Jets loss is another win for Pats

Jets loss is another win for Pats
November 18, 2011, 2:57 pm
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In February, Rex Ryan said, "I guarantee we win it this year."In November, with a 245-pound quarterback bearing down on him and a choice between fight or flight, one of Ryan's prized defenders stepped aside and let the quarterback score. And the Jets dropped to 5-5. (Thanks to the disturbingly insightful Jerry Thornton at Barstool for noting this tidbit that Mike Mayock ignored). You can't blame Antonio Cromartie for being Antonio Cromartie when the 'stuff' is hitting the fan in front of him. But the Jets' collapse is eye-opening. And the fact is, this teamisno longer imbued by Ryan's blustering arrogance anymore.
From watching Mark Sanchez turtle multiple times in the face of the Denver pass rush Thursday night, to the special teams mistakes of the past week, to the absurd blitz call that blew up in the Jets faces when Tim Tebow was allowed to run for the game-winning touchdown with precious little football technique or resistance, it looks like Ryan is losing his Jets. And the Jets may have lost any shot at competing in the postseason. The Patriots are winning even before the weekend begins. With sliding Buffalo playing at suddenly surging Miami on Sunday, the Patriots will have a clean look at the AFC East landscape and the suddenly clearing AFC playoff picture by nightfall Sunday. The Jets are now 10th in the AFC playoff race. They're 2-2 in the AFC East with a game against the Bills next Sunday looming. Even worse, they're 4-5 in the conference. Why's that worse? Because if the Jets don't win the division -- which looks a likely scenario -- their way to the playoffs is the Wild Card and conference record matters heavily there. The Bills, meanwhile, still need to be paid attention to. They are just 1-1 in the division (New England's 3-1) and 5-4 overall. Because of their early-season win over the Patriots, the season-finale between the Bills and Patriots at Foxboro has the potential to be a win-to-get-in situation. Say Buffalo's 10-5 going into that game and New England's 11-4. A Buffalo win tie them with the Patriots and a season sweep of the series and head-to-head is the first tiebreaker. In other words, the Jets are -- at this point -- merely a curiosity for Patriots fans. The Bills? Still a mild concern.