EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ -- This week's No Huddle has a distinctly different flavor. Why? After New England slapped down the Jets, 49-19, on Thanksgiving night, one thing was clear: New York's locker room would be more interesting.
The team is a mess.
Thursday night's game was as much about the Jets imploding in on themselves as New England playing well. Hence why the home team's locker room sound told a better story.
But we'll start with a couple Patriots bytes. For tradition's sake.
Quarterback Tom Brady on the team's third-down efficiency today:
"I thought we did a real good job on third down. This is a team that's very good on third-down defense. They challenge you in a lot of ways with their blitz schemes, but if you make a lot of conversions, you can beat schemes."
Brady was being kind. That is all. The Jets entered this Week 12 game at the bottom of the NFL's third-down 'D' barrel. As of Friday morning, the bottom is where they remain, surrendering 46-percent of opponent attempts.
New England did even better. Behind Brady, the Patriots converted 11 of 15 third down opportunities. Perhaps that's what the "beating schemes" addendum was all about.
Head coach Bill Belichick on if he's ever experienced three touchdowns so quickly in a game:
"Well, unfortunately, I was on the other end of that at the Pro Bowl a couple years ago and it was 42-0 in the middle of the second quarter on the same kind of plays, touchdowns, interception returns, fumble returns, and things like that."
Two things stand out to me here.
1. Belichick has been coaching in the NFL since 1975. To say that he can empathize with the Jet crash that involved New England putting up 21 points in 52 seconds (Patriots offensive touchdown; Jets fumble and Patriots recover for a TD; Jets fumble ensuing kickoff and Patriots recover for TD) only in a Pro Bowl? Some dictionary sticklers might not consider that real empathy.
2. It might really be empathy and not a dig when you consider the source. This is Belichick; it's entirely possible he treated that Pro Bowl, played in January of 2010, like a real game. His AFC squad was in trouble, if so -- Atlanta's Mike Smith had the NFC up 42-7 at halftime. At least the 55-41 final score depicts a more competitive game. Better still, for Belichick that nobody cares about the Pro Bowl.
Jets coach Rex Ryan on if the big losses are discouraging:
RR: "Of course I'm discouraged. I'll put it to you this way: We're about as wounded as we can possibly be, but we're not dead. I can tell you this: We will give everything we have, every ounce of energy we have, to get this thing going That's from a coaching standpoint as well as the players. If not, then we'll make adjustments."
Rex's 4-7 Jets now have the most losses in the AFC East. Of course he's discouraged.
I think the "wounded but not dead" characterization is interesting. Depends on what you're talking about. If the season ended today, the Jets wouldn't be in the playoff picture. That's pretty dead by football standards.
Yet we've got five games to go.
New York's schedule isn't awful: Arizona and San Diego at home; Jacksonville, Tennessee, and Buffalo on the road. There are some winnable games there. But even if they used the Patriots loss as do-or-die motivation instead of the start of some drain-circling (as it appears), the best the Jets can do is 9-7.
You know what? Why even go there?
Ryan on what happened when quarterback Mark Sanchez ran into his own teammate and fumbled:
"My understanding is, I thought he reversed out the wrong way. That's what happened. It was a mental mistake and then he just tried to slide. When he did, he actually ran into Brandon."
What actually happened was, Sanchez ran face-first into offensive lineman Brandon Moore's butt and fell down. But it's good to understand the play from an X's and O's point of view, too. I guess.
Moore on if the turnovers were a sign of the team not being prepared:
BM: "This was totally unexpected. We don't expect to turn the ball over like that. It's something that we preach coming into the game as far as self-inflicted wounds and protecting the football. It was a big point of emphasis. It was unexpected."
Moore is exactly right about the surprise factor. No team expects to turn the ball over, but the way New York repeatedly shot itself in the foot -- the five fumbles, the interception, the surrender of an 83-yard Patriots touchdown pass on a wheel-route -- was too absurd to even imagine.
The Jets are now owners of a -3 giveawaytakeaway differential. It would look worse if the defense didn't keep up because their 22 turnovers (10 interceptions, 12 fumbles) is tied for third-most in the NFL.
Jets tight end Dustin Keller on how Coach Ryan felt about the game:
DK: "I'm not going to quote him word for word, but he is disappointed in us. He has higher expectations for us and we have higher expectations for ourselves. For how we feel about ourselves and what we are capable of. And to do that, it is just embarrassing."
I wonder why Keller can't quote his coach?
Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow on Coach Ryan stating he didn't want Tebow to play with his injury:
TT: "It was and I appreciate his concern. I had to do a little bit of talking just to dress, but I just want to be there for my teammates in case they needed me in an emergency situation."
Only one player who was active for Thursday night's game did not play in Thursday night's game.
Come to find out, the backup has two cracked ribs. Fine. So why did he dress? Why, in Tebow's own words, did he "do a little bit of talking just to dress"? Shouldn't New York have activated a healthy quarterback -- like Greg McElroy -- in case Sanchez had to leave the game? Tebow reportedly couldn't even breathe deeply without pain.
Ryan insisted on his Friday conference call that the backup could have played in an emergency situation.
"Tim was cleared to play. He wanted to play. And that's just the way it is."
Heroic? Or silly?
Sanchez on how he handles fans chanting for Tebow:
MS: "The same way I've handled it before and just block it out. I don't think about it. I just keep playing, keep fighting for our guys and just continue to work, try to get better, and eliminate some of these mistakes that have hurt us."
You can applaud Sanchez for putting on a brave face, but he's in an impossible situation. This is not Colin Kaepernick versus Alex Smith, this is Tebow.
Last year some fans spent tens of thousands of dollars to buy billboards in Denver reading, "BRONCOS FANS TO JOHN FOX: PLAY TEBOW."
Fox caved. Tebow played. Denver went 7-1 over its next eight games.
Does this mean he's the solution for New York's quarterback quandary? Absolutely not. But you have to think, cracked ribs or not, pressure for Tebow to replace Sanchez will only continue to build.
Think about it for a second: Why are you reading his quotes? Why did the only active player who didn't play Thursday night hold court with reporters and answer questions?
All 30 of them.