Jets fighting for their playoff lives vs. Patriots
The Jets had their chance, and it was a good one, to beat the Patriots last month at Gillette Stadium, but defensive end Rob Ninkovich forced and recovered a game-sealing fumble in overtime and New England prevailed, 29-26.
The loss was the first of three straight for the Jets, who are now fighting for their playoff lives.New York ended its skid Sunday with a 27-13 win over the Rams and enters tomorrow night’s game against the Patriots at MetLife Stadium 4-6 and not thinking, or talking, too much about the postseason.“We’re happy we got the victory and things,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said yesterday, “but we put ourselves back so far that the only thing we can do is focus on right now. In our current situation, that’s trying to prepare to the best of our ability and keep trying to improve. That’s where we’re at. Everything else is such a distance away that we’re better off, better served to focus on what’s in front of us.”
During the three-game losing streak, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez completed just 55 percent of his passes, committed four turnovers, and was sacked nine times.He was better against the Rams, going 15 of 20 for 170 yards, a touchdown and no turnovers. New York’s defense had three takeaways which were converted into 14 points.“They played really well against St. Louis,” Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker said. “They’re a physical team, they got to the quarterback, caused some negative plays. They’ve got some momentum coming off that game. We have to keep our momentum going.”
Ryan : Gronk injury ‘a fluke’
Patriots coach Bill Belichick has been second-guessed by a lot of the pundits out there for even having tight end Rob Gronkowski on the field for the final extra point of Sunday’s 59-24 win over the Colts. It was on that play that Gronkowski suffered a broken forearm that will keep him out 4-8 weeks.
Ryan thinks the criticism Belichick has taken is unwarranted.“Absolutely ridiculous,” Ryan said. “It was on an extra point. He’s done that probably 100 times this year for the simple fact of how many points they score. You never see that. Every single team in the league does that. We have (starting left tackle) D’Brickashaw Ferguson in there. You don’t play the game that way. It’s just an unfortunate thing. That’s just a freak deal that would happen.”
Give Talib time
New cornerback Aqib Talib reviewed his first game as a member of the Patriots. “I watched it a couple times,” Talib said. “A couple corrections and it could be a lot better.”
Talib, whom the Patriots acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay Nov. 1, had seven tackles, a pass defensed and a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown in New England’s 59-24 win over the Colts.He was also in coverage on two of Indy’s touchdown receptions.
Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck threw for 334 yards, so the pass defense is still not up to par, but the Patriots intercepted Luck three times and got their hands on a number of balls (11 passes defensed).Talib and Kyle Arrington started at the corners against the Colts, while Devin McCourty and Steve Gregory were the starting safeties. Alfonzo Dennard, Tavon Wilson and Marquice Cole also played.“The more you play, the more you mesh as a secondary,” Talib said. “The more time you get together, the more it helps.”
Ryan was impressed with Talib’s immediate energy and production.“He’s a very talented young man,” Ryan said, “and obviously with (Bill) Belichick, he does a lot of different things on defense to take advantage of players’ talents. It’s going to be really interesting to see what he does with Talib because if his first game is any indication, that’s not bad.”
The team conducted a walkthrough yesterday and there were no changes from Monday’s practice report. … The Patriots last played on Thanksgiving in 2010, a 45-24 win over the Lions. … Quarterback Tom Brady has 51 career 300-yard games and needs one more to break a sixth-place tie with Dan Fouts and move into a tie for fifth with Kurt Warner. … In the last five games, Jets defensive lineman Muhammed Wilkerson has 37 tackles, two sacks, three passes defensed, three forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery he returned 21 yards for a touchdown. … The winner of the turnover battle has won six of the last eight games in the series. … The Patriots signed defensive back Malcolm Williams to the practice squad