From John B: Please join me in welcoming Chris Ruppel to the staff of GGN. Chris is a graduate student at NYU and has been a long-time GGN reader. He will be starting a series looking back at some of the best Jets memories.
To kick off this new series, I thought it was most appropriate to start with one of the more memorable and satisfying victories in recent Jets memory: the 2010 divisional round victory at the New England Patriots.
The Jets were heavy underdogs coming into this matchup on January 16, one week after edging out Peyton Manning and the Colts 17-16 in the wildcard round. The game quickly turned to the Jets favor when David Harris intercepted Tom Brady on an overthrown screen pass just 7 minutes into the first quarter. It was Brady's first interception in 339 attempts. However, the Jets offense could not capitalize as Nick Folk missed a chip shot to give the Jets a 3-0 lead. Brady then promptly lead the offense down into Jets territory, but Shaun Ellis came through with a huge redzone sack to force a Patriots field goal, the first points of the game.
To start the second quarter, Mark Sanchez responded with a key drive, most notably scrambling to find Braylon Edwards for a 37-yard gain to convert a 3rd down and 6. Sanchez then found Ladainian Tomlinson on a 7-yard dump pass for his first touchdown reception in 2 years to make it 7-3 Jets. With 1:14 left in the 2nd quarter, Bill Belichick decided to try a fake punt from his own 37-yard line, but safety Patrick Chung muffed the direct snap and the Jets came up with the huge stop. On 3rd down and 6 from the Patriots 15-yard line, Sanchez hit Braylon Edwards on a 5-yard slant, which Edwards then turned into a 15-yard score after dragging Pro Bowlers Brandon Meriweather and Devin McCourty 10 more yards. Ah, the value of big receivers. 14-3 Jets to end the first half.
The 3rd quarter was mostly a defensive battle, as both quarterbacks struggled to find open receivers. Brady would ultimately orchestrate a long, methodical drive to close the quarter, finding Alge Crumpler for the short score. The Patriots then cashed in on the 2 point conversion on a well designed direct snap to cut the Jets lead to 14-11.
The 4th quarter began with a pivotal play for the Jets, a 58-yard catch and run by slot receiver Jerricho Cotchery. This play set up Santonio Holmes for a terrific touchdown reception, a diving fade in the back corner of the endzone. One of the top catches of the year at a crucial moment. 21-11 Jets.
As they did for most of the game, the Jets secondary held Brady in check for the rest of the 4th quarter, forcing heavy pressure and errant throws. The Jets ended the day with 5 sacks, most of which were caused by tight coverage. The Patriots were able to muster a field goal to cut the lead to 21-14, but Shonn Greene clinched the victory with a late rushing score, commencing pure jubilation among Jets nation. Heck, Rex was even down in the endzone celebrating. The Patriots would actually score again in the closing moments to make it 28-21, but the Jets were on their way to a second straight AFC Title Game. Mark Sanchez ended the day with 194 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Brady threw for 299 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Truly a memorable day for the Jets franchise.
--Very proud to be on the staff here at GGN and I greatly look forward to talking more Jets football with you all as the preseason kicks off. Lets go Jets.
If you have a spare 11 minutes, this full game recap is surely worth your while.