FOXBOROUGH — The New York Jets backed up their brash talk. And while their most notorious vow was aimed at one player rather than the team, in the end it proved prescient.
The Patriots’ days are numbered.
The Jets stunned the Patriots, 28-21, this afternoon during the rivals’ AFC Divisional Playoff matchup at Gillette Stadium. Coming barely a month after the Patriots blasted the Jets, 45-3, on the same turf, it was a devastating end to a surprisingly dominant season in which the Patriots went 14-2, won their final eight regular season games, and earned the top seed in the AFC playoffs.
The Jets iced secured the victory against the oddly sluggish Patriots with 1:41 left on Shonn Greene’s 16-yard scoring run to give New York a 28-14 lead. A late 13-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Deion Branch proved too little, too late.
Oft-criticized Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez played a steady and efficient game, completing 16 of 25 passes for 194 yards and three touchdowns, with no interceptions or sacks. Brady was sacked five times and threw his first interception since Oct. 17, and while he finished with respectable numbers (29 of 45, 299 yards, two TDs, 1 INT), he was under siege all game (five sacks) and struggled to connect with his primary receivers until it was too late.
Alge Crumpler had the Patriots’ other receiving touchdown, which cut the margin to 14-11 in the third quarter.
The Jets will head to Pittsburgh for the AFC Championship game, where they will face the second-seeded Steelers, needing two victories to back up their coach’s preseason boast that they would be Super Bowl champions.
The Patriots, meanwhile, have lost three straight postseason games dating back to their Super Bowl XLII loss to the Giants.
0:00, JETS 28, PATRIOTS 21: And that’s that. Braylon Edwards punctuates the victory with a backflip, Belichick shakes hands with Ryan, the Jets back up their bluster, and an enjoyable and entertaining Patriots season ends in stunning disappointment. We’ll be back with a brief recap right here in a moment, and stick around Extra Points for all of your postgame coverage.
0:23: Eric Smith recovers the onside kick.
0:24, JETS 28, PATRIOTS 21: Brady to Branch for a 13-yard score.
1:41, JETS 28, PATRIOTS 14: Shonn Greene takes it in from 16 yards out, then rubs it in by putting the football on the ground and using it as a pillow. Good night, indeed.
1:52: So much for that. The Patriots have a shot at the onside kick, but it squibs through a group of players and Antonio Cromartie picks it up and returns in 23 yards to the Patriots 20. It’s all over but the chest-thumping.
1:57, JETS 21, PATRIOTS 14: Graham boots it through, capping a seven-play, 26-yard drive that took 1:32.
2:00 Another extended television timeout as Shayne Graham lines up for a 35-yard field goal to cut it to seven.
2:56: Bart Scott has to be helped off the field. Patriots fans cheer.
3:29: Edelman zips up the left seam for a 41-yard return to the Jets 43.
3:42: Tomlinson is stopped for no gain on third and 6. Patriots use their first timeout. Julian Edelman is back to return the punt. If he takes it back . . . well, maybe. Still can’t figure out why they were so nonchalant on their last drive.
4:33 And now the Jets try to run out the clock. Shonn Greene picks up two yards on first down, then four more on second.
5:15, 4th quarter: Brady misses Branch at the first down marker on the fourth down play. The ball deflected off Branch’s hands. And that may do it. The fans are now heading to the exits. [Chad Finn takes it home from here, I’m off to the Rex Ryan postgame presser]
5:39, 4th quarter: Brady sacked again by Sione Pouha then follows that up with an incomplete pass on third down. It’s now fourth and 13 from the Jets 34 yard line. Crunch time to say the least.
13;00, 4th quarter: Fans aren’t exactly filing for the exits just yet, but it’s not looking pretty here in Foxborough as Sanchez just hit Santonio Holmes on a 17-yard touchdown play. The scoring drive: 5 plays, covering 75 yards, in 2:13. Injury update: Ninkovich out with a knee injury, return questionable.
0:45, 3d quarter: Brady to Alge Crumpler, 2-yard touchdown. Patriots go for the two-point conversion and get in on a run by little-used Sammy Morris. An 80 yard drive in 8 plays covering 3:51 on the score. Brady moved around in the pocket long enough to spring Crumpler free in the end zone. Safety Eric Smith smashed Wes Welker on a short pass prior to that. BenJarvus Green-Ellis got them down to the 8 yard line on a power run after a false-start penalty set them back five yards.
