|Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Mark Sanchez, turnover-prone Jets eliminated from playoff race||12.18.12 at 7:58 am ET|
TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Bulls, 8 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Timberwolves at Heat, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Winthrop at Ohio State, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Richmond at Kansas, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Michigan State at Bowling Green, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Western Kentucky at VCU, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Miami at Central Florida, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Stanford at NC State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Jacksonville State at Nebraska, 9 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The Jets’ hopes of making the playoffs were ended Monday night with a brutal 14-10 road loss to the Titans. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez threw four interceptions but was in position to win the game after a 19-yard punt gave New York the ball at the Tennessee 25 with 47 seconds remaining. However, Sanchez couldn’t handle a low shotgun snap on first down and the Titans recovered the fumble.
ESPN play-by-play caller Mike Tirico summed it up best, saying: “That’s the way this game should end, that’s the way the Jets’ season should end: Ugly, and a loss.”
Said Jets coach Rex Ryan: “Obviously, it’s a devastating loss, out of the playoffs, and it hurts beyond belief. I think the thing that really hurts the most is we’ve got no one to blame but ourselves.”
Sanchez (13-for-28 for 131 yards) had a passer rating of 32.6, lower than Tim Tebow (39.6), who was 0-for-1 and rushed three times for 15 yards. Sanchez turned over the ball on each of his team’s final three possessions.
“It doesn’t feel good hurting your team like that,” Sanchez said. “It’s not a winning formula. It never feels good.”
Cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who was predicting a playoff berth a month ago, was in no mood to talk after the loss that dropped the Jets to 6-8.
“Guys, no questions,” he told reporters. “I’m going to tell y’all the truth. This [bleep] has got to stop. Just being real.”
♦ A walk-on long snapper for the University of North Alabama was dismissed from the team after he made a racially offensive reference to President Barack Obama on Sunday night.
Referring to Obama’s speech from Newtown, Conn., that caused NBC to cut away from its coverage of the Patriots-49ers game, Bradley Patterson tweeted:
Take that [n-word] off the tv, we wanna watch football!
UNA director of athletics Mark Linder later tweeted that Patterson no longer is a member of the team.
Patterson’s Twitter account was closed shortly after his tweet.
♦ Major League Baseball is attempting to produce hats with padding so that pitchers will be safer. Baseball officials are considering adding a Kevlar lining to help avoid concussions when balls are struck back toward the mound.
“Since we started looking at the concussions a few years ago, we’ve actually been talking about this and looking for products,” MLB medical director Gary Green told The Washington Post. “But unfortunately there has not been any product that can withstand the impact at the major league level. And I think the fact that we’ve had several [incidents] in the last two years has really given us more impetus to see if we can get this developed quicker.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 18, 1986, which Bruins forward recorded his ninth (and final) career hat trick and added two assists in a 6-5 loss to the Hartford Whalers?
|Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Jets CB Antonio Cromartie no longer sure about playoff guarantee||11.27.12 at 7:50 am ET|
TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Mavericks at 76ers, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Vermont at Harvard, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Minnesota at Florida State, 7:15 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Iowa at Virginia Tech, 7:15 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: NC State at Michigan, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Maryland at Northwestern, 9:15 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Nebraska at Wake Forest, 9:15 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: North Carolina at Indiana, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who three weeks ago was positive the Jets would rally and make the playoffs, was not as confident on Monday, as his team returned to practice following the 49-19 embarrassment vs. the Patriots on Thanksgiving night that dropped New York to 4-7.
“I don’t even know what I believe right now, the way we’ve been playing,” he said. “We’ve still got five games left. Anything can happen. My biggest focus right now is this one important game. I can’t worry about the playoffs right now.”
The Jets, who have not won consecutive games all season, begin their final stretch with a game against the Cardinals on Sunday as they look to win out.
“Heck, yeah, that’s your goal,” coach Rex Ryan said. “Absolutely, that’s what you’re trying to do. Our goal was to beat New England also, but that never worked out. That’s why you play. You try and win every game that you’re in. I’m saying right now I’m not going to make a guarantee that we’re going to make the playoffs or that deal. We have to get better. It has to start right now.”
