Jets Over Pats in OT – Or Why I HATE Prevent Defense
Posted by hiphopmama on November 13, 2008
Let’s be clear – this game should never have gone to overtime. The Jets were one first down away from being able to run out the clock with a seven point lead to take over first place in the AFC East. They didn’t convert it, so they had to punt it away and give the Patriots a shot at a game-tying drive with a little over a minute left and no timeouts.
And then they lined up in the godforsaken prevent defense. I cannot even express how much I hate this decision, almost whenever it is made. If you’re in a situation where you’re even considering going into the prevent, that must mean your defense has managed to hold you up till that point. So why do it? Let your defense do what it’s been doing all game. Maybe call off the dogs just a little, but don’t drop four safeties back into coverage, give the quarterback years to find a guy, and leave the middle of the field wide open. Even with no timeouts, the Patriots – and most NFL teams in this situation – were able to methodically move up the field and into good position for a last second shot at the end zone.
And so they did. They almost shot themselves in the foot with a false start penalty, but they once again found an overlarge gap and regained the lost yards, setting themselves up for a shot or two at the tying score. As it turned out, they only needed one. The Jets, who had been bumping Randy Moss at the line the whole drive, inexplicably backed off and let him run free, allowing him to get upfield unimpeded. Cassel picked him out and Moss made a fantastic catch, with the Jets defender falling on Moss’ back foot and forcing it down inbounds. The booth reviewed it, but they play stood, as it should have, leaving one second on the clock and forcing overtime.
Thankfully, the gods smiled on all of us in the free world (AKA not Boston) and awarded the coin toss to New York, who elected to receive. The first two plays from scrimmage were awful, seeming to bode poorly for the Jets. Favre was sacked, leaving New York around their own 10 and facing 3rd & 15. Dustin Keller was the beneficiary of what must have been a blown coverage by the Patriots, as he was disgustingly open in the middle. Favre picked him out, and he withstood a tackle (by Meriweather, I believe) and got the first down. From there, it was a well-managed drive, the Jets efficiently moving the ball to within Jay Feely’s range. They centered the ball, set up the kick, and went home the victors and leaders of the AFC East.
Thankfully things worked themselves out, because I was ready to chuck the remote at my TV watching the Jets absolutely blow their last regular time drive with that shitty excuse for a defense. I’m sure that even for a prevent scheme that was piss poor, but the decision to go to that in the first place was faulty. Sure there’s no Tom Brady, but it’s still the Patriots, with Bill Belichick calling the shots and Randy Moss streaking up the sidelines. You really didn’t expect them to pick you apart? Absolute dickery.
I have no particular love for the Jets, especially since the Whiney Wrangler showed up to save the day, but they’re not the Patriots, and for that I was behind them 100% tonight. I’m glad they didn’t let me down, but I’m also glad I can go back to complete apathy toward them next week. As for the Pats, my hatred never wavers.