Friday, November 23, 2012
The Jets' one-minute meltdown
By Rich Cimini
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Jets' season crumbled in a New York minute.
In a second quarter for the ages, the Jets allowed three touchdowns in 52 seconds -- only the third time since the 1970 merger that a team scored three touchdowns in a minute, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Patriots scored 35 points in the second quarter, cruising to a 49-19 win Thursday night at MetLife Stadium.
"I thought it was almost impossible to score 35 points in a quarter," Rex Ryan said.
Said QB Mark Sanchez, "That was crazy. I've never seen anything like it."
Here's how it happened:
1. Patriots QB Tom Brady threw an 83-yard TD to Shane Vereen. It was a short pass, but the Jets' coverage was terrible. LB Bart Scott appeared to have Vereen, but he was "picked" by WR Wes Welker. That gave Vereen his separation, and he went untouched to the end zone to make it 14-0 with 9:43 left in the quarter.
2. Patriots S Steve Gregory scored on a 32-yard fumble return with 9:00 left. On an aborted play, Sanchez slid into the behind of RG Brandon Moore and coughed up the ball -- a play that will live in Jets infamy. It was a mental mistake by Sanchez, who turned the wrong way on what was supposed to be a handoff to FB Lex Hilliard.
3. Julian Edelman scored on a 22-yard fumble return on a kickoff. This, too, was slapstick. McKnight was hit by Devin McCourty and the ball flew out of his hands to Edelman. It almost look like a pitch to Edelman, yet another huge mistake by the Jets' special teams. There was 8:51 left in the first half, and the Patriots had laughed their way to a 28-0 lead.