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Relive the NY Jets’ last playoff win over Pats, 13 years ago today

NY Jets
Tom Brady

It was a long time ago, but the New York Jets’ last playoff victory was sweet

Way back in the annals of history, the New York Jets actually won a playoff game.

For those old enough to remember, boy, was it sweet. It was January 16, 2011 — 13 years ago today.

Here’s the scene: in the 2010 playoffs, the 11-5 Jets, coming off a 17-16 Wild Card victory over Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts, head to New England to face their bullies in Foxborough. The Patriots drubbed them, 45-3, on national TV in their last meeting.

The Hoodie is going as strong as ever, while the Rex Ryan-led Jets are the upstarts after making it to the AFC Championship the previous season. New England is 14-2 and the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

The Jets come out carrying the jersey of Dennis Byrd, their hero who was paralyzed in action in 1992. Byrd spoke to the team before the game.

First quarter

With 8:04 to go in the first quarter, Tom Brady drops back to throw a screen. He overthrows it, and David Harris picks it off. The almost 29-year-old Harris lumbers toward the Patriots’ end zone, but tight end Alge Crumpler runs him down at the 10.

Three plays later, Nick Folk misses a chip-shot field goal, and the game remains scoreless. Same Old Jets, scream the fans.

On the next drive, Crumpler drops an easy touchdown, but the Patriots take a 3-0 lead with a field goal. The teams trade punts.

Second quarter

Mark Sanchez takes possession. On third-and-six at the New England 45, he completes a big 37-yard pass to Braylon Edwards, setting up the Jets with a first-and-goal. Two plays later, he sends a short pass to LaDainian Tomlinson, who takes it into the end zone to put the Jets ahead.

The teams trade punts once more. On the Patriots’ next drive, the Jets stop them, and the punt team comes out on 4th and 4. Bill Belichick calls a fake punt on a direct snap to Patrick Chung, but Chung fumbles the snap and then gets stuffed by safety Eric Smith.

The Jets take over at New England’s 38. Tomlinson begins the drive with a 16-yard run. On third-and-four at the Patriots’ 15, Sanchez slings a pass to Edwards, who breaks two tackles to find the end zone.

Jets lead, 14-3. New England does nothing on their next drive, leading to halftime.

Third quarter

Four punts begin the second half. New England takes over at their own 20 and methodically drives eight plays. This time, Crumpler catches the touchdown. Sammy Morris adds the two-point conversion on a classic Patriots direct snap, and suddenly the game is 14-11. The third quarter ends at that score.

Fourth quarter

The Jets aren’t about to let this game slip away. Jerricho Cotchery takes matters into his own hands, turning a short pass from Sanchez into a 58-yard scamper. Three plays later, Sanchez sends a fade to Santonio Holmes, who recalls shades of his Super Bowl-winning grab against Arizona two years earlier by getting one knee down and dragging the other toe. The Jets restore their 10-point lead, 21-11, with 13 minutes to go in the game.

New England isn’t going down without a fight. They drive 48 yards in 13 plays, dinking and dunking their way downfield. That sets up fourth-and-13 from the Jets’ 34. With Darrelle Revis leaving the game due to injury on the previous play, Belichick opts to go for it. Brady and Deion Branch can’t get on the same page, and the pass is behind Branch. The Jets take over on downs.

New York can’t do anything, though, as they go three-and-out and punt. Second-year man Julian Edelman returns Steve Weatherford’s punt 41 yards, setting the Patriots up in Jets territory. They drive 27 yards in seven plays but fall short on third and 10.

New England tries to get their field goal unit on before the two-minute warning, but Shane Graham misses the field goal. Luckily for New England, they do not get the play off in time before the timeout, and they get a re-try. Graham hits the field goal.

21-14. It’s Brady comeback territory. New England attempts an onside kick, but Antonio Cromartie recovers the bouncing football and returns it for 23 yards. Two plays later, Shonn Greene scores a 16-yard touchdown.

28-14. New England starts at their own 41. It takes them only seven plays to score a touchdown to Branch. 28-21. Can Brady pull off another miracle?

No. The Jets recover the onside kick with 0:24 remaining. They take one knee, and the game is over.

After the game

Holmes and Edwards do backflips in midair.

Bart Scott is hot in his postgame interview. “To all the nonbelievers, especially you, Tom Jackson… Keyshawn [Johnson]! Anybody can be beat!” he shouts. “Poetic justice… People gave us no chance… All we hear about is their defense; they can’t stop a nosebleed, 25th in the league.”

As Sal Paolantonio says, “See you in Pittsburgh,” Scott responds with his epic, “Can’t wait!”

The Jets are flying high. They go into Pittsburgh for the AFC Championship the next week but fall short, 24-19.

Still, overcoming the mighty Patriots at Gillette Stadium is the undoubtedly Jets’ best moment of the 21st century. Through all the futility that has come since, fans who remember the Ryan era can look back fondly at this one shining moment.

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