If you are going to talk the talk, you must back it up. That’s what Rex Ryan and the entire New York Jets football team did today.

Rex was Brilliant Today

The buildup was intense. Players were vowing to end the careers of other players. Coaches were having fun jawing at each other through the media. However, when the ball was kicked off at 4:40 pm this afternoon, all talking stopped and bodies started flying. When the dust settled, the Jets beat the Pats up and won, 28-21. Tom was clearly not Tom today as he was sacked five times and finished with a 89.0 passer rating. In contrast, Mark Sanchez played the best game of his career, throwing for three touchdowns and no interceptions. With the win, the Jets will now travel to the Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers for the right to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

What will Jet fans take away from this victory?

I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m not exactly the biggest Jet fan on the planet. The team still needs to win two more games to gain notoriety in this city. However, no team has ever defeated a Manning led and then a Brady led team in a row in the playoffs before. Rex (gulp) deserves a lot of credit. He has deflected all negative attention away from his team and firmly placed it on himself. Rex’s strategy has worked so far and I don’t think any of us expect that to change any time soon.

Quick Points:

  • First Patriot Drive: After Nick Folk missed a 30-yard field goal, Tom Brady picked apart the Jet defense. The Patriots were gaining 8-10 yards per play, until Brady made the mistake that changed the entire tone of the game. When trying to set up a screen with BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Brady threw an errant pass that was intercepted by David Harris and was returned for 50 yards. The Jets settled for a field goal, but drew first blood and negated a solid Patriot drive. Even though it was early, it completely changed the course of the game.
  • Jet WRs: The main Jet receivers (Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, and Jerricho Cotchery) aren’t going to win awards for humility anytime soon, but man, these guys can make plays. Cotchery led the Jets with 96 receiving yards while Holmes and Edwards each pulled in a touchdown. Edwards did a Classless back flip after the final whistle blew, which shows he is an idiot and is not thinking about next week. Not exactly a huge surprise after his checkered past.
  • Pressuring Tom: I outlined earlier this week that the key to stopping Tom Brady is through pressure by the defensive line. The Jets did not blitz as often as they normally do because they were generating pressure with four rushers. They racked up five sacks and hit Brady seven additional times. Brady also threw an interception and took a vicious hit from Harris in the third quarter. Constant pressure is the only way to stop the potent Patriot attack.
  • 0 for 2: The Jet defense stopped the Pats twice on fourth down opportunities.
  • 4-1: Rex Ryan’s playoff record. All four wins have come on the road in different venues.

Final Thoughts:

The Jets already defeated the Steelers in Pittsburgh this season, 22-17. However, the Steelers were playing without safety Troy Polamalu. The Steelers out-gained the Jets, 377 to 276, but the Jets relied on a Brad Smith kickoff return touchdown and a safety to propel them to a victory. The Steelers are dealing with a plethora of injuries on their offensive line, but boast the league’s toughest defense in one of the league’s most hostile venues. That Big Ben guy is a big-time, clutch player too.

This game will features three of the best defensive players in football: Polamalu, Darrelle Revis, and James Harrison. If you want to see a high scoring, clean game, this one isn’t for you. Let’s all hope for massive snow fall in Pittsburgh and Chicago next weekend as we begin to gear up for the Super Bowl in Dallas.

Projected Line: Pittsburgh by 2.5