Anticipated MNF Matchup Does Not Deliver
Monday night's matchup between the Patriots and Jets was built up more than any other regular season game in the 2010 campaign. After last week's snooze fest on Monday night between the losing 49ers and Cardinals, ESPN was thrilled to have a matchup as anticipated as the Pats and Jets. As it turns out, the game was a bore, unless of course you're a Patriots fan.
Tom Brady turned this anticipated classic into a classic rout.
Brady doesn't lose many big games, certainly not at home and definitely not with so much on the line. He threw for four touchdowns and 326 yards Monday night in New England's 45-3 romp past the New York Jets for his NFL-record 26th straight regular-season home victory.
In surpassing Brett Favre's mark for consecutive wins in the comforts of his own stadium, Brady also lifted the Patriots (10-2) to the best record in the AFC. If this was for bragging rights in the conference, Rex Ryan and the Jets (9-3) will have to be silent for a while.
"We don't listen to the hype," Brady said. "I don't think we ever have. We really take after our coach and he says 'When you win, say little. When you lose, say less."
It was a mismatch from the start. The Jets, who had won eight successive road games, five this season, came in with a vaunted defense and an offense that had come alive behind second-year quarterback Mark Sanchez and big-play receiver Santonio Holmes.
But Brady didn't have to sweat anything in his second straight game with four TD passes and no interceptions -- and 12th such game of his career. He hasn't been picked off in seven consecutive games.
New York couldn't produce a pass rush and its blitzes were fruitless most of the night. With 4:40 remaining in the third quarter, the Patriots already were over their 30.4 points per game average that leads the league. Tom Brady turned this anticipated classic into a classic rout.
The biggest blow tonight was to the Jets ego. Rex Ryan's team had a cocky swagger that he permeated to the rest of his team. With a win earlier this year over the Pats, and winners of 9 of their last 10, New York felt they were the better team and would win on Monday night. Could the teams meet again the playoffs? That's a realistic possibility, but the game would most likely be back at Gillette Stadium, where the Jets were just embarrassed on national television.