Brady, Patriots shake feisty Jets, roll on to San Diego

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) -- Bill Belichick and Tom Brady won three

Super Bowls with Eric Mangini on their side.

Hanging On Chad

Chad Pennington

As Chad Pennington went, so went the New York Jets in their 10 wins and six losses in 2006. The quarterback's so-so stats on Sunday were not enough to overcome the Patriots in their AFC wild-card game.


10 Wins

6 Losses


Comp. pct.




Pass YPG








QB rating




The Patriots coach taught his former student that maybe he can

win another without him -- especially with his quarterback in

championship form.

Brady capped long scoring drives with short touchdown passes to

Daniel Graham and Kevin Faulk, and Asante Samuel sealed it with a

36-yard interception return for a score with 4:54 left as New

England beat Mangini's New York Jets 37-16 on Sunday.

"We keep playing like that, we can make it a long ways," wide

receiver Reche Caldwell said.

New England (13-4), the only team to win a playoff game in each

of the last four seasons, will play at AFC top seed San Diego

(14-2) next Sunday. The Patriots are going for their fourth Super

Bowl title in six seasons.

"I think our players stepped up and just made a few more plays,

and that was obviously the difference in the game," Belichick


The loss ended a surprising run by the Jets, who won their last

three regular-season games to get into the playoffs. This was

supposed to be a rebuilding season under Mangini, their rookie


"You look at the big picture and say it was a good job on our

part," Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma said. "But if you're

competitive, if you're a player, you don't want to go 10-6 and lose

in the first round of the playoffs."

SportsNation: Patriots or Chargers?

New England Patriots

San Diego Chargers

The New England Patriots are off to San Diego for the AFC divisional playoffs after defeating the Jets 37-16 on Sunday. Which team has the better receivers? Which coach will be more prepared? How big a home-field advantage do the Chargers have?

• Tell SportsNation what you think.

Mangini, Belichick's former assistant, showed he learned a lot

in his six years in New England. But the mentor still had some

lessons left.

After the game, the two coaches, whose relationship has cooled

since Mangini left to become coach of the Jets, met at midfield and

Belichick hugged Mangini. It was a bit warmer than the loose,

businesslike handshakes the two exchanged following their two

regular-season meetings.

"I'm not going to get into a postgame analysis here,"

Belichick said. "Really, I've had enough of that."

Added Mangini: "I've got to tell you, I wasn't focused on that

moment. It was nice, but I honestly wasn't thinking about that."

Brady improved to 10-2 against the Jets (10-7), and played much

better than in the teams' last meeting, when New York frustrated

the quarterback with blitzes and won 17-14.

"I'm beginning to experience it on this side," Mangini said.

"He's a great player. He can hurt you at all times."

And this time, Brady was in control from the start.

Elias Says

Tom Brady
Tom Brady passed for 212 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in the Patriots' 37-16 victory over the Jets. Brady has started 12 postseason games, and he has thrown no INTs in eight of them. The only quarterback with as many INT-less postseason starts as Brady is Joe Montana, who did it nine times in nearly twice as many starts (23).

• Read more Elias Says.

"I think we had a great plan," Brady said. "This is a

pressure defense, and I think we were prepared much more for the

pressure this time around."

New England, which has won seven of eight since that loss to New

York, improved to 9-1 at home in the playoffs. The Jets made things

interesting early, taking a 10-7 lead in the second quarter on a

77-yard touchdown catch and run by Jerricho Cotchery.

But it was all New England from that point in the teams'

second-ever meeting in the playoffs, the last also a victory by the

Patriots in 1985.

"We showed a lot of resilience and played well, but it's

disappointing right now," Jets receiver Laveranues Coles said.

"It hurts right now."

With the Patriots leading 23-16, Brady engineered the type of

drive that has made him so deadly in big games. New England took

over at its 37 and, with a series of short passes and runs got to

the Jets 7.

Brady then found Kevin Faulk with a short pass and the running

back zipped into the end zone with 5:16 left as the Patriots

quarterback put up both hands and pointed skyward.

Brady finished 22-of-34 for 212 yards and two touchdowns, while

Jabar Gaffney had eight catches for 104 yards. The Patriots also

outrushed the Jets 148-70.

New England also took advantage of a big mistake by the Jets

late in the third quarter.

Chad Pennington's pass was knocked down by Rosevelt Colvin and

picked up by Vince Wilfork, who rumbled 31 yards to the Jets 15

before being tackled by Cotchery.

"He rumbled and rumbled and rumbled, but if I had picked it up:

'Game over,'" defensive tackle Richard Seymour joked.

The play was ruled a backward pass and a fumble, and the ruling

was upheld after a challenge by Mangini.

Four plays later, Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 28-yard field goal

to give New England a 23-13 lead.

Mike Nugent's 37-yard field goal 3:21 into the fourth quarter

made it 23-16.

The Patriots got things started early on Corey Dillon's 11-yard

touchdown run 3:07 in.

Cotchery put the Jets ahead 10-7 with his 77-yard touchdown

score, the longest in team postseason history, but Gostkowski tied

it with a 20-yard field goal.

The Patriots again had a long drive late in the first half,

capped by Graham's 1-yard TD catch. New England started at its 20

with 7:05 remaining in the half. After Laurence Maroney's 5-yard

run put the ball at the 1, the Jets stopped Heath Evans and Maroney

for no gain. On third-and-goal, Brady found Graham in the back of

the end zone just out of the reach of linebacker Brad Kassell for a

17-10 lead.

The 15-play drive that took 6:54.

"I just put it up there and tried to let that big guy make a

play for us," Brady said.Game notes
Patriots backup Vinny Testaverde, who played for the Jets

for seven seasons, took a knee to end the game. ... New England,

which led 17-10 at halftime, improved to 15-0 when they lead after

two quarters in the postseason. ... Pennington finished 23-of-40

for 300 yards and one touchdown and an interception. ... Nugent had

three field goals, extending his streak of kicks made to 21.