Added running back Joe McKnight: “We still are playing for something. We’re playing for our pride and we’ve still got a chance to get in the playoffs. We’ve got five games left. We need some things to happen. [Ryan] just told us to keep playing. The season’s not over. We’ve got five games left and we need to win these five games.”
♦ While the Jets are floundering, the Giants are crediting a 15-year-old cancer patient from Vermont for inspiring them before their 38-10 rout of the Packers on Sunday night. Adam Merchant Jr., who has been winning his battle with Burkitt lymphoma, gave a brief but emotional speech to the team after Friday’s practice, telling the players to “play like world champions.”
“When he said, ‘Play like champions,’ I think we all stopped and thought about it.” offensive lineman Chris Snee said. “We are the champions, and we need to play like that.”
Said defensive end Justin Tuck: “I told him he needs to go into motivational speaking, because he kind of woke us up a little bit.”
Merchant, who visited the team as part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation program, was welcomed back to the locker room following Sunday’s win.
“They didn’t just make a wish come true,” Merchant told the New York Post on Monday, “they made a dream come true.”
♦ Phil Jackson has had a couple of weeks to digest what happened in Los Angeles, where he almost returned to the bench before Mike D’Antoni was chosen to coach the Lakers, and he’s softened somewhat.
“We never discussed any terms, so there was never anything unfair about it,” Jackson told TMZ.com. “It was just a midnight kind of coup. … Yeah, it was kind of weird.”
Jackson, 67, said he has no plans to come out of retirement and coach again.
“The chances are slim and none, probably,” he said. “I wasn’t really looking to coach again, but that one was happenstance and it just came about.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 27, 1950, the Red Sox signed which future Hall of Famer from the Indians?
|Jets CB Antonio Cromartie denies accusation of being anonymous critic||11.16.12 at 3:15 pm ET|
Retired running back LaDainian Tomlinson said on Wednesday that he knows who attacked Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow with anonymous quotes in the New York Daily News this week: Antonio Cromartie and Bart Scott.
“Cromartie has never had a problem putting his name on things,” Tomlinson said on SiriusXM radio, adding: “Once you start talking to the media about teammates, Rex [Ryan] is going to address it. He’s not going to let it go. And so, now you have guys that don’t want to put your name on it because, obviously, Rex Ryan has said something about it.”
Tomlinson, who spent the final two seasons of his career playing for Ryan and the Jets, said he believes Cromartie was the unnamed player who called Tebow “terrible” in the report.
Cromartie on Thursday denied the accusation.
“I heard it but I have no response for a retired player,” Cromartie said. “Y’all know me, if I say something I put my name to anything I want to say. I really don’t care if I hurt anybody’s feelings, that’s not me and for me to sit here and say I’m going to talk about a teammate? If I’m going to talk about a teammate I’m going to tell him personally.
“I’m not going to get into the media and say I’m anonymous, I’m not that type of cowardly person.”
Tomlinson also said he thinks Scott is the anonymous player who claimed the Jets offense won’t work with Tebow running it.
Ryan addressed the unnamed comments earlier this week with the Jets and called the comments “cowardly.”
|Monday’s Morning Mashup: Rex Ryan will stick with Mark Sanchez despite Jets’ latest debacle||11.12.12 at 6:54 am ET|
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Bulls, 8 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NFL: Chiefs at Steelers, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM — joined in progress)
College basketball: Youngstown State at Georgia, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: IUPUI at Michigan, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: West Virginia at Gonzaga, 11:59 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Davidson at New Mexico, 2 a.m. Tuesday (ESPN)
College basketball: Houston Baptist at Hawaii, 4 a.m. Tuesday (ESPN)
College basketball: Stony Brook at Rider, 6 a.m. Tuesday (ESPN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Antonio Cromartie is “still confident” about his playoff guarantee despite the Jets’ latest embarrassment, a 28-7 loss to the Seahawks in Seattle that dropped New York to 3-6. Rex Ryan, meanwhile, said he isn’t rethinking his quarterback situation. Despite an anemic offensive performance (the only touchdown came from the defense), the Jets will stick with Mark Sanchez.
