The New York Jets were thrashed 45-3 in New England last night, giving the Patriots the outright lead in their division and a possible playoff advantage.
“I came in here to kick his butt,” Ryan said after the nationally televised game. “He ended up kicking mine.”
The Patriots improved to 10-2, the best record in the National Football League along with the Atlanta Falcons, and a game ahead of the 9-3 Jets in the American Football Conference East Division.
Belichick, whose only loss in December at Gillette Stadium since it opened in 2002 was against the Jets four years ago, said the Patriots played their best game of the season to send the Jets to their worst loss since 1986.
“Tonight was our night,” Belichick told reporters. “The Jets are a good football team. I’m sure we haven’t heard the last from them.”
On the Jets’ first possession, Ryan ordered a 53-yard field goal attempt in winds gusting to 24 mph. The kick fell short, giving the Patriots possession at their 43-yard line. New England began a six-play, 57-yard drive that ended with a touchdown from running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis and a 10-0 lead for the home team.
“In warmups, he was hitting it,” Ryan said of kicker Nick Folk. “That’s where we thought he was good from.”
The Jets then moved backward a yard in three plays and muffed a 12-yard punt to give New England the ball at New York’s 32-yard line. Less than two minutes later, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady found Deion Branch for a 19-yard touchdown that made it 17-0.
The Jets drove 46 yards in eight plays in the second quarter to set up a 39-yard field goal by Folk for their only score.
Ryan, who once said he wouldn’t kiss Belichick’s Super Bowl rings, said he has a long list of things to work on before the Jets play the Miami Dolphins in New York on Dec. 12.
Quarterback Mark Sanchez, who led the team to comeback victories in recent weeks against the Detroit Lions and Houston Texans, completed 17 of 33 passes for 164 yards while throwing three interceptions. Brady completed 21 of 29 passes for 326 yards and four touchdowns.
“They started awful fast and instead of fighting to come back like we usually do, I threw some bad balls,” Sanchez said.
The quarterback was forced to throw more than he wanted to because of the position the team was in, Ryan said.
“That’s what happens when you get behind by one zillion points,” the coach said.
Ryan said he was especially disappointed because the Jets had looked strong in practice last week. The loss of defensive signal caller Jim Leonhard to injury didn’t account for the unit’s poor performance, he said.
“The next man’s got to stand up,” Ryan said. “Leonhard wasn’t going to make a 45-point difference.”
While he insisted the Jets weren’t humiliated, Ryan said his players will have to cope better if other teams try to use New England’s tactics against them.
“It’s the biggest butt whipping I’ve ever taken as a coach,” he said.
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