4. The secondary – I’m tired of naming names. Mark Sanchez, in a pathetic performance where he missed literally dozens of wide-open receivers, still hit 28 of 41 passes for 328 yards. Kyle Arrington’s brutal season continued as he was clearly the worst of the lot. Ras-I Dowling was matching him down the ladder into the abyss, but luckily for Dowling, he pulled a hamstring and had to leave before he could do any more damage than he had.
5. Stevan Ridley – His running style would be qualified as timid. He spun before contact too often on his way to a 17-carry, 65-yard night. There was space. Shane Vereen (8-49) found it. Ridley was too apprehensive to exploit the gashes in the Jets’ front.
GRADING THE GROUPS
Line (B) … Logan Mankins missed the game, and Dan Connolly took ill in the pregame, according to reports, leaving this group shorthanded. Helped by the fact that the Jets rarely blitzed and sent only 3-4 rushers, they protected Tom Brady well (only one sack). There were holes in the run game, too, with three backs combining to carry 31 times for 131.
Backs (B-) … Not a great night, missing Brandon Bolden. Steven Ridley didn’t hit the holes like he had earlier in the year. Shane Vereen could have put up good numbers, but was held to only 8 carries for 49 yards.
Wide receivers (C+) … No qualms here with Wes Welker (6-66), who fought bracket coverage all night, or Aaron Hernandez (5-54) as the latter works back to the lineup after a nasty leg injury.
Tight ends (B+) … Rob Gronkowski came through with one of the grittier efforts in his life, catching six of nine attempts thrown his way for 78 yards. Nothing at all from the others.
Quarterback (B) … Guts. Stuck it out on a tough, tough night. He was straight cash when it counted, though, in the final 92 seconds of regulation and the one drive in overtime, winning this game on sheer determination alone.