Said Ryan: “I believe we can win with Mark, and I believe that we can win with Tim [Tebow], but I’m not going to let you or anyone else convince me otherwise. Because this is how I feel.”
Sanchez (9-for-22 for 124 yards with an interception and a fumble on a sack) did his best to remain upbeat after his worst performance of a bad season. “I know we can do it,” he said. “I have seen our guys do it. It just has to turn, and it starts with me.”
Cousins crowed toward his team’s bench after scoring a couple of baskets on Tim Duncan and then drawing a foul on the Spurs legend midway through the fourth quarter. Duncan responded by blocking a Cousins shot and scoring three baskets downs the stretch of a 97-86 Spurs win.
“That’s why some humility is in order,” Elliott said on the air. “You think you’re dominating Tim Duncan, you get it stuffed right back in your face. Timmy doesn’t like to talk trash. But if guys start talking mess to him, he’s going to respond. All that trash talking was premature. I’m not about to let these guys off the hook. Young ballclub should learn from this. Don’t start talking and flapping your gums against one of the greatest players ever. He’s going to make you pay. Tell me who got the best of this exchange.”
Cousins apparently was informed that Elliott was criticizing him, and he decided to argue with Elliott after the postgame show. Cousins also told the media in the locker room that Elliott was “immature” for making his comments.
♦ First-year Washington State football coach Mike Leach took two years off from coaching after his acrimonious departure from Texas Tech, which was due in part to the fiery coach’s alleged mistreatment of a player who was suffering from post-concussion symptoms. It appears that Leach hasn’t softened.
Washington State president Elson Floyd called for an investigation after standout wide receiver Marquess Wilson quit the team and cited abusive behavior by Leach and his staff.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 12, 1942, which Bruin became the youngest player in NHL history when he took to the ice one month before his 17th birthday for a 3-1 loss in Toronto? Hint: He later coached the B’s.
|Thursday’s Morning Mashup: New-look Lakers preach patience after falling to 0-2||11.01.12 at 7:59 am ET|
THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NFL: Chiefs at Chargers, 8:20 p.m. (NFL Network)
College football: Eastern Michigan at Ohio, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Virginia Tech at Miami, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Middle Tennessee at Western Kentucky, 9:15 p.m. (ESPNU)
NBA: Thunder at Spurs, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Before his Mavericks upset the Lakers on Tuesday, Mavs owner Mark Cuban was pointed when asked to assess the reloaded Los Angeles squad.
“I don’t know, I don’t care, I just hope they suck,” Cuban said with a laugh.
Through two games, Cuban is getting his wish.
A night after losing their opener to the Mavericks in Los Angeles, the Lakers dropped a 116-106 decision to the Trail Blazers in Portland. Adding injury to insult, point guard Steve Nash left the game with a bruised leg after a collision with Blazers guard Damian Lillard.
“We’ve got to learn how to play together,” said Dwight Howard, who had 33 points and 14 rebounds. “You’ve got to be good before you can be great.”
Added Howard: “We didn’t expect to just come together and be awesome. It’s always a process. We’ve got to stick with it so that at the end of the year we can have a trophy.”
Coach Mike Brown is being criticized for his restrictive offense that doesn’t give Nash enough time with the ball in his hands, but the team is preaching patience.
“We’re not sharp,” Nash said. “I think the guys are trying, we just didn’t live up to what we’re trying to do.”
♦ Reggie Bush and the Dolphins appeared to get in the last word vs. the Jets with Sunday’s 30-9 beatdown, but the feuding between the teams is not over.
On Wednesday, Bush responded to Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie calling him a “punk,” apparently referring to a play on which Bush stiff-armed Cromartie, leading to a retaliatory shove and a head-butt that cost Cromartie a 15-yard penalty.
