Jets beat Patriots in an Overtime Instant Classic

The AFC East just got a little wackier after the Jets (7-3) surprised the Patriots (6-4) with a 34-31 overtime victory — Jets had previously lost 11 of 12 to the Patriots.  I am not sure if everyone got to see this one fully (Thanks NFL Network and Big Cable), but hopefully the majority of NFL fans did as this game was an instant classic.  The contest pitted the former roughshod kings of the AFC  (Patriots) versus a team led by a guaranteed Hall of Famer, but as a team looked very unstable in the past few weeks leading up to this contest (Jets).

Brett Favre and the Jets silenced their critics by winning an overtime thriller for their fourth straight win.  The Jets opened up an early 24-6 lead, but then weathering a furious Patriots comeback that culminated with a Matt Cassel to Randy Moss touchdown pass with only one second left on the clock.  In overtime it was the Favre and TE Dustin Keller show.  As the graybeard quarterback found the rookie first round selection for three big catches that setup the game-winner.  

Jets kicker Jay Feely was cool and calm as he drilled a 34-yard field goal with 7:11 remaining in overtime to give the Jets a well-deserved victory.  The Jets now have sole possession of first place in the AFC East -surprisingly this division is stacked from top to bottom with the Jets, Patriots, Bills, and Dolphins all sporting winning records.

For all the great storylines of this game (Spygate Rivalry, Brett Favre’s second match-up against Patriots as a Jet, Bill Belichick vs. former understudy Eric Mangini, etc), the greatest story had to be the play of quarterbacks Brett Favre and Matt Cassel.  Favre playing vintage #4 football turned back the clock to the 1990’s as the 17-year veteran was efficient, gritty, and refused to quit.  After seven consecutive games with an interception earlier this year, Favre didn’t throw one for the second straight week.

Cassel, a free agent to be in 2009, proved why Bill Belichick had confidence in him coming off the bench to replace Tom Brady.  The former USC back-up was spectacular as he threw for career-high numbers of 30-51, 400 yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs plus he led the Patriots in rushing with 62 yards.  The game truly was Cassel’s big debut as the national television audience got a chance to see him lead his team from a possible blowout to overtime.  Cassel proved that he has the arm, brain, and legs to be a winner in the NFL and the former career back-up even became the first quarterback since 1970 with 400 yards passing and 60 yards rushing in a the same game.

 Lloyd’s Leftovers

  • A couple defensive players deserve mention too.. The Jets were led by LB Eric Barton (17 TKLs and 1 FF) and big DT Kris Jenkins (3 TKLS and 1 sack).  The Patriots got outstanding performances from Pro Bowl DT Richard Seymour (10 TKLs, 1 sack) and linebackers rookie of the year candidate Jerrod Mayo (20 TKLs) and Pierre Woods, who filled in nicely for injured teammate Addalius Thomas providing 10 tackles and a sack.
  • Kudos also go out to New York Jets veteran cornerback Ty Law as the veteran provided good coverage and had three tackles despite not having a full week of practice (signed on Monday).
  • I am convinced Jets returnman Leon Washington should get a Pro Bowl look as a kick returner.  The former Florida State burner had 4 kick returns for 177 yards, average of 44.3 yards, including a spectacular 92-yard touchdown scamper.




Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and an award -winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)


One Response

  1. The network could not of asked for a better game! Leon is becoming a game changer lately is the Hester of 2008 season thus far. Enjoyed the read

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