cares deeply. You know, one story that hasn’t been out was in the middle of last week guys, Cromartie goes into Coach Westhoff’s office and says ‘hey look, whatever you need, I’m here to win a Super Bowl. If the long snapper goes down, if you need me to return a kick, I’m here.’ And Brad Smith gets tweaked during the game, Antonio comes in and probably makes the biggest play of the game getting us out to midfield with 52 seconds to go. What he said, maybe that’s not my style or your style, but he spoke from the heart and that’s truly how he feels. And Rex always tells his guys you’re accountable for what you say, and say what you feel. So again, maybe that’s not how I would have said it, but he respects Tom Brady, and what he said is how he felt about him personally."

On Rex Ryan seemingly having personal issues with everybody in the NFL:

"Well first of all, you should hear what he calls me behind closed doors [laughing]. Rex is Rex. He’s very genuine, and he believes what he says. He feels like going back six weeks ago Belichick outcoached him, and it’s up to him to give us a better plan. He’s very transparent and he’s very sincere, and I think that’s why players and coaches want to play for him. He has their back, he speaks the truth in how he sees thing, and he’s not going to be beholden to coach speak. That’s just who he’s been, and we’ve just got to go by the results. Last year we made it to the final four, right now we’re in the final eight, and that’s a real tribute to him."

Whether he thinks Brady is playing the best football of his career:

"Yeah he’s playing at a really, really high level. Obviously ’07 was really special as well. But he’s an all-time great. You can put him up there with anybody. To me what’s impressive his accuracy. It’s not just a completion, but he puts the ball where guys can make plays after the catch. And that to me is the most impressive part of his game."


New York Jets At New England Patriots: Comparing the Special Teams

New York Jets

Kicker - Nick "What The" Folk - Folk hit a patch of inconsistency in the middle of the season but hasn't missed a kick in the Jets last five games, including hitting the game winner last week against the Colts. Regardless, I don't think you'll be seeing Rex send him out there for any more 50 yard attempts. It is hard to feel entirely comfortable with him but he should be good enough to handle anything under 45 yards on Sunday.

Punter - Steve "Shake Weight" Weatherford - Weatherford has quietly put together a terrific season. The Jets botched a few attempts to down punts inside in the 5 yard last week but he has been money at pinning teams deep. Beyond that, he is a decent enough athlete so don't be surprised if the Jets dust off a fake this week. Don't expect that fake to be called by Weatherford on 4th and 17 however.

Kick Return - Antonio "No Prophylactic" Cromartie - I fully expect Cromartie to be put back on kick returns because there is no way Brad Smith is 100 percent coming off a groin injury last week. The Jets need to save Smith for their Wildcat package. Cromartie is one of the most gifted open field runners in the NFL and has the ability to break one, even with the smallest crack on the coverage. Beyond that, he can create something out of nothing. Yes, I have been waiting my whole life to use "prophylactic" in an article.

Punt Return - Jerricho Cotchery - I have seen enough of Santonio Holmes and his "let me see how close I can get to touching the ball without actually touching it" antics. Cotchery is reliable and will go north/south on returns.

New England Patriots

Kicker - Shayne "Shank" Graham - I don't care if he is 12/12 on the regular season. I remember Graham missing two chip shots as a member of the Bengals against the Jets in the playoffs last year. Don't tekk me that won't be on his mind this week. Can you say "wide left?"

Punter - Zoltan Mesko - No nickname needed, the rookie has been solid for the Patriots this year. However, the Jets have got to New England's punters in the past and this will be his first playoff game.

Kick Return - Brandon Tate - A dangerous returner. The Jets have to stay disciplined on their coverage units to contain him. I doubt Nick Folk will have the distance on his kicks that he did last week.

Punt Return - Julian Edelman - Another dangerous returner with the ability to break one at any moment (he has a 94 yard return this year for a touchdown). However, I don't think you will see the Jets kicking away from him.


Advantage - Jets - I trust Mike Westhoff's unit to come up with a big play or two this week. Don't be surprised to see a fake punt this week.


Drew Coleman Questionable for Sunday

Rex Ryan announced in his press conference today that nickel back Drew Coleman hurt his knee during a drill in practice and his status for Sunday's game is now questionable. Rookie Kyle Wilson would step into the nickel role if Coleman can't play. It would also likely mean more reps for Marquice Cole and Dwight Lowery. Coleman had four sacks, five forced fumbles and an interception for the Jets this season.


New York Jets At New England Patriots: Comparing the Defenses

When the Jets are on defense...