“I’ve been called a lot of things, but not a punk,” Bush said with a laugh. “I don’t feel like I did anything illegal. I didn’t try to hurt him. I didn’t talk about hurting him or ending his career or anything like that. What I did was perfectly within the rules, and if he didn’t like it, it’s tough. That’s football. I’ve been on the side of some ugly stuff. The last thing I’m going to do is cry about it and call somebody a punk.”
Added Bush: “If they don’t like me, I guess, tough.”
♦ New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg overruled the NBA on Wednesday, announcing that Thursday’s season-opener between the Knicks and Nets at Brooklyn’s new Barclay’s Center will be postponed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The league had said a day earlier that the game would be played, but Bloomberg decided that the city needed more time to recover from the damage. Many of the subway lines in the area have been suspended.
“We are disappointed that we can’t play, but there are a lot more important things going on right now,” Nets point guard Deron Williams said. “A lot of people lost homes, a lot of people lost loved ones, so a basketball game doesn’t mean much right now.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 1, 2005, Jason Varitek became the first Red Sox player in 14 seasons to win a Gold Glove. Who was the team’s previous recipient, in 1991?
|Monday’s Morning Mashup: Jets hit new low in embarrassing loss to Dolphins||10.29.12 at 7:59 am ET|
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NFL: 49ers at Cardinals, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The Jets are the team that just keeps on giving, at least when it comes to making headlines for their silly behavior and tough talk that they have not been able to back up this season. Following a week of trash-talking, mainly emanating from New York, the Jets went out and dropped a 30-9 decision to the visiting Dolphins on an embarrassing afternoon for Gang Green.
“When you’re playing against another team and they’re running their mouth, you’re going to go out and play harder. That’s part of the game,” Dolphins center Mike Pouncey said. “It feels good. We said during the week, if people are going to talk, we’re going to go out there and just play harder.”
Dolphins tailback Reggie Bush, who was in the middle of last week’s back-and-forth, accusing the Jets of trying to hurt him in the teams’ first meeting, had a 19-yard run in the first quarter Sunday before colliding with outspoken cornerback Antonio Cormartie near the sideline. Cromartie then head-butted Bush, earning a flag for unnecessary roughness.
“I ain’t lose my composure,” insisted Cromartie, who dislocated his pinkie on the play. “I just called him a punk, and that’s exactly what he is. I didn’t head-butt him; I pushed him first, then I head-butted him.”
Bush, who yelled at Jets coach Rex Ryan while on the New York sideline, got in the last word. Even though Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill was knocked out the game on the first series (injured quadriceps), leaving backup Matt Moore to do most of the damage against the Jets’ once-feared defense, Miami was able to roll, and Bush implied that the Jets (now 3-5) were quitters.
“It’s very satisfying. It’s as good as it gets,” Bush said. “We knew we wanted to jump on them early, and I think we were able to accomplish that. I think once we got on them early, they kind of laid down a little bit.”
Jets fans also quit on their team — at least on starting quarterback Mark Sanchez. The crowd chanted for backup Tim Tebow, and that did not sit well with at least one Jet.
“That chant is BS. … I think the fans are out of place,” wide receiver Chaz Schilens said, acknowledging: “They’re pissed. They have a right to be pissed.”
♦ Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel‘s return to Philadelphia went well, as Atlanta remained undefeated with a 30-17 victory over his former team. After the game, Samuel complained that Eagles coach Andy Reid snubbed him.
“Andy Reid, why didn’t you speak to me?” Samuel told reporters. “What did I do to you, man? I’ve got nothing but love for you, Big Red. … He wouldn’t speak to me, man — can you believe that? As happy as I am, he wouldn’t even tell me, ‘Great game, Asante, I love ya, man.’ ”
Samuel, who said maybe it was his celebratory dancing that “got to [Reid] a little bit,” was asked about the difference between the teams.
“I think it’s the coaching,” said the onetime Patriot. “We’ve got really good coaching.”
