In time, Rex Ryan’s gameplan against the Patriots Sunday night may go down in history like Bill Belichick’s Super Bowl gameplan against the Rams or Steve Spagnuolo’s gameplan against the Patriots after the 2007 season.
The Jets will have to win two more games for the legend to reach its full potential, but on this Monday morning we’re still amazed.
“It was an unbelievable game plan,” veteran defensive lineman Trevor Pryce told Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports. “It was out of sight. We did some stuff I’ve never seen a football team do. We flooded coverages, had man schemes that looked like zone, and zone that looked like man.”
Tom Brady spoke on WEEI this morning, explaining that the Jets played heavy zone coverage in the middle of field and relied on their cornerbacks to cover outside. Peter King notes in MMQB that the Jets had 11 defensive backs active for the game.
ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio reports the Jets only blitzed six times all game.
“Our first reaction was, ‘How are we gonna do this? How is this gonna work?’” Pryce told Silver. “I mean, 14 years in the NFL, and I’d never seen anything like it. Rex came up with some Madden [expletive], like it was a video game. He said, ‘Hey, let’s try this.’ And it worked! They couldn’t figure it out.”
Pryce is right. Even in the fourth quarter, the Patriots only scored three points on their two key drives before tacking on a garbage time touchdown. Ryan’s plan flummoxed Brady and company to the very end.
UPDATE: Some comments from Jets players after the game: