2009 Week 2 - Jets vs Patriots Photos
The Jets' defense came through in a big way again, disrupting Tom Brady's game as they put together their 16-9 victory in the Meadowlands.
"He looked frustrated. I could see it in his eyes," said defensive end Shaun Ellis — the last Jet to play in a home win over the Patriots in 2000 before finally doing it again Sunday. "His eyes were wide open. I looked in his eyes a few times. He was trying to figure out where everyone was coming from."
Though the Pats outgained the Jets, 299 yards to 254, they were unable to get the ball in the end zone, recording only three field goals. It was the bend-but-don't-break defense that held up for the Green & White allowing zero points in three red zone trips.
"I said a long time ago we are good," said safety Kerry Rhodes, the Jets leading tackler with eight stops on the day, "I said we were going to be the No. 1 defense and I thank everyone here who laughed at me, but we are trying to prove that every day."
The defense hasn't given up a touchdown this season — the first time in franchise history that Jets have had a shutout in the first two games.
"They got down there a couple of times and we held them to three points, and if we hold the Patriots to three points then we are doing a good job," said Rhodes.
The normally unshakable Brady was flustered, unable to get the snap off before the playclock ran out three times. The home crowd kept the noise level up all day and can take a lot of the credit for four delay-of-game penalties and one illegal formation penalty against New England.
"I actually felt the ground vibrating," said the Big Katt. "That was the big boost, the 12th man we need every single game. We're trying to start a new culture in this stadium and every game we get that, good things are going to happen."
Wideout Wes Welker, one of the Pats' best offensive weapons, was deactivated 90 minutes before the kickoff leaving rookie WR Julian Edelman to fill the void. With all the attention on Randy Moss, Edelman recorded eight catches for 98 yards. But his Pro Bowl teammate was limited to 24 yards on four catches.
"I just covered him," said cornerback Darrelle Revis. "If he went to the bathroom, I went, too. I covered him any way I could. When he went to the sidelines, when our offense was on, and he sat down, I sat right across from him wherever he was sitting on the bench."
Revis recorded his first interception of the season and ninth of his career in the first quarter on a long Brady pass down the right sideline to Moss. On the other side, Lito Sheppard played well on Joey Galloway for the first few possessions until he went out with a quad injury in the second quarter after knocking down a Brady pass in the end zone intended for Galloway.
"We put a lot of pressure on Brady and we knew the ball was going to come out quick," said Revis. "That's what we tried to pressure him to do. I was trying to press at the line. We knew Brady was going to try and throw a couple fade balls out there and I caught one in the first quarter."
The Patriots weren't able to get much on the ground with only 83 yards on 20 carries. "When you come in here," said Bart Scott, "you have to fight and battle for every yard."
The Pats were still in it, down, 16-9, at their 10 with 1:48 left. On the first play, Brady completed an 18-yard pass to Edelman to the 28, which had to evoke some Week 1 memories of the Pats' two-touchdown comeback victory over Buffalo.
But the Jets were relentless up to the closing seconds, forcing four straight incompletions. Dwight Lowery, who came in and filled Sheppard's spot at corner after he went out, made the big play on fourth down, knocking the ball out of Galloway's hands, one of his two PDs, to seal the victory.
"I was thinking interception," Lowery said, "but the angle I was at I couldn't really get a pick, so knocking it down was the second thing and I just got it out of there."
"I know they were expecting the Tom Brady comeback," said Scott. "We knew it was going to come down to us. We wanted it no other way. We didn't want the offense to run the time out on the clock. We put the team on our back and put it in the defense's hands and closed the show."
The defense and the crowd stood up exactly when they needed to and the Jets came out victorious, sticking to their game.
"Today we had a plan and it was fun," said Kris Jenkins. "We're just looking to do whatever we can to come away with a win and try to get to our goal. We're trying to get to the Super Bowl."