Defensive Backs (C) ... Teetered on the brink of destruction all night but came up with four of the flukiest turnovers you’ll ever see to make the difference.
Cwoaching (B) ... Subtle changes in the second half, getting after Geno Smith a little bit with the blitz, made the difference in this one. Well, that and the fact that Smith continually threw the football to the wrong spots at the wrong times.
What happened to it?
Great job by the Pats staff on the opening drive, seeing the tight coverage on the line and going with the hard play-action pass to get a wide-open Aaron Dobson his first career TD.
But what happened after that? Where did that play-action go? The Jets stacked the line all night and the Pats stopped the heavy play-action.
This could have all been avoided if the Pats stuck to that game-plan, instead of panicking.
You have to be honest. This one would never be branded an “instant classic.” It truly evoked memories of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, when it felt like New England football fans were being punished, having to watch these teams go at it.
You got the feeling we were in for a long night when in the first 65 seconds, we got three quick head-scratchers:
Bill Belichick sending out his freight train, LeGarrette Blount on kick return.
The officials flagging Antonio Cromartie for a phantom pass interference.
And the officials then throwing a flag for 12 Jets on the field, when only 11 were out there.
We should have known.
WHY BELICHICK IS BETTER
Look, the Pats tried Tim Tebow. He failed. They allowed him to do what he does, and he failed. Bill Belichick’s experiment was well-meant.
And here you have offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and the New York Jets, who draft Geno Smith out of West Virginia.