By Peter Schwartz
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One thing is for sure after watching Sunday's tilt -- make that two things.
The Patriots are vulnerable, and the Jets had no business losing that game.
Sunday's 29-26 overtime loss in Foxboro was troubling for a number of reasons. They had every opportunity to win and they didn't take advantage. I thought they should have trusted the run more in the second half, especially on that third and 2 near the goal line when Tony Sparano called for a pass. The Jets had to settle for three but they could have very well run for a first down -- and they blew it.
Then, after they tied the game with a field goal in the fourth quarter, the Jets were given a huge break when the Patriots fumbled the kickoff and New York had the ball inside the twenty. Again, they settled for three and they gave Tom Brady plenty of time to tie the game.
It's almost as if they were happy to get three points -- and you can't beat the Patriots with field goals.
But it's not just the play calling. There's plenty of blame to go around.
The defense didn't come up big -- again -- when they had to. Antonio Cromartie dropped a pick and they let the Pats go up and down the field at the end of the fourth quarter and in overtime. Big-time defenses find a way to get a stop there.
Throw in a horrible pass by Mark Sanchez that resulted in an interception, Stephen Hill's drop, special teams giving up a 104-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, miscommunication on substitutions, and then more questionable coaching decisions.
This could have been a day when the Jets made a statement. Well they did in the sense that they couldn't beat the Patriots. They could have seized control of the AFC East and they didn't. Yes, the Jets can go to the bye week at 4-4 if they take care of business Sunday against the Dolphins at MetLife Stadium.
But 5-3 would have looked a whole lot better.
A blowout loss would probably would have hurt less. This loss will sting all week and maybe right up until kickoff on Thanksgiving night in the rematch with New England. Rex Ryan had his team ready to play but they came up short. They still have things to clean up. But this game is proof that the Jets are not as bad as some people think they are.
There are no moral victories. A loss is a loss. But I think that the Jets showed a little something on Sunday. At this moment, they're not ready to take over the AFC East.
But I do think they are closer. They just have to stop shooting themselves in the foot. They also need to figure out what they are going to do with Tim Tebow. He saw very little action on Sunday and there were moments in the game that screamed for his involvement. He should either be a big part of this team -- like we were told he was going to be -- or I side with Boomer Esiason and say get rid of him.
The Jets are going to be relevant, at least for the next few weeks, and that's a good thing. But they had a chance to slay the dragon and didn't get it done.
Now, the Jets have to regroup before they go fishing!
The Jets captains were Mike DeVito, Marcus Dowtin, Vladimir Ducasse, Bryan Thomas and Lex Hilliard.
Linebacker Marcus Dowtin made his NFL debut. The undrafted rookie free agent was brought up from the practice squad earlier in the week.
Shonn Greene notched his fifth touchdown of the season and fourth in the last two games.
Mark Sanchez likes to play at Foxboro. In his last three road games against the Patriots, Sanchez has thrown for 688 yards, six touchdowns, one pick (a costly one on Sunday) and a passer rating of 104.8.
Sanchez threw for 328 yards against the Pats, his seventh career 300-plus yard passing game.
You think everyone can stop worrying about Nick Folk? He booted a 54-yard field goal Sunday. That field goal is tied for the sixth-longest in team history. Folk also has the longest with a 56-yarder in Denver two seasons ago.
That's all for now! The Jets return to the practice field on Wednesday to begin preparations for Sunday's game with the Dolphins.
Check back on Wednesday for a special blog about Dennis Byrd Day. This Sunday, the Jets will retire Byrd's No. 90 and I have some thoughts on the inspirational former Gang Green defensive lineman.
What needs to change for this team to be successful? Sound off in the comments below!
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