West bound, Jets down
Just before the game between the Patriots and New Jersey Jets began Sunday, your Uncle Buck was receiving text messages from his fraternity brothers Boo Boo and Danny Bloch..."Good Luck Punk" and "J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS" they said...UB hasn't heard from them since. Maybe that's because the Pats handed the NYJ their worst ever playoff loss, crushing them by 21, 37-16 in the first round of the NFL Playoffs.
The Pats took the opening kickoff and drove 65-yards in 10 plays to go up 7-0 right off the bat. The Defense took the emotion and sacked Chad Pennington on the Jets 1st drive, but a Corey Dillon fumble later, followed by a 77-yard Jerricho Cotchery catch and run for a touchdown and it was 10-7 Jets.
The Pats (who are the only team in the NFL to win a playoff game the last 4 seasons) didn't panic. instead they had Tom Brady go early and often to Jabar Gaffney who had his best game as a Patriot, contributing with 8 catches for 104 yards. Just before the half a Daniel Graham 1-yard TD pass from Brady gave the Pats a 17-10 lead.
In the 3rd, Chad Pennington's pass was knocked down by Rosevelt Colvin and picked up by Vince Wilfork, who was the only one who kept playing. The pass was ruled a lateral and after watching Belichick go bananas on the sideline, Wilfork rumbled 31 yards to the Jets 15 before being tackled by Cotchery. The Jets challenged the play, but the Pats kept the ball and four plays later, Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 28-yard field goal to give New England a 23-13 lead. Stevie-G had a steller rookie playoff game with 3 field goals and all 4 extra points.
In the 4th, after the Pats took a 30-16 lead, Asante Samuel picked off Pennington and ran the ball back 35-yards for the put-away score. Samuel, who was the topic of an article in the Boston Globe that highlighted a tattoo he has that reads "Get Paid", had 10 picks in the regular season, 2nd most all time for a Patriot.
The cold war between Belichick and Mangini ended after the game, at least on Belichick's side as the former mentor threw a Globe cameraman out of the way and hugged his former pupil. Following the game Bill was so excited he dropped an F-Bomb...
By Monday afternoon it was business as usual for the Pats as they released a statement from Scott Piloli regarding rumors that he was being courted by the New Jersey Giants:
"I am very honored to be granted the opportunity to discuss a potential position with the New York Giants. I have tremendous respect for the Kraft family, the Mara family, the Tisch family and the Giants organization. After careful consideration, and for personal reasons, I am continuing in my current role with the New England Patriots."
Up next for the Pats: A trip out west to take on the #1 seed San Diego Chargers, who not only have won their last 10, but who have defeated the Pats in their last two meetings...