Curran: Five thoughts from Jets 28, Patriots 21


Curran: Five thoughts from Jets 28, Patriots 21

By Tom E. Curran

The Toe Sucker is headed back to his second straight AFC Championship game. So is the tirelessly classy LaDainian Tomlinson, Sanchise, Bart Scott and Fireman F&& Ed. It is every bit the gut punch to Patriots fans you figured it would be. This Patriots' season that was a crossbreed of 2001 and 2007 ends instead like 2009. Snuffed. Out. A little look at five of the key occurrences from Sunday. 1. THIS TAKES THE FAKEThe fake punt with 1:14 left in the first half and the Patriots on their own 38 facing fourth-and-4? Patrick Chung called for it. Punter Zoltan Mesko told NESN's Jeff Howe. "We trust the decision Patrick makes. It just didnt work out in that particular occasion. Thats why the coaches trust him to run it, and that's why they give him the green light, if he has it." Chung had the snap ricochet off his leg and onto the ground. He picked it up and picked up. Zero yards. Four plays later the Jets were in the end zone with a 14-3 lead. Bill Belichick wouldn't reveal the particulars of the call after the game saying only, "We just made a bad mistake." Kinda.Even if everything aligned itself perfectly for Chung to make the call, the field position and time remaining made it a massive risk. A stupid risk. If he converted, the Patriots were still 55 or so yards from the Jets goal line with 1:10 left.I asked Jets left tackle D'Brickashaw Fergusonwhat thePatriots decision to run that play told him. "I don't know what it told me. I'm just happy they did it."2. LACK OF URGENCYAfter the Jets went up 21-11 on a touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes with 13 minutes left, the Patriots embarked on a 15-play, 7:41 second drive that yielded. Nothing. The glacial pace of that drive - one on which the play clock routinely dwindled into single digits - seemed to fly in the face of the urgency required at that moment. "I felt like the operation was the operation," said left tackle Matt Light. "I didnt realize that being anything much different than what weve done in the past. You still have to communicate, do what you do... and in a mode like that where its pretty much desperation, its all about getting your best plays out there and hopefully let the situation run itself." The situation ran itself aground when a pass behind Deion Branch that would have been good for a first down sailed through the receiver's hands. The Jets went three-and-out butwhen the Pats took over they were still down 10 with 3:19 remaining. Asked about the slow pace and frequent running playsBill Belichick said, "It was a two-score game. We're trying to get the ball down and get it in position. They were playing a lot of DB pass coverages and ... we thought we had some good opportunities to run it. Some worked out and some we could have handled better."3. WIDE RECEIVERS ON THE OUTSYou could tell the Patriots were laboring toget the ball to their playmakersby the number of wide receiver targets and catches in the first half. Four passes were thrown to wideouts (2 each to Wes Welker andDeion Branch) one was completed (a 10-yarder to Welker). In the second half, Tom Brady threw 17 passes tohis wideouts but the results were relatively meager. Welker wound up with seven receptions for 57 yards and Branch had five catches (on a team-high 10 targets) for 59 yards. "Tommakes his decisions where he throws the ball," said Branch. "There were times when we were covered, there were times when we were open and didn't get the ball. But you never know what it was. I can't sit back and say, 'This is what happened on this play or that play.' That's his job and he'sdoing his best." Brady seemed to labor to find someone openenough to pull the triggerto for long stretches. And when he did find someone toward the end of plays, harried throws were skipping in off target or floating to spots unoccupied. Brady finished 29 for 45 for 299 yards with two touchdowns and a pick but this was not his finest hour. At all. Said Jets' corner Antonio Cromartie, "That was the whole point of the entire week. ... make sure we got our hands on them and were physical with the huys. When we play our game on the outsides, it makes things very difficult for the quarterback with the timing routes and things that he does."4.LIGHT'S OUTMatt Light is one of several players whose contract is up.Askedwhat he foresees, Light said, "It is what it is and this game...I've had a great 10 years here, man. This has been a great organzation and a great place to come play. I hope like hell to be here and continue to do what I've done but we'll just have to see how that works itself out." Fred Taylor, Jarrad Page, Kevin Faulk, Sammy Morris, Gerard Warren, Quinn Ojinnaka and the big one, Logan Mankins, all have expiring contracts as well. So that will be the Patriots' next order of business along with preparing for the draft.5. JETS ON TO...PITTSBURGHAntonio Cromartie's feelings about Tom Brady were well documented during the week. He didn't hold forth on them further Sunday night. He did however say, when asked about Ben Roethlisberger, "I love Ben. Ben's a competitor, man." Meanwhile, Rex Ryan was more than happy to hold forth on the next Jets' challenge. "They are a great football team. The only way you're going to get to the Super Bowl is you've got to be playing some great teams to get through there."Tom E. Curran can be reached at Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

In a surprise move, Chiefs sign Darrelle Revis


In a surprise move, Chiefs sign Darrelle Revis

KANSAS CITY -- The Kansas City Chiefs needed help in their leaky defensive backfield.

