Pats Nation: Week 12 vs. Jets
When I saw Brady out as the lead blocker on that run by Blount, my life flashed before my eyes. But for some strange reason, the Jets didn't take his head off. In fact, they didn't even lay a finger on him. That was pretty much the story of the game and probably the reason New York lost a game that they should have won. Aside from hitting Brady 4 times total in the game, the Jets made it a point to take a page out of New England's playbook and NOT pressure the QB. They spent the majority of the game only rushing 2 and 3 while dropping 8 or 9 in coverage, and for the most part it worked. The Pats scored their second lowest point total of the season, and the lowest while Brady has been QB. TB12 didn't have his usual video game stats either; I'm used to him racking up more than 17 points for my fantasy team. Not only that, but history shows that Brady actually excels against the blitz, so the Jets were trying something different.
But the difference this time around is that Brady was legitimately hurt. He popped up on the injury report after taking a shot to the knees two games ago and has been walking with a noticeable limp ever since. He clearly wasn't himself, so if there was a time to pressure him, it was that game. But it seemed like the Jets went out of their way not to touch him, even when they could do so legally. In the end though, it was vintage 4th Qt. TB12 picking on our old friend Revis Peninsula for the game winner. It wasn't pretty, but this is widely being considered our best win of the season. Mainly because for once, we had to see how our team would react in a pressure situation, and they pulled through.
Sure, there were some shitty aspects of the game as well. Our offense was mediocre at best, we couldn't stop any Jet receiver, Gronk was being a bitch yet again and left the game, and Stephen Gostkowski is still out here looking more like Stevie Wonder (am I right, am I right?). But, we held Matt Forte to his second lowest rushing total on the season (despite our run defense being ass all season), Malcolm Mitchell introduced himself to the world, and we FINALLY got some fucking turnovers. Malcolm Butler had a rough day giving up two TD's, but he stayed locked in and executed the perfect peanut punch to force the first fumble. And I'd be lying to you if I said I didn't think the Jets were going to drive down the field on their last drive and score a game-winning touchdown. But Chris Long, one of the best Free Agency pickups of the summer, forced the game winning fumble on Ryan Fitzpatrick when he dropped back to pass; that really made me want to cry a few thug tears.
There were a lot of improvements in some key areas in this game, but there are still reasons for concern. Gronk for one is making the Martellus Bennett trade look like the best move Belichick made all summer. I mean, where the hell would we be without 88? Hightower is at the top of my list of key free agents the Pats need to resign this offseason, but Bennett is right there behind him with Malcolm Butler. Brady was sailing throws he usually makes in his sleep, but part of that could have been his fear of getting hit. And our secondary is still a game of musical chairs. Patricia and Belichick need to find a solid rotation to stick with, because the uncertainty is affecting the play at Cornerback. I can't believe I'm saying this, but Oakland is finally legit, and those motherfuckers better not get revenge for the Tuck Rule game come playoff time.
Side note, it was tough to see Revis the way he is now. He's probably my 4th favorite player of all time behind Emmitt Smith, Randy Moss, and Brady, but he's a shell of his former self. I got my Revis jersey just hanging in my closet collecting dust, and his career is doing the same. Next up are the forever .500 Jeff Fisher and the Rams. We're on to Los Angeles.