Jets cast doubts aside after big win over Pats

The New York Jets were downright angry.

They heard fans and media say they were all talk and no action.

Full of hot air. A team loaded with big names and small

results.

All that after a 10-9 loss to Baltimore in Week 1.

”I think everybody out there was doom and gloom after one

game,” right tackle Damien Woody said Monday. ”We lost the game

by one point and everybody was making us out to be garbage when it

was the first game of the season.”

Six days later, the Jets were right back to feeling Super again

– just as Rex Ryan said they would.

Mark Sanchez outplayed Tom Brady as the Jets’ offense, which

struggled so mightily against the Ravens, controlled the ball in

the second half on the way to a 28-14 win over the New England

Patriots on Sunday.

It was a surprise to some, just not the Jets.

”This is just the beginning,” Sanchez said after the game.

”It’s a long season. It’s just tough when you lose that first

game, it feels like you’re 0-10. It was nice that it was a short

week, and we got to play as soon as possible. This game couldn’t

come soon enough.”

The Jets (1-1) can soar into first place in the AFC East if they

can pull off a victory over the Dolphins (2-0) in Miami next Sunday

night. They would also have two early wins in the division against

perhaps their two biggest rivals.

”I think we’re in a really good spot right now,” tight end

Dustin Keller said. ”Obviously, it’s still early in the season and

a lot of stuff is going to happen, but we feel really good about

where we are right now.”

Ryan broke down the significance of the win over the Patriots

and their next game against the Dolphins by using some

not-so-simple mathematics.

”This game against Miami can either put us up by a half-game or

down by 2 1/2, I think,” Ryan said. ”In other words, this is a

big game.”

Sanchez threw a career-high three touchdown passes and topped

his personal best with 21 completions against New England, less

than a week after an absolutely awful outing in which he threw for

only 74 yards.

He looked every bit the franchise quarterback they thought he’d

be when they took him with the fifth overall pick last year – and

what they’ll need him to be the rest of the season if they plan to

live up to their championship expectations.

”I told guys after the first game to smile and have a little

fun, get animated,” Sanchez said. ”We’re playing a kids’ game.

We’re grown men, but we’re playing a kids’ game and to treat it

like that. Be smart, but have fun.”

The Jets certainly played loose despite a tumultuous week during

which they were investigated by the NFL for the treatment of a

female reporter at practice last weekend. There was also the

specter of falling to 0-2 and opening themselves up to plenty more

criticism.

”We just kind of put everything into perspective,” Woody said.

”One game, let’s come out here and execute the things that we’re

capable of doing.”

The newest Jets – LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonio Cromartie, Jason

Taylor and Brodney Pool – all came up with big performances in the

win.

”It’s great when it works out like that,” Ryan said.

”Obviously, we looked pretty smart.”

Tomlinson led the Jets in rushing for the second straight game,

gaining 76 yards and a crucial fourth-down conversion. On

fourth-and-1 from midfield, Ryan elected to go for it and put the

ball in Tomlinson’s hands. The eighth-leading rusher in NFL history

leaped over the pile and sealed the victory as the Jets ran out the

clock.

”I never realized that L.T. was going to jump about 6 feet in

the air, but, wow,” Ryan said. ”Like they say, I know he’s washed

up and everything.”

Ryan couldn’t help but smile after saying that, yet another shot

at the doubters.

Cromartie and Pool both intercepted Brady, who was picked off

twice in a game for the first time against the Jets and threw for

only 69 yards in the second half. Cromartie also shut down Randy

Moss after Darrelle Revis went out with a strained hamstring in the

second quarter.

An MRI exam revealed Revis has a strained left hamstring, but he

would not rule himself out of New York’s game at Miami on Sunday

night.

”They just said it’s strained and it could take one to two

weeks, or it could take a week,” Revis said. ”It depends on how

my body recovers.”

Taylor had a strip-sack of Brady in the fourth quarter and Bryan

Thomas recovered the ball. It ended up being the Patriots’ final

offensive play.

”He’s a closer,” Ryan said of Taylor. ”He closes out games.

That’s been his history. What a pass rush, unbelievable.”

Notes: Ryan said S Eric Smith’s hard hit on Patriots WR Wes

Welker happened because they were both going in the same direction,

not because Smith was leading with his helmet. Smith was called for

unnecessary roughness and Welker sat out a few plays while being

examined. ”Welker did a tremendous job of making sure he got that

penalty called,” Ryan said. ”Wes wasn’t hurt. You sure thought he

was for a minute until he saw that flag and made it look

good.”