Darrelle Revis was ready to provide it.

So the AFC West leaders signed the seven-time Pro Bowl cornerback on Wednesday, a surprising midseason move involving a big-name player. Revis played for the New York Jets last season, but his massive salary cap number combined with a decline in performance led to his release in late February.

Still, the Chiefs were desperate to find a cornerback to play opposite Marcus Peters. Terrence Mitchell, Kenneth AckerSteven Nelson and Phillip Gaines have all failed to hold down the spot.

"He's ready to go now," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said in a conference call with reporters. "He was coming off the wrist (injury) and that he had last year, you know - this is when he was ready to go. We felt the same way. So it was a nice, mutual agreement that took place and here we are."

Reid did not rule out Revis playing Sunday against Buffalo, either.

Four days is typically a quick turnaround for a player to get acclimated to a team, especially one that hasn't played a snap since the end of last season. But Revis has a few things going for him: He has a vast amount of experience from which to draw, he is already familiar with defensive coordinator Bob Sutton's system having played for him with the Jets, and the Chiefs really have nothing to lose.

They enter the game with the 28th-ranked pass defense in the league, hemorrhaging more than 250 yards per game. That includes a 417-yard performance by Oakland's Derek Carr a few weeks ago.

"We've had some young guys trying their hearts out and doing a nice job for us, too," Reid said. "It's a win-win. You get a veteran guy and you have some young guys that will continue to grow."

Perhaps coincidentally, the Chiefs visit the Meadowlands to face the Jets on Dec. 3.

Revis at one point was considered the best cornerback in the league, picking off 29 passes over 10 seasons with the Jets, Buccaneers and Patriots. He won a Super Bowl ring with New England.

He parlayed that into a five-year, $39 million contract to return to the Jets, but a wrist injury slowed him down a couple of years ago. Revis struggled most of last season, looking as if the 32-year-old had lost a step for the first time, and the Jets made the decision to let him go.

He's spent the past summer and fall keeping in shape.

"He's been around awhile. He looks great physically," Reid said, "but time does that, time will take a step away from you. But he's a smart guy, knows how to play the game and that becomes important at this point in his career. I'm not telling you he can't still run, he can run."

Good enough to help the Chiefs (6-4), who had dropped four of their past five?

"Darrelle is a proven player in this league and we are excited to add him," first-year Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said in a statement. "He's had a Hall of Fame career and his leadership and playing experience will be valuable to our defense."

That may be where he is most beneficial: His experience. The Chiefs have little veteran presence in their secondary after safety Eric Berry was lost to a season-ending injury.

"You're talking about one of the all-time great players at that position," Reid said. "It's just a matter of getting him back in the swing of things and seeing where he's at. He's excited to be here. We are excited to have him. I would think his role would be to step in and be a starter."

Patriots-Dolphins injury report: Tom Brady sits out with Achilles injury

Patriots-Dolphins injury report: Tom Brady sits out with Achilles injury

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski both sat out of the entirety of Wednesday's practice at Gillette Stadium. 

Brady is dealing with an Achilles injury, per the injury report released by the Patriots. The Boston Herald has reported that Brady will play despite the issue. It's unclear when exactly Brady suffered the injury, but Brady was hit low by Raiders pass-rusher Khalil Mack in the fourth quarter on Sunday, and Mack was called for a roughing-the-passer penalty.

Gronkowski, like teammate David Andrews, is dealing with an illness. Patrick Chung, who left Sunday's game briefly, has an ankle issue. 

Here's the full injury report for both the Patriots and Dolphins . . . 


C David Andrews (illness)
QB Tom Brady (Achilles)
OT Marcus Cannon (ankle)
S Patrick Chung (ankle)
TE Rob Gronkowski (illness)
WR Chris Hogan (shoulder)

WR Danny Amendola (knee)
TE Marellus Bennett (shoulder/hamstring)
DT Malcom Brown (ankle)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)
WR Matthew Slater (hamstring)


LB Stephone Anthony (quadriceps)
G Jermon Bushrod (foot)
QB Jay Cutler (concussion)
DE William Hayes (back)
T Laremy Tunsill (illness)

RB Senorise Perry (knee)
S Michael Thomas (knee)