For Antonio Cromartie and his Jets teammates, Thanksgiving 2012 won't be one they'll be discussing years down the road.
Instead they'd probably like to quickly erase it from their memory.
"It's frustrating," Cromartie said of Thursday night's 49-19 loss to the New England Patriots. "You go into a game and in the first quarter you're playing well. Then all of a sudden, it goes bad. They scored on all three phases; on special teams, on offense and on defense. It's frustrating."
Like Cro pointed out: the Jets defense was clicking in the first quarter. On the Pats' first two offensive series, the unit held the NFL's top offense without any points. But that changed on the opening play of the second quarter when Tom Brady hit WR Wes Welker for a 3-yard touchdown reception, the first of Brady's three passing TDs on the night.
The cornerback said something that hurt the Jets was that New England knew what defensive coverages they were playing.
"What I'm saying is guys were in a bad position because of the play call that we were in," No. 31 said. "We ran Cover-3 and they knew we were in that coverage. So [linebacker] Bart Scott was in a bad position because he was too far inside. It's hard for him to cover a guy when we had basically a man-on-man coverage from our zone coverage with our safety and our corner to that side.
"So it was kind of hard. We should have gone to another coverage, another scheme of playing 'sky' and I would have put the safety on the wheel and put Bart on the inside guy on the curl route. It's just things like that where we have to go back and look at it and make sure we correct those things."
The Jets were hoping to capitalize on the absence of All Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski, who broke his forearm during the Patriots' 59-24 win over Indianapolis on Sunday. However, even with Gronkowski not available, New England's offense was just as effective from Cromartie's perspective.
"Honestly, a lot of stuff didn't change," he said. "I think they stuck to their game plan and did what they do best."
This AFC East rivalry has turned the Patriots' way the past two seasons. but Cromartie still views the matchup as competitive.
"Right now we've lost to them four times in a row. That's two years in a row," he said. "But I feel like it's a rivalry. They always give us their best and we try to give them our best."
Now with five games remaining, the Jets sit at 4-7. Yes, they were coming off a short week having to play on Thursday, but the Patriots were in the same boat. And interestingly, just one month ago these same teams were facing off in Foxboro in a much closer and highly competitive contest. The Patriots won that meeting, too, but the Jets were able to display resiliency coming back from a 16-7 deficit to force overtime.
"At the end of the day, you have to continue to fight," Cromartie said. "We have five weeks left and at the end of the day, you can only take one week at a time. Our next opponent is going up against Arizona. It's another home game. The biggest thing we have to do is just go out and win this one game. That's the main focus."