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NFL Analysis: Jets, Not Patriots Rule AFC East

Leaving Gillette Stadium last night I heard a statistic from a frustrated New England Patriots fan that said since 2005, Peyton Manning is 6-5 in the postseason and Tom Brady is 5-5. The point was that Manning is constantly viewed as not being able to win the big game and Brady is viewed as always coming through, but the reality is that' snot the case.

That got me to thinking. Mark Sanchez is now 4-1 in playoff games in his young career. In only his second year, that’s not too bad. Do the pundits that claim the Jets can’t win with Sanchez as their quarterback ignore the fact that he actually does in fact win? And he doesn’t it on the road too. How many quarterbacks can you name that have won 4 NFL road playoff games in their first two years?

Yesterday Sanchez had a QB rating of 127.5 going 16/25 for 194 yards with 3 TD’s and 0 INT’s. Is that still not good enough to please the ‘Can’t win with Sanchez’ crowd?

I love it when the Jets win. I love to listen to the naysayers. “Oh, it’s because they got a kickoff return.” “Oh it’s because they blocked a punt.” “Oh, it’s because the other team missed got that stupid 15 yard penalty.” “Oh, it’s because the other team’s coach called a time out.” What, like none of that counts? Wins are precious commodities in the NFL and you don’t give any back. There’s a lot that goes into winning and losing a game in the NFL, and even when a team gets lucky, you can’t discount the fact that they put themselves in a position to capitalize on the fortunate circumstance they were handed.

The general public is just flat out naive when it comes to the NFL. Supply and demand made the Jets a 9 point underdog largely based on the 45-3 loss to the Patriots a few weeks ago. It’s funny how the public seemed to forget how the Patriots were shellacked by the Cleveland  Browns 34-14 in week 9. It was almost like it never happened. The thing that most people don’t realize is that the last few Patriots lopsided wins weren’t fair games (in terms of evaluation.) By that I mean that they didn’t have to play a full game. They scored early on their opponent and their opponents turned the ball over early aiding to the scores and the games were out of reach by half time.

Before they beat the Jets 45-3 the Patriots were actually the worst defense in the league. The fact is that the Patriots defense didn’t really have to play straight up in the second half of the season because the offense had put up so many points on the board so quickly that they only had to worry about playing a prevent game. When the Pats were faced with situations in the Colts game and in the Packers game where they had to play a full game, both times the other team ended up driving on them for the winning score in the final moments of the game. And to say that Manning and Matt Flynn, the Green Bay Packers second string QB both committed unforced errors in those instances is an understatement. Those two games could have easily gone the other way.

Forget about all the trash talking on both sides before the games, that's just Muhammad Ali stuff. What actually happens on the field is the only thing that counts. How stupid does Tom Brady and Co. feel now after simulating the Jets airplane celebration while running up the score in the 45-3 win in Week 9. The fact is that the Jets 28-14 win over the Patriots was worth the same as the Pats win in week 9 and the Pats received 0 bonus points for winning by a large margin. In fact, after all the Patriots hoopla and all the hype about how they were unstoppable, the Jets ended up 2-1 against the Pats this year. Is anyone still impressed by the Pats 45-3 win?

The Patriots are now 0-3 in their last 3 playoff games while the Jets are going to their second straight AFC Championship game. Move over New England, There is a new boss in the AFC East and it’s the New York Jets. Patriots fans, after years of expecting to win, you are now second fiddle to the trash talking, on the field backing it up, Jets. It's humbling I know, but know you are just going to have to deal with it as best you can. You had your run Patriots fans and now it’s over. Get used to eating humble pie and you’d better learn to like it, because the Jets are going to be serving it to you this way for years to come.

BTW – I don’t know why Pats fans are so up in arms that someone pointed out that they may be cheating again. They cheated, got caught and now don’t wanted to be labeled cheaters. So long as the child molester that moves into the home next to you has to register, Patriots teams should have to register as cheaters prior to taking the field. I think it’s only appropriate that Tom Brady wear a “C” on his jersey next year, not for being the team Capitan, but for being labeled with a Scarlet “C” for cheaters. Hey Pats fans, you are 0-3 in your last 3 playoff games. It’s not to easy winning in the playoffs when you don’t know what offense and defense the other team is going to run before the snap is it? - Adam Foster

Adam is a freelance sports writer contributing to various online and print publications for over 13 years.

You may email Adam @

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