Here is a sampling of some of the reaction to the New York Jets 28-21 AFC divisional round playoff victory Sunday over the New England Patriots.
- USA Today points out that the Jets' victory punches a huge hole in the legacy of New England quarterback Tom Brady, who has now had sub-par performances in his last three playoff appearances.
- Jets defensive lineman Trevor Pryce said Brady was "terrified."
"He becomes a different quarterback when he doesn't have wide-open guys and you hit him three or four times," Pryce said.
"He was skittish. I've never seen him like that. In the first half, he was terrified."
- ESPN New York said the performance by the Jets on Sunday was reminiscent of the way the New York Giants handled Brady and the Patriots in the 2007 Super Bowl.
Give Ryan credit because the Jets have evolved as a defense, straying from their pressure-oriented roots. In the 2009 playoffs, they sent four or fewer rushers on only 36 percent of their opponents' pass attempts, according to ESPN Stats & Information. This postseason, it's up to 87 percent.
- The Jets, of course, are never at a loss for words. Linebacker Bart Scott did not disappoint after Sunday's victory.
"We watch the films, and we watched what they were trying to accomplish," Scott said. "If you look at our roster and their roster, we got better players all across the field. You guys all talk about how great their defense is playing. Last I checked, they were 25th in the league and we were third. We didn't want to get disrespected for not being able to put pressure on the quarterback. That's how you guys' perception is different than reality. You perceived that they are playing so well and we are playing so bad. I guess cream rises to the top."
- Pro Football Talk praised the defensive game plan put together by Jets coach Rex Ryan.
There were heroes aplenty for New York: Santonio Holmes made an incredible touchdown grab; Shaun Ellis dominated on the defensive line with a legendary performance, and Darrelle Revis played his usual shutdown coverage.
But the biggest star was coach Rex Ryan and his defensive gameplan. He said all week his goal wasn’t to be the greatest coach of all time, but the greatest coach on the field Sunday. He was certainly that, out-foxing Bill Belichick and Tom Brady at every turn.
Ryan kept mixing up coverages to confuse Brady. He sent pressure at the right time and enough got pressure from his defensive line. Brady is one of the smartest quarterbacks in football, and couldn’t unlock the mystery deep into the fourth quarter. The performance reminded us of Belichick’s gameplan against the Rams in the 2001 Super Bowl.
All season long, the Jets defense chased the dominance they showed in 2009. They were a good, not great group that could no longer shut the opposition down. That all changed Sunday against the best offense in the league. Brady averaged only 5.8 yards-per-throw and had only two plays over 20 yards.