FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Just how to the Jets go from giving up 45 points to the Patriots on Dec. 6 to surrendering half of that total (21) just over a month later?
The Jets laid most of the credit to a vastly improved game plan, which included confusing Tom Brady before the snap, pressure at the line of scrimmage and zone coverage in the secondary. Below is a sampling of the comments from the Jets on their game plan:
* Defensive lineman Trevor Pryce, who called the game plan “unbelievable”: “I thought [the game plan] was going to work, but I didn’t know it was going to work that well. At the end of the day, receivers run routes, DBs hustle. It’s supposed to be simple. But they found a way to make it as complicated as possible and Tom Brady literally had no answer.”
What was the key?
“I think a lot of the pressure. Shaun Ellis was really getting to him and [Jason Taylor] was getting to him. A football play only takes so many seconds. After your first read isn’t open, now Brady’s shaking his head wondering who’s going to hit him next and he has to dump the ball off. Anytime you can do that to a guy like that you’re going to win.”
* Cornerback Antonio Cromartie: “That was the whole point of this whole entire week that we wanted to practice was to make sure that we got our hands on them [and were] physical with the guys, and just playing our game. When we play our game on the outsides, it makes things very difficult for the quarterback with the timing routes and the things that he does.”
* Defensive lineman Shaun Ellis: “[Brady] just couldn’t get a beat on us. It was one of those things where he was expecting one thing and we showed him another thing and, like I said, our defense did a great job. Our defensive backs did a great job of showing him one look and moving to another look, and getting hands on receivers. One thing that hurt us the last time was when they were empty -- they completed some passes on us. He made some throws but it really didn’t hurt us. We regrouped and came back and played well.”
* Coach Rex Ryan: “You know, this isn’t the first time we’ve played good defense. We know a little bit about playing defense and clearly you got to mix it up on it. You can’t just give them one thing all the time. Mix your coverages, mix your blitzes, mix your pressures, all that kind of stuff. Against these great quarterbacks, that’s what you have to do. And that’s back-to-back weeks. You know, against Peyton Manning at Indy and now, Tom Brady at New England.”
* Linebacker David Harris: “I think our D-line takes credit for [Brady being off his game]. They were after him every play. [Five] sacks? That’s unheard of from the Patriots considering how good their offensive line is and how good Brady is in getting the ball out of his hands.”
* Linebacker Bart Scott: “I think that had something to do with us, Brady not looking like Brady. We’ll keep those secrets to ourselves. I think we’ll be seeing these guys for a long time to come, I’m sure they’ll be [angry] the next time they see us.”