♦ Manny Ramirez apparently hasn’t given up on his baseball career. The former Red Sox slugger, twice banned by Major League Baseball for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, reportedly will play for Las Aguilas in his native Dominican Republic in an effort to impress three Japanese teams that have shown an interest.
According to the New York Post, the 40-year-old Ramirez is scheduled to fly from his home in Florida to the Dominican Republic on Monday to join the team, which already has begun its winter league season.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Oct. 29, 1996, as part of the NBA’s 50th anniversary celebration, the league announced its list of the 50 greatest players in NBA history. The list included a number of Celtics — nine who played all or most of their career with the C’s, one who played five of his 13 NBA seasons in Boston, three who played two seasons or less with the Celtics, and one who had not yet played in Boston but made a brief stop here before retiring. Who are they?
|Jets’ Darrelle Revis says he will return to ‘doing what I do best’ after ACL surgery||10.15.12 at 1:21 pm ET|
Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis made his first public comments since his Sept. 23 injury and said he was confident he would return as a dominant player after recovering from ACL surgery that is scheduled for Wednesday.
Revis was injured with four minutes left in the third quarter of the Jets’ 23-20 overtime win in Miami on Sept. 23. In an interview with the New York Daily News, Revis said “there’s no question that I [will] be back to where I was in the previous years of performing and doing what I do best.”
Added Revis: “If everything goes right and I do everything right with this procedure and this process for the next four to six months, yeah. … I’m a confident player. I never had an injury like this. This is all new for me as well. But, yeah, I’m a hard worker. I know I’m going to work my butt off and get back to where I need to be.”
Revis consulted with other NFL players who have returned from ACL injuries including Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles and teammate Antonio Cromartie. Revis has been doing exercises to strengthen the muscles around the ACL already. His return timetable is six to nine months.
“I just want to get back as fast as possible where I feel comfortable [to go] out there and play like I usually do,” Revis said. “I think that’s the biggest goal. If I don’t feel ready … time will tell. We really don’t know. As soon as I feel 100 percent, I’ll be ready to go whether that’s January, February, March … it doesn’t matter.”
|Antonio Cromartie’s wife says she faked suicide attempt to get his attention||05.21.12 at 1:33 pm ET|
According to a New York Post report, Terricka Cason Cromartie, wife of Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie, was forced to undergo a psychiatric evaluation after faking a suicide attempt in order to prevent her husband from cheating on her.
At 2 a.m. on May 6, Cason Cromartie sent her husband a series of text messages stating, “God forgive me, I don’t want to die. What have I done?” and, “I cut my wrists. I took those pills.”
The cornerback, who lives with his wife in New Jersey but was in Miami when he received the messages, called the New Jersey police, telling them, “There’s a problem at my house. She’s bleeding. She cut her wrists.”
When the cops broke through the door of the Cromartie household, they found Cason Cromartie, seven months pregnant, laying in bed with her two daughters and no sign of blood.
Cason Cromartie admitted to faking the suicide attempt because she thought her husband was “cheating on her,” according to the police report.
The 31-year-old mother also admitted sending text messages “to the woman she believes is romantically involved with her husband.”
When police told her she needed to undergo psychiatric evaluations, she became “belligerent, uncooperative, irrational and argumentative” but eventually agreed. The state’s child-protection agency took temporary care of her children.
Cromartie is the father of 10 kids, including eight with seven other women.
|Monday’s Morning Mashup: Nationals send teen prodigy Bryce Harper to minors||03.19.12 at 7:56 am ET|
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Hawks, 7 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)
NBA: Bulls at Magic, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Mavericks at Nuggets, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NIT, Middle Tennessee at Tennessee, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NIT, Minnesota at Miami, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NIT, Illinois State at Stanford, 11:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
NHL: Maple Leafs at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Devils at Rangers, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Ducks at Sharks, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB preseason: Tigers at Phillies, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB preseason: Dodgers at Indians, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Bryce Harper, the controversial 19-year-old many are predicting to be the next major league star, was sent to Triple-A Syracuse Sunday by the Nationals .
