On this day 10 years ago, Rex Ryan’s New York Jets went into Gillette Stadium to knock off the New England Patriots in the playoffs.
On this day 10 years ago, the Rex Ryan-led New York Jets stunned the football world. They entered Gillette Stadium and knocked off the New England Patriots, 28-21, in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs.
On this day 10 years ago, the New York Jets defeated the New England Patriots, 28-21, in the divisional round. #TakeFlight
— Jets X-Factor (@jetsxfactor) January 16, 2021
The Jets haven’t experienced tournament action since.
In 2011, they finished 8-8. Victor Cruz‘s 99-yard scamper helped knock the Jets out of realistic playoff contention as it catapulted the New York Giants to their second Super Bowl in four years.
The once-great roster assembled by Eric Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum soon crumbled after that. Save for a moment in 2015 that was severely camouflaged by a cake schedule, the Jets front office put up a string of horrible drafts over the last decade, leading the organization to where it currently stands today.
Joe Douglas and new head coach Robert Saleh are looking to change the team’s drafting and culture woes. While many would argue the culture point back in 2010, the roster was as good as any in football.
The offensive line was arguably the best in the league. That helped the running backs play above their heads, as well as the wide receivers at times. Remember, the 2009 team started with Jerricho Cotchery and Chansi Stuckey as the starters.
Defensively, the interior was as stout as could be. Mike DeVito, Shaun Ellis and Sione Pouha created a wall. David Harris and Bart Scott were the perfect complements to that trench play, and at times, the edge rushers hit home, led by Calvin Pace. Of course, Darrelle Revis and the excellent secondary was the strength of the defense (not to be outdone by the interior play).
Although Mark Sanchez did show up at times when it mattered most, his routine play dragged the team for most of his Jets stint. Against the Pats in 2011, however, Sanchez played incredibly.
His perfect ball to Santonio Holmes on the goal line fade helped cement a Jets fans’ memory forever. And although the Jets fell in defeat the following week, most Jets fans felt comfortable that if Sanchez got the ball one more time late, he would have made it incredibly interesting. Sure, the Jets offense didn’t exactly run the two-minute drill efficiently, but Sanchez had a knack for making a play when things were most chaotic.
Sanchez finished the 28-21 divisional-round win with 194 yards and three touchdowns on 16-25 passing. It’s exactly the number of attempts the coaching staff wanted to see, as the rushing attack always took top billing (in a league that was slowly but surely moving to an all-out assault against defensive backs).
Shonn Greene, the man who cemented the victory, ran for 76 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Cotchery finished with 96 yards on five catches.
New England outgained New York 372 to 314, but it was the red zone efficiency that carried the Jets through. The Jets finished 4 of 5 in the red zone to the Pats’ 2 of 4. The penalties were also key, as Bill Belichick’s team committed six to the Jets’ three.
The Jets would then put up a first-half stinker in Pittsburgh against the Steelers in the AFC championship game. They fought back in the second half to make things interesting, but the way the front seven came out early put them too far behind.
This one remains the Jets last playoff victory, 10 years ago today.