Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Brady flashes fourth-quarter mastery as Jets fail to finish off Patriots

FOXBORO, Mass. — The look on Willie Colon’s face, and the tenor of his voice said it all even before the Jets’ guard opened his mouth and spoke the truth.
“We felt like we had them right where we wanted them,” he said after thePatriots’ 30–23 victory on Sunday. “I am (angry), because I feel like we had them. I feel like we were the better team out there, but obviously we were not.”
With precisely 10:46 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Jets had the Patriots in the crosshairs. New York had made just enough plays on offense, frustrated Tom Brady with coverage and pass rush and got just enough poor execution by the Patriots (New England was dropping so many passes, especially Brandon LaFell, that it appeared it was doing tip drills) to lead 20–16. After LeGarrette Blount was dropped for a seven-yard loss, when he momentarily thought he wasLeSean McCoy trying to cut back to the other side, and an incomplete pass, the Jets had the Patriots exactly where they wanted them: third and 17 at New England’s 27-yard line.You could smell a screen or dump off short of the marker coming. Jets fans were probably envisioning a stop and then a touchdown to go up by two scores. Against most quarterbacks and receivers in the league, that would be the case.
As if we needed another reminder, Tom Brady is not just another quarterback. His connection withJulian Edelman is anything but ordinary. And the play, from start to finish, was extraordinary.
There are two schools of thought on defending that down and distance. You can either play coverage, to force a perfect throw. Or you can bring pressure with the hope of getting the quarterback to get rid of the ball quickly before the deeper routes can develop. With the latter, of course, you risk more because if they do block it, there are less players in coverage.
Most of the game, the Jets played some version of man defense, with former Patriot Darrelle Revis on Edelman. On third down, the Jets decided to go conservative with a four-deep (both safeties and edge cornerbacks) and three under zone.
“We played in the zone—we played normal,” said Jets coach Todd Bowles. “You’ve got to play cat and mouse with them. You can’t give them what they want all the time, so we were trying to do that all game and it didn't work that time.”The Jets rushed four, and they were probably confident that Calvin Pace, Leonard Williams,Sheldon Richardson andMuhammad Wilkerson (all former first-round picks) could bring ample pressure since Brady would have to hold the ball a little longer to pick up the first down. Also the Patriots were answering the Jets’ Rolls Royce line with Bill’s Used Car Lot: right tackle Sebastian Vollmer playing left tackle, undrafted free agents Josh Klineand David Andrews at left guard and center, rookie Tre’ Jackson at right guard and right tackle Cameron Fleming, who was released and signed to the practice squad.

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