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New York Minute


September 21, 2009 12:04 PM

A Signature Win for the Jets


This just wasn’t any victory for the New York Jets.

This was over New England, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. At home, in front of a rabid, energized crowd that was tired of losing to the Patriots.

Sunday’s 16-9 victory was, quite simply, one of the biggest wins in this decade for this franchise.

“The Patriots are a hell of a football team. I just thought we were the better team today,’’ coach Rex Ryan said. “That’s all we said the whole time. We believe that we are the better team today. We went out and showed it.”

If anybody doubts how the Jets are going to go about this season, their blueprint has been on display through the first two games.

They are going to be an aggressive, physical team that is defined by its defense. Two games, two victories, and Ryan has shown that he’s not afraid of any team, even one that has won a couple of Super Bowls.

“The big deal is, we’re a football team that should be respected,’’ Ryan said. “Sometimes we talk a little bit, but only because we have confidence in our football team. We believe it to be true that we are an outstanding football team. We have to go out and show it each week.”

The Jets made Brady look positively average yesterday. Brady was 23-for-47 for a pedestrian 216 yards and a quarterback rating of 53.1. The Jets didn’t’ sack Brady – he was hit seven times – but the most important number is this: No touchdowns. For the first time since 1993, the Jets played consecutive games without allowing a touchdown by the opposition’s offense.

That’s how the Jets are going to play this season, and that’s how Ryan wants it.

“In the past, it was aggressive and semi-laid back,’’ defensive end Shaun Ellis said. “In the past, in the second half, we would have been more laid back. With Rex, we are more like, “get it!” We were just going to keep coming out there with that game plan, keep coming out there and working, and not (going) to sit back one bit. We put as much pressure as possible.”

No quarterback likes pressure, even one that has won Super Bowls. But under Ryan, the Jets promise to be an aggressive team that gets after the quarterback and makes him feel the heat. If it worked against the Patriots, it can work against any team.

What Sunday’s victory did was show the rest of the AFC that the Jets are coming after them. They might not win every game, but the Jets are going to play hard in every game. That you can count on.

“This is a new beginning. I don’t pay attention to the past,’’ Bart Scott said. “The past is the past. It’s a new day, It’s a new team. It’s not the same old Jets people are used to. When you come in here, you have to fight and battle for every yard. Not one or two yards. If you get down to the goal line, you are not in the end zone until you are actually in the end zone.”

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