In 1995 the Rams had just moved to St Louis from Los Angeles and going into their 7th game of the season against the 49ers they were sitting at 5-1. The 49ers had, of course, dominated the Rams for much of the past 15 years, yet hopes were high that this Rams team would finally be able to take over as kingpins of the NFC West. What ended up happening, however, was a 44-10 beat down at the hands of the 49ers. One of the 49er players summed it up best when he said afterwards, “Same old Rams.”
On Sunday night we saw something similar. This was the Jets chance to shine and show the football world there was finally a changing of the guard at the top of the AFC East. Going into the game the Patriots had lost two straight and their defense was ranked last in the NFL, surrendering an average of 412 yards per game. Meanwhile the Jets had won 3 straight, including a statement 27-11 road win against the Bills last Sunday, and hadn’t lost at home all season.
I guess everyone forgot the Patriots still had Tom Brady. The Jets weren’t able to get to Brady all night and he used that time to dismantle the Jets vaunted defense for 329 yards and 3 touchdowns on way to finishing with a 118.4 passer rating. Even Chad Ochocinco managed to get into the mix with 2 receptions for 65 yards.
People also forgot Mark Sanchez is nowhere near to being in the same category as Brady and if you force him to beat you he’ll usually find a way to beat himself instead. Sanchez threw for 306 yards but he barely completed half his passes and had two interceptions, including one in the 4th that was returned for a TD by Rob Ninkovich that sealed the win for the Patriots.
The end result was the Jets being thrashed 37-16 at the hands of the Patriots and no doubt many of the Patriots players were thinking the same thing, “Same old Jets.”
Now instead of being in sole position of 1st place, the Jets essentially find themselves two games out with seven to play since they’ll lose the tie-breaker. To make matters worse, every team left on the Patriots schedule currently has a losing record except for a home game against the Bills (5-4) in week 17.
“It looks doubtful,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said of their chances of winning the AFC East. “What am I going to say? Maybe I should guarantee the fact we’re out of it. The last time I did that, we made the playoffs. Yeah, we don’t have a chance.”
Hey, you said it not me.
At least his comment was more restrained than what he yelled at a fan as he left the field when an unknown spectator yelled,
“Hey, Rex, Belichick is better than you,” Ryan yelled back, “Shut the f— up!”
See, I wrote the first letter but I dropped the last three so it’s OK to write. Sure you all know what the word is and probably even said it in your head as you read it, but that’s alright. And yes, I really don’t get what makes a word so horribly bad, but that’s a topic for another story.
So once again it looks like the natural order of things has been restored. The Patriots, who’ve won the AFC East 9 of the last 11 seasons, are squarely in the driver’s seat over the Jets, who’ve they’ve beaten twice, and the now struggling Bills.
As for the Jets, not only did the loss cost them sole position of first place, they also find themselves one game out of the 6th playoff spot. Amazing what a difference one week can make.