Season Over: Jets End Patriots' Super Bowl Hopes With 28-21 Win In Divisional Round

The Patriots entered the postseason as Super Bowl favorites. The Jets showed them they were not. Read more at SB Nation New York and our team blogs, Gang Green Nation and Pats Pulpit.

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NFL Playoffs, Jets Vs. Patriots: Patriots Drive Comes Up Empty, Season Fading Fast

With 13 minutes to go in the quarter, the Patriots went on the kind of lengthy drive they couldn’t afford to come up empty on. They did just that.

Facing a 52-yard field goal on 4th-and-13, Bill Belichick decided to go for it. The pass was behind Deion Branch, who couldn’t adjust, and had the ball deflect off of his fingertips with 5 minutes to go in the game.

It’s hard to understand the clock management—Brady and co. were routinely using up the entirety of the play clock, and weren’t aiming to get out of bounds. Now they’ll need a miracle to stay alive.

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NFL Playoffs, Jets Vs. Patriots: Rob Ninkovich Goes Down As Stalemate Sets In

Rob Ninkovich laid a big hit on Mark Sanchez, and then didn’t get up, clutching his knee in obvious pain. According to Ian Rapoport, trainers were performing ACL/MCL tests on the linebacker before he left the field.

The two sides have settled into something of a stalemate, with neither side able to mount any serious offense. Julian Edelman, in for the first time today, picked up a couple of nice 10+ yard gains, but other than that it’s been a battle of field position.

None of this bodes well for New England, who need to score relatively fast with just under 20 minutes left in the game.

It’s still 14-3, but time is running out on the Patriots’ season.

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NFL Playoffs, Jets Vs. Patriots: Mark Sanchez Picks Up Second Touchdown, Puts Jets Up 11

It’s been all downhill in the second quarter for New England.

The Patriots once again gave the Jets great field position when a punt fake went awry. Patrick Chung fumbled the trick snap, and was taken down well short of the first by a swarming Jets defense.

With just 40 yards to go, the Jets gave the ball to LaDainian Tomlinson for one big gain, then found Braylon Edwards, who shrugged off tackles from both Devin McCourty and Brandon Meriweather, striding into the end zone for the score.

The Patriots have played their worst first half of the season, picking up only three points en route to a 14-3 deficit. In general, everything seems to be out of synch. The offensive line is allowing a great deal of pressure to reach Brady, who is in turn throwing the ball into Rob Gronkowski’s back. Even the play calling is suspect, with the Pats going for too much in the Red Zone and telegraphing pass plays when there’s no need.

The Patriots will have the ball to start the second half.

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NFL Playoffs, Jets Vs. Patriots: Mark Sanchez Finds LaDainian Tomlinson, Jets Take 7-3 Lead

The Patriots gave Mark Sanchez two things: good field position, and plenty of time. And Sanchez made them pay.

Punting from deep within their own territory after the third sack of the game on Tom Brady, the Patriots had only 50 yards at their backs when Mark Sanchez took the ball. While a false start and an incompletion set up a 3rd-and-6, the Patriots couldn’t get any pressure when they needed it most. Sanchez scrambled a little, pointed downfield, and found Braylon Edwards all the way in the red zone. With Darius Butler coming up short on the coverage, it was eerily reminiscent of Week 2.

From there, it was just a matter of a quick pass to LaDainian Tomlinson out of the backfield to put the Jets up 7-3.

Tom Brady and the Patriots just gave up a quick 3-and-out, and the Jets will have the ball on their own 20.

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NFL Playoffs, Jets Vs. Patriots: Patriots Held Short, But Take 3-0 Lead

The Patriots got the ball back deep in their own territory again, and drove right down the field again.

Wes Welker, back in the game, made a leaping reception to pick up an important first down before the Jets shot themselves in the foot with a facemask penalty.

Now in Jets territory, Brady found Alge Crumpler for a big gain, but the veteran tight end dropped a pass in the end zone on a 2nd-and-5 play just eight yards out, and Brady was sacked to force the field goal. Shayne Graham proved up to the task, and the Patriots took the early lead.

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NFL Playoffs, Jets Vs. Patriots: Tom Brady's Interception Negated By Shanked Field Goal

It had been months since Tom Brady threw his last interception. He chose a bad time to start again.

After forcing a punt from the Jets, the Patriots drove methodically down the field, getting some big plays from Danny Woodhead, Brandon Tate, and Rob Gronkowski. With the Pats on the edge of field goal range the Jets brought pressure on 2nd-and-10, and Brady lofted a horrible toss right into the hands of a waiting Jets defender.

While it seemed like New York was off to the races, Alge Crumpler managed to catch up and stop David Harris 15 yards short of the end zone. It’s a good thing he did, as the Patriots blew p a pair of plays in the backfield, forcing the Jets to try for a short field goal.

Which Nick Folk shanked. It’s still 0-0, and the Patriots have to be feeling pretty good about that right now.

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NFL Playoffs, Jets Vs. Patriots: Wes Welker Benched To Start Game

Wes Welker’s tongue-in-cheek interview, rife with foot references, has earned him a spot on the bench to start today’s game against the Jets, as Bill Belichick will keep the receiver on the sidelines for joining in the back-and-forth with the Jets.

Hopefully this benching won’t last too long. The Patriots need all-hands-on-deck for the Jets, and it’s hard to imagine Bill will sacrifice even one drive for discipline’s sake.

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NFL Odds: Patriots 9-Point Favorites Over Jets In Divisional Round Playoffs

When the New England Patriots host the New York Jets Sunday in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs, they'll be doing so as nine-point favorites, according to Bodog.com. 5Dimes.com has the Pats giving eight points to their AFC East rivals. 

The two teams met twice during the regular season, splitting the series. New York took the first game, in Week 2, rallying to win at home against New England, 28-14. In that game, Mark Sanchez out-dueled Tom Brady, going 21 for 30 with 220 yards and three touchdowns (Brady managed a pair of TDs but also had a couple interceptions). 

In the Week 13 rematch the Patriots had their revenge, routing the Jets, 45-3, in a Monday night game. This time around it was Brady getting the best of Sanchez, completing 21 passes with four touchdowns and 326 yards; Sanchez has three picks in the loss. 

The Patriots and Jets meet Sunday at 4:30 p.m. EST.

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