After the Patriots’ fourth touchdown in six minutes Thursday night, the NBC cameras panned to Rex Ryan. Nostrils flaring, eyes burning, he looked like a man who had chased a bushel of habaneros with a bucket of nails. He said but one word: unbelievable.
This being Ryan, of course, he added an expletive. It was surprising that he uttered only one. On national television, the Jets were humbled, 49-19, by New England, a defeat that recalibrated embarrassment, reduced them to a punch line, stretched the definition of a rivalry: four straight losses to the Patriots.
And to think, they almost won. If only Mark Sanchez had recognized the safety sinking in the middle of the field instead of throwing the ball directly to him. Or had they not forgotten to cover Shane Vereen on his 83-yard touchdown. Or had Sanchez not turned the wrong way on a handoff, a mistake compounded by slamming into Brandon Moore’s posterior, his fumble returned for a score. Or had Joe McKnight not fumbled the ensuing kickoff, leading to another touchdown return. Or had they not committed five turnovers. Or had they not ...
“That,” Ryan said, “was a nightmare of a game."