By Tom E. Curran
FOXBORO - The Patriots find themselves staring up at the Jets and into the face of a loss possibly as ignominious as Super Bowl 42. It's 14-3 and the mood in the stands is morose.
WAAAY OUT OF CHARACTERIn the final three minutes of the first half, the Patriots attempted a direct snap to punt protector Patrick Chung. It ricocheted off Chung's thigh and he scuttled around for no gain. The Jets turned that into a touchdown making it 14-3. On the ensuing drive before the half, left guard Logan Mankins heaved Jets corner Marques Cole, drawing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty. Add to that the questionable challenge on a throw to Santonio Holmes near midfield (the ruling was upheld) and you have a recipe the Patriots haven't cooked up in a while. Almost forgot . . . Tom Brady's pick thrown to David Harris on a screen pass and an end zone drop by Alge Crumpler. SANCHEZ ON MARKJets quarterback Mark Sanchez has started 10-for-16 for 101 yards and two touchdowns. Some of his misses have been wild but the restart he made in the second quarter when he directed Braylon Edwards to the deep left sideline and the ensuing throw set upthe Jets first touchdown. Brady, meanwhile, is 10 for 17 for 99 yards and a pick. WELKER GETS WRIST SLAPPEDCBS' Jim Nantz reported before the game began that Wes Welker would be benched at the start because of his press conference Thursday which was suspiciously laden with references to feet. Welker was on the field to field the first plus-50 punt of the day from Steve Weatherford but did sit down for the first series. Given the ceaseless chatter from Jets' camp all week, Bill Belichick was no doubt making a point not only to Welker but the Jets as well. Or football in general. Either way, it was interesting. PRESSURE COOKERSo far, Brady's been sacked three times and has been thoroughly addled in the pocket. He's got one completion to a wide receiver so far, a 10-yard completion to Wes Welker. Terrific mix of blitzes so far by the Jets defensive coordinator. The Patriots managed just one first down in the second quarter. JETS PICKING UP STEAMAfter being outgained 104-36 in the first quarter, the Jets went into halftime outgaining New England 157-127. This will be a true challenge to the coaching staffs on both sides - can the Jets keep flowing and send Rex Ryan to his second straight AFC Championship?
Tom E. Curran can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran
On Monday, Julian Edelman took a light shot at the Steelers when asked about Antonio Brown streaming Mike Tomlin’s postgame speech on Facebook Live.
"That's how that team is run," Edelman said on WEEI Monday. "I personally don't think that would be something that would happen in our locker room, but hey, whatever. Some people like red and some people like blue. Some people like tulips and some people like roses. Whatever."
Ben Roethlisberger, one of the players who was speaking during Brown’s video, was asked to respond to Edelman’s comments Wednesday. He did so by saying the Steelers are run in a manner that’s gotten them six Super Bowl championships.
“I don’t think I need to speak much,” Roethlisberger said. “We’ve got our trophies out there. I’ve got owners that I think are the best in the business. They’re family to us, and I’m sure if he talked to his owner, he would say the same thing about the Rooneys. Anybody in here in the football world or the regular world that owns the Rooneys knows what they stand for. It’s a blessing to call them a family.”
Brown, whose actions were admonished by Tomlin Tuesday, could be fined if the NFL determines that he violated the league’s social media policy. The policy is as follows:
"The use of social media by coaches, players, and other club football operations personnel is prohibited on game day (including halftime) beginning 90 minutes before kickoff until after the post-game locker room is open to the media and players have first fulfilled their obligation to be available to the news media who are at the game."
Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Antonio Brown posted an apology on social media Tuesday night for his Facebook Live video that has caused a stir over the last few days.
"I let my emotions and genuine excitement get the best of me, and I wanted to share that moment with our fans," said Brown in a statement on his Twitter. ""It was wrong of me to do, against team and NFL policy, and I have apologized to Coach Tomlin and my teammates for my actions.
"I'm sorry to them for letting it become a distraction and something that they've had to answer questions about while we're preparing for a big game on Sunday."
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that he has “absolutely no worries on the video's effect" on Sunday's game against the Patriots, but it was "selfish and inconsiderate" of his star wide receiver.
Brown could still be fined for violating the league's social-media policy. The policy states that players, coaches and football operations personnel are banned from using social media on game days 90 minutes before kickoff, during games, and before "traditional media interviews."