2:51, 3d quarter: Big play finally. Brady hit tight end Rob Gronkowski for a badly-needed 37 yard gain. After a couple of plays that yielded one yard, Brady hit Deion Branch for another first down on third and nine. First reception of the game for Branch. Now Brady hits Branch again for a 16-yard completion. Patriots inside the Jets 15…
4:11, 3d quarter: Injury update: Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich is gingerly walking off the field with assistance after holding his left knee after the last play. Defensive lineman Eric Moore has a hamstring issue, his return is questionable.
5:40, 3d quarter: Jets running back Shonn Greene is having a big impact for Gang Green. Greene just busted out a 20-yard run after making a nine yard catch and a four yard run for a first down earlier in the drive. Jets are grinding down the clock, running, and hitting short passes… looking like the old 14-2 Patriots.
6:47, 3d quarter: Patriots punt again. Brady was hit and the Patriots recovered their own fumble at the 21 yard line, which could have been a game-breaker if the Jets came up with it. The play goes as a 12-yard sack for Jets linebacker Calvin Pace. Hernandez catches a four yard pass, not enough, on third down. Brady tried to hit Brandon Tate, Randy-Moss-style, deep down the field, but Tate could not come up with the catch earlier in the stalled drive. The Patriots tried another trick play, a snap to Woodhead who handed off to Julian Edelman for an 11-yard pickup. But there wasn’t much else to the drive. And it’s getting late. You can hear more boos.
8:44, 3d quarter: Patriots punt again. Brady was hit and the Patriots recovered their own fumble at the 21 yard line, which could have been a game-breaker if the Jets came up with it. The play goes as a 12-yard sack for Jets linebacker Calvin Pace. Hernandez catches a four yard pass, not enough, on third down. Brady tried to hit Brandon Tate, Randy-Moss-style, deep down the field, but Tate could not come up with the catch earlier in the stalled drive. The Patriots tried another trick play, a snap to Woodhead who handed off to Julian Edelman for an 11-yard pickup. But there wasn’t much else to the drive. And it’s getting late. You can hear more boos.
10:24, 3d quarter: Jets stopped. Patrick Chung stepped up and stopped LaDainian Tomlinson on a third and five from the Jets 45. Patriots have the ball again, and another chance to get some momentum going.
Halftime: You can hear the boos from the press box as the Patriots shuffle off the field at the end of a disappointing first half. Before the misery ended, Logan Mankins shoved Jets cornerback Marquice Cole and picked up a personal foul penalty. Prior to that, Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis ripped the ball out of Deion Branch’s hands after a long throw down the field by Tom Brady in an attempt to get the Patriots into scoring position before the half. A disappointing performance all-around for the Patriots in the first half.
0:50, 2d quarter: Panic time. Jets score. Sanchez to Braylon Edwards for a 15-yard touchdown catch. Edward was open and fought off Patriots defenders on his way to the end zone. The drive: 4 plays, covering 37 yards, in 33 seconds after the Patriots blew the fake punt attempt. We’ll be taking about that punt play for a while if New England goes on to lose this. Oh, yes, and the air has been taken out of Gillette Stadium. The feet signs aren’t so funny right now.
0:50, 2d quarter: Trick, but no treat for the Patriots. The Patriots faked the punt and did a short snap to safety Patrick Chung, who dropped the ball and was immediately tackled. Jets are now in a great position to score. Ball is now at the Patriots 20 and the Jets are driving.
1:27, 2d quarter: On third and three, Brady badly missed Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski wasn’t looking for the ball which sailed out of bounds. Prior to the third down play, Brady handed off to Woodhead on second down for just a two-yard gain.
1:57, 2d quarter: Patriots moving the ball after Brady picked up a first down on a third-and-one quarterback sneak. The ball is at the Patriots 36, second down and six, when we come back from the two-minute warning break. Plenty of time for the Patriots offense to get into scoring position if they can get some receivers open.
3:02, 2d quarter: No guts, no glory. Jets punt on fourth-and-1 from the Patriots 41 yard line. The Jets aren’t flying, but they were moving the ball until they were stopped on third and five with a four yard catch.
5:16, 2d quarter: The Patriots are challenging a complete catch call on a pass by Sanchez to Santonio Holmes, who bobbled the catch. The ball is at the New England 49 as we wait. Could be tough to overturn this call as it was called a catch on the field.
