Sunday, September 20, 2009
Rapid Reaction: Jets 16, Patriots 9
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Mark Sanchez emerged from the locker room at halftime a different man.
Actually, he looked like the same New York Jets quarterback as last week, but totally different than he did in the first half Sunday against the New England Patriots.
Sanchez completed 3 of 5 passes for 15 yards in the first half and lost 17 yards on a sack and fumble on the Jets' first play from scrimmage. Yet the rookie bounced pack with a solid performance to beat the Patriots 16-9, the first time the Jets have beaten them at the Meadowlands since 2000.
It wasn't the embarrassment Jets safety Kerry Rhodes had prophesied, but it's a W.
With the help of a 45-yard Jerricho Cotchery catch-and-run, Sanchez drove the Jets for a touchdown on their first post-halftime drive. Sanchez made a perfect 9-yard toss to Dustin Keller, who deftly dotted his toes inside the end line for the game's only touchdown.
Sanchez finished 14 of 22 for 163 yards.
Jets head coach Rex Ryan has shown off his team twice, and both times they looked impressive on both side of the ball. Their defense held Tom Brady and the Patriots to zero touchdowns.
You can't even say Wes Welker's absence played a significant factor because his replacement, rookie Julian Edelman, had eight catches for 98 yards -- both game-highs.
Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis shut down another elite receiver, holding Randy Moss to four catches and 24 yards. He let the Texans' Andre Johnson catch only four passes for 35 yards last week.
The Jets' defense simply played well. They harried Brady all day. Although they failed to record a sack, they were all over him.