Harper, who missed six spring training games with a calf strain, went 1-for-5 with four strikeouts Sunday against the Tigers. Manager Davey Johnson reportedly had been pushing for Harper to stay in the majors.
“He’s a special player,” Johnson said. “He needs to go down there and do what he’s doing. He doesn’t need to change [anything] for me. He just needs to go play.”
Said Harper: “It sucks. But I’ve got to go down there [to Syracuse] and work hard and try to get up here as quick as I can. … I just want to go down there and … get on a streak and be called up and hopefully be a game-changer for the Nationals.”
Harper, who is being transitioned from catcher to outfield, is expected to play mostly center field with Syracuse.
♦ Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie tweeted Sunday night that he is moving to safety to help the team fill a void there. The team has been bringing in free agents — including LaRon Landry, who also has visited with the Patriots — but hasn’t found anyone yet.
Tweeted Cromartie: The reason I say I’m moving to FS is because Kyle [Wilson] is becoming a good corner and I don’t mind the move.
♦ More details from golf coach Hank Haney‘s book on Tiger Woods were revealed over the weekend, and it’s not good for Woods. Haney does not paint a flattering picture of the golf legend in “The Big Miss,” which is due to be released next Tuesday.
Haney claims Woods is a self-centered, immature tightwad who routinely ignores kids looking for autographs. Haney said when eating at a restaurant with Woods, the golfer would get up without a word when he was finished and expect everyone in his party (including his former wife, Elin) to follow him, even if they were not finished.
“When he was done — and he habitually ate fast — you were done,” Haney told.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On March 19, 1972, which Bruins player scored two power-play goals in a 7-3 victory over the visiting Minnesota North Stars and in the process set an NHL single-season record with 27 power-play goals (he finished the season with 28)?
|Top Stories of 2011, No. 5: Patriots’ playoff loss to Jets||12.27.11 at 12:00 pm ET|
For the final 10 days of 2011, WEEI.com will count down the top 10 stories of the year in Boston sports. Our next entry in the countdown is No. 5: The Patriots’ playoff loss to the Jets.
Check out our previous entries:
No. 10: NBA lockout
No. 9: NFL lockout
No. 8: Celtics’ playoff loss to Heat
No. 7: Patriots’ acquisitions of Albert Haynesworth, Chad Ochocinco
No. 6: Jacoby Ellsbury’s MVP-caliber season
For the 2010-11 Patriots, the beginning of the postseason held a lot of promise. That’s because New England went a league-best 14-2 during the regular season, securing the No. 1 seed in the AFC in the process. For the Pats, it was Super Bowl or bust.
Leading the Patriots to their lofty standing was quarterback Tom Brady. He had perhaps the most efficient year of his career in 2010, passing for 36 touchdowns against just four interceptions, the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in NFL history. He also set an NFL record by recording 335 straight pass attempts without an interception. For his efforts, Brady was named NFL MVP for the second time of his career.
But in the way of the Patriots’ path to the Super Bowl was their brash AFC East rival, the Jets. New York had beaten the Colts in the first round of the playoffs and moved on to face the Patriots in the divisional round. It was as an enticing matchup as one could hope for in the second round of the postseason.
The teams split the season series. The Jets beat the Patriots, 28-14, in Week 2, in what was a mild early season upset. In Week 13, New England seemed set on revenge and defeated New York resoundingly, 45-3, in a Monday night game at Gillette Stadium. The embarrassing loss only strengthened the Jets’ resolve heading into their playoff rematch.
To no surprise, the week leading up to the game was almost as entertaining as the game itself, as the Jets fired shots at New England while the Patriots tried to remain composed, although they fired some subtle shots of their own.
It began on Monday, Jan. 10, when Jets coach Rex Ryan held a question-and-answer session with the media. He looked back to the 45-3 loss, saying he “was outcoached in that game.” Never one to hold back his true feelings, Ryan went on to say that the upcoming game was all about one thing.
“I recognize this week, this is about Bill Belichick vs. Rex Ryan,” he said. ”There’s no question. It’s personal. This is about him against myself, and that’s what it’s going to come down to.”
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