200.6 passing yards allowed per game - 6th in the NFL

90.9 rushing yards allowed per game - 3rd in the NFL

Defensive Line - You aren't going to get much, if any, pressure from this unit. However, they are stout against the run. Mike DeVito, Sione Pouha, and Shaun Ellis need a particularly strong effort this week since the Jets likely won't be stacking the box behind them very often. It would be nice if one these guys can finally get off a block.

Linebackers - I am not sure how much playing time this group is going to log. Obviously, David Harris will lead the way at inside linebacker but I wouldn't be surprised to see Bart Scott and Bryan Thomas taken off the field frequently for extra defensive backs. Calvin Pace and Jason Taylor are considered the Jets top two pass rushers so any time they feel like putting pressure on the quarterback would be good.

Secondary - All hands on deck. The Patriots have no shortage of weapons in the passing game, which means everybody from Darrelle Revis to Marquice Cole needs a big game. BrodneyPool and Eric Smithare bothcoming off strong games and need to be ready to be consistently attacked with New England's tight ends. The Jets will also rely on defensive backs like James Ihedigbo, Drew Coleman (if he plays), Dwight Lowery, and Kyle Wilson to get pressure on the quarterback off the edge.

When the Patriots are on defense...

258.5 passing yards allowed per game - 30th in the NFL

108.0 rushing yards allowed per game - 11th in the NFL

Defensive Line - Vince Wilfork leads the charge in the middle and a huge factor in this game will be how good of a job the Jets offensive line does controlling him, allowing them to run the football. This unit doesn't get a ton of pressure on the quarterback.

Linebackers - Largely a collection of no-names outside of Jerod Mayo, this unit has still put together a solid year. Rookie Brandon Spikes is returning from a four game suspensionand it remains to be seen how many reps he receives. The Jets should be able to run the football on New England's front seven, even with Damien Woody out of the line-up.

Secondary - Rookie corner Devin McCourtyhas put together a very good year and so has safety Pat Chung. However, the Jets will have opportunities to attack down the field with their receivers. If Santonio Holmes or Braylon Edwards can get Kyle Arrington one on one, let it fly Sanchez.


Advantage - Jets -The one chink in the armour of the supposed flawless Patriots ia their defense is young and overall fairly average. The Jets must establish the running game early to control the clock to open up the play action passing down the field.


Damien Woody Lost For Remainder Of Playoffs

Veteran right tackle Damien Woody will be lost to the New York Jets for the remainder of the postseason after suffering a torn left Achilles Tendon Saturday against Indianapolis. Woody has been placed on IR.

Backup Wayne Hunter, who started three games at the end of the season when Woody was out with a knee injury, will step in again.

“We’re fortunate,” said Jets coach Rex Ryan. "I’ve always said I feel like we have the best backup tackle in the league in Wayne Hunter.’’

Here is the reaction to the news from our friends over at Gang Green Nation.

Wayne Hunter played very well in 3 starts in Damien’s absence during the end of the year, handling the likes of Lamarr Woodley and Julius Peppers. He did much to justify Rex Ryan’s claims that he is the best backup tackle in football. That experience will come in handy now, and the Jets can have confidence in him.

Let’s not pretend this is irrelevant, though. Woody was one of the best tackles in the league this year.


New York Jets At New England Patriots: Comparing the Offenses

When the Jets have the ball...

Passing Yards - 202.6 yards, 22nd in the NFL

Rushing Yards - 148.4 yards, 4th in the NFL

Quarterback - Mark Sanchez struggled with inaccuracy during the Jets wild-card victory and they can't afford him to have the same problems this week. In both of his career starts in New England, it hasn't been pretty for Sanchez. The Jets need their quarterback to play with confidence and poise this week and not miss opportunities when they are presented. There will be some favorable matchups on the outside and Sanchez must exploit them.

Running Backs - It was a strong game for both LaDainian Tomlinson and ShonnGreene last week. The Jets will need both of them to repeat their efforts this week because of the need to control the clock. It is very possible to run the ball on New England's defense, which the Jets did in both of their match-ups this year. Hopefully, Tomlinson can turn back the clock for another week and Greene can soften up the defense until eventually popping a big run.

Wide Receivers - I don't care how well Devin McCourty played this season as a rookie, the Jets have a decided advantage here and must take advantage of it. Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes should be able to get open down the field, especially off play action if the Jets are running the ball well.

Tight Ends - Dustin Keller has had plenty of success against New England in the past and the Jets must find a way to involve him in the game plan. He can stretch the middle of the field, the same way Rob Gronkowski or Aaron Hernandez could.

When New England has the ball...

Passing Yards - 240.4 yards, 11th in the NFL

Rushing Yards - 123.3 yards, 9th in the NFL

Quarterback - Should I just pull an Antonio Cromartie and say what I really feel about Tom Brady? We all know what Brady is capable of, how well he plays at home, how well he plays in the snow and on and on...

