A day after pulling off a shocking upset of the New England Patriots on the road, the Jets got a special reward from rookie head coach Eric Mangini: a day off. Though players were not available to the media, Mangini told reporters the players were around Jets headquarters in Hempstead watching film and hitting the weight room. As Mangini said last time the players were given an off day, “Who wouldn’t want to come in and get some extra work in on their day off?”
Whatever the extent of an off day it was, the Jets certainly earned some time to themselves after surprising much of the football world with a statement victory in Foxboro. The win over perennial powerhouse New England made it clear that this is not the same Jets team that went an ugly 4-12 last year. This is a team with a bunch of new faces, a ton of young talent, and a rookie head coach that already seems to have mastered his craft.
“I was most satisfied because of the way the guys have been working and preparing for each week,” the coach said referring to his players. “It really is all about them.”
Mangini won’t admit it publicly, but this win was as big for him personally as it was for the team. It is no doubt the biggest win of his young coaching career thus far and it is also the first time the Jets have defeated a team with a winning record this season. There is also some personal significance for Mangini as it marked his first victory over mentor-turned-bitter-rival Bill Belichick. And that is not even taking into consideration the fact that it is a road win against the division leader to trim the deficit to one game and make it clear that Gang Green is still very much alive in the race for the AFC East title. Not that Eric Mangini is concerned with any of that.
“As always it’s time to move on and we’ll move on to Chicago,” Mangini said. “We’ll move forward and try to learn from our mistakes and get ready for our next challenge.”
-Mangini announced that the players of the week were WR Jerricho Cotchery on offense, DE Shaun Ellis on defense, LB Matt Chatham on special teams and practice squad FB Stacy Tutt as practice player of the week.
-Though it might have been the Jets best wins of the year, it was certainly one of the ugliest. The Patriots rushed and passed for more than the Jets but they also turned to ball over once more than Gang Green.
-For the second time this year, wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery had a big game against the Pats. He now has 12 catches for 191 yards and two touchdowns against New England this season. In the Jets other seven games Cotchery has just 29 receptions for 340 yards and also just two touchdowns.
-Another big contributing factor in the Jets win on Sunday was a newly discovered pass rush. Pats quarterback Tom Brady felt the heat from the Jets front seven all day long which not only helped force Brady’s interception but ultimately ended the game when defensive end Shaun Ellis hit Brady to force a fumble as time expired.
-Mangini, a former defensive coordinator for the Patriots, said he did not get to spend much time with his former players. He sarcastically mentioned that he got some “warm” comments from some of the fans at Gillette Stadium.
-Despite being blatantly blown off by Pats coach Bill Bellichick for the second time this season at the post game handshake, it was not discussed at Mangini’s presser today.
-Usually secretive, Mangini did allow that it was “safe to say” that the ridiculous Victor Hobson roughing the passer call from yesterday will be sent to the league for review.
“We’re trying to coach that correctly,” Mangini said. “We’re not trying to teach or coach anything that’s illegal. That’s the third time we’ve been hit with a call like that and it costs us yards and some times maybe even points.”
The Jets will return to the practice field on Wednesday when they will begin their preparation for the 8-1 Chicago Bears.