6:47, 2d quarter: Ouch. A third down incompletion by Sanchez turns into a first down on a pass interference call (questionable) on James Sanders. First and ten Jets from their own 40 yard line.
8:40, 2d quarter: A bright spot. The Jets had the Patriots punt again after a penalty on Sergio Brown, and the Jets lost 5 yards in the exchange. Jets backed up in side the 25.
10:24, 2d quarter: Touchdown Jets. Sanchez hit a wide open Tomlinson on a 7 yard pass for the score. The drive: 5 plays, 49 yards, in 1:56. The oh-so-big play: Sanchez fired the ball deep down the left side of the field to Braylon Edwards on third down; a 37-yard play. A great throw and an even better catch.
14:05, 2d quarter: Jets cornerback Drew Coleman flew in untouched and flew into Tom Brady for the third down sack. Prior to the sack, Brady threw incomplete to Welker who was well covered. Woodhead followed with a five yard run to set up the third down play. Third sack by the Jets today. The Patriots had 104 yards of offense in the first quarter, but only have the field goal to show for it.
14:05, 2d quarter: Jets punting. Sanchez tried to hit tight end Dustin Keller downfield. Keller was open, but Sanchez missed him on the third-and-seven attempt. Patriots get the ball back after the punt, will start the drive from their own 20 yard line.
0:00, first quarter: First and ten Jets at the Patriots 49 yard line as the first quarter ends. Sanchez may be gaining confidence after completing a 6-yard pass to Cotchery for the first down on this drive.
1:12, first quarter: Patriots score. 34-yard field goal by Shayne Graham. 11 play drive, 63 yards in 4:32. Brady was sacked for the second time at the 15 yard line. A nine yard drop by Shaun Ellis, his second.
2:02, first quarter: Brady finds another offensive weapon and hits tight end Alge Crumpler on a 28-yard play to get the Patriots inside the 10 yard line.
3:41, first quarter: BenJarvus Green-Ellis bust through with an 8-yard run to give the Patriots a first down at the Jets 40. Wes Welker is back for this drive, and makes a 10-yard catch to keep the drive moving.
5:01, first quarter: Facemask penalty on David Harris, 15 yard penalty gives the Patriots a first down. Tom Brady was sacked for the first time by defensive end Shaun Ellis. Patriots pushing towards mid-field.
6:30, first quarter: Nick Folk misses a 30 yard field goal, wide left, and the crowd goes wild. The Jets were at the 12, but got backed up on two plays before an 8 yard run by Tomlinson set up what looked like a fairly easy field goal. Patriots are fortunate to come out of the turnover unscathed. Still no score.
7:50, first quarter: A rare Brady interception. A pass intended for Green-Ellis was picked off by Jets LB David Harris who returned it 58 yards before Algie Crumpler took him down. Brady had 339 pass attempts without an interception to end the regular season, but a big turnover here.
10:00, first quarter:Gronkowski gets a third-down, 9-yard catch for a first down. Tom Brady’s first pass to Deion Branch was broken up by Jets DB Darrell Revis.
11:31, first quarter: Patriots on the move. A first down end-around by Brandon Tate for an 11-yard first down at the 46 followed a 19-yard run by Danny Woodhead to open the offense for New England.
12:03, first quarter: Cotchery was wide open down the sidelines on a third down play but Mark Sanchez was in his usual Gillette form and missed the receiver. Jets forced to punt. A couple of short runs by Tomlinson and Joe McNight set up the third down play.
12:47, first quarter: Jets get a quick first down 16 yard completion by Mark Sanchez to Jerricho Cotchery. LaDainian Tomlinson started the drive with a 4 yard run.
15:00, first quarter: As Rex Ryan might say, it’s time to walk the walk here in Foxborough where Gillette Stadium is banged-out full, loud, and proud. We are minutes from kickoff.
Game time temperature is a relatively mild 30 degrees, winds out of the northwest at 14 m.p.h. Sully sang the national anthem.
The Patriots have won the toss and will defer and defend the north goal to start. Jets taking the ball.
Wes Welker is not in the starting lineup, reportedly benched for his remarks the other day according to CBS. Chad Finn will have more on this in Extra Points shortly.
We’ll have updates and analysis throughout the game here at Extra Points, so check back early and often . . .
Chad Finn contributed to this report.