Running Back - The Patriots have formed a nice one-two punch with BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead. I won't be surprised if the Jets dare New England to beat them with their running game instead of their passing game. The Jets must do a better job of covering Woodhead out of the backfield, for all of our collective sanity.

Wide Receivers - I am much less concerned about what New England's receivers can do to the Jets secondary than their tight ends. Wes Welker is a beast in the slot but I expect him to get a healthy dose of Revis Island. Deion Branch is a savvy veteran who beat up on Antonio Cromartie in the last meeting. Brandon Tate has good deep speed.

Tight Ends - The Jets match-up nightmare. They don't have the personnel to cover Rob Gronkowski, let alone him and Aaron Hernandez. Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine must get creative to stop the Patriots dynamic duo of rookie tight ends. Eric Smith, James Ihedigbo, Dwight Lowery, and Brodney Pool all need to rise to the challenge.


Advantage: New England...they have a deep collection of weapons and can beat you in a variety of ways. The Jets have plenty of offensive talent but it is up to Mark Sanchez to get the most out of it.


Antonio Cromartie: Tom Brady 'An Ass---'

Most experts will tell you that over time teams take on the personality of their coach. The brash New York Jets have certainly done so with Rex Ryan, and the latest example is Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie on Tuesday calling New England quarterback Tom Brady “an ass—-.”

“—- him,” the Jets cornerback added.

“That’s what I think about him. I don’t really give a damn about him,” said Cromartie. “I don’t have to play against him. I play against the receivers.”

Cromartie and the Jets, quite obviously, can’t hide their disdain for Brady and the Patriots.

Cromartie, by the way, also had time on Tuesday to take a shot at his former employer, the San Diego Chargers.

“I’m in the playoffs and they’re not,” Cromartie said of the Chargers, who had a disappointing 9-7 season and missed the playoffs. “I’m enjoying every moment in this locker room and every day I’m around my teammates.

“I was unhappy there,” he continued. “I’m very happy here, being around a coaching staff that will fight for you, being around a coaching staff that will go to bat for me. That’s something that’s very enjoyable. It’s been fun and I’m enjoying every moment of it.”

The question that remains, of course, is if the Jets will still be talking come Sunday night.


Rex Ryan Voted For Tom Brady As NFL MVP

We already know a lot of what New York Jets coach Rex Ryan has had to say this week about Tom Brady and Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots. Well, courtesy of our friends at Sports Radio Interviews, you can now read the entire transcript of Ryan’s appearance on the Michael Kay Show earlier this week.

Here are some of the highlights.

On the pressure he’s put on himself to out-coach Bill Belichick:

“That’s what it is. Because when we lost that game, it wasn’t about their players being better than our players or whatever. This is a level playing field. I think when you look at the players, the coaches, the assistant coaches that we have, it’s a level playing field. He got the better of me the last time we played in the Monday Night game where he clearly was the better coach. And I recognize this is a first ballot Hall of Fame coach, but I plan on being the best coach on Sunday. So we’ll see. He’s going to get everything I’ve got. I will have our team ready to go, and I think we’ll win.”

His comments about Tom Brady after hearing he had been at a Broadway show rather than watching the Jets game on Saturday night:

“It doesn’t matter. I did that with a smile on my face. Because I know that I was getting ripped for ‘how dare you take a shot at Tom Brady?’ Well I just said this, nobody prepares like Peyton Manning and that’s fact. If somebody’s got a problem with it, well then they have a problem with it. I know for a fact that nobody prepares the way Peyton Manning does. Anybody that digs up 16 mm film when my dad was coaching the Bears, there’s only one quarterback that would do that in this league and that’s Peyton Manning. I know Tom Brady prepares great, I know he does all that stuff. But so be it. What I said was the truth. When it comes to preparation, there’s only one Peyton Manning in this league.”

Does he thinks Tom Brady is the best quarterback in the NFL right now:

“Well I think he had the best year this year. I think he’ll be the league MVP. I know I voted for him to be the league MVP.”

If he would try to throw at Revis more if he were coaching against him:

“Well if he’s going to D him up like he did that guy, then no. Because Peyton Manning is going to throw it to the open guy. That guy wasn’t open. And it’s as simple as that. Reggie Wayne is a great receiver, led the league in receptions, but Darrelle Revis – there’s only one Darrelle Revis in this league, and he’s without question the best corner in football. He might be the best defensive player in football. And the game that he just got through having, it’s…it’s not possible to be that good. As good as Brady’s played, and as great as Manning is and all that, well you can say the same thing about Darrelle Revis.”

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