As Good as it Gets
Wow. 45-3. Where to begin? The PATRIOTS' Dexter-level coldblooded dismantling of a mouthy division rival that suddenly seems more "Green" than "Gang?" A fired up TOM BRADY slinging passes left and right while laying claim to his second Player of the Week Award (and/or second League MVP)? DEION BRANCH shutting up CRIS "He Only Has Putdowns" CARTER for slapping him with the "Just a Guy" label on WEEI? How about Five-foot-nuthin' DANNY WOODHEAD running as fast as his little legs can carry him all over the team that cut him after opening day? (And speaking of, hey Jet fan, how's JOE MCKNIGHT looking? We haven't seen such a misguided personnel move since, gosh, we've gotta go back to Saturday and Washington's nationally derided JASON WERTH contract.)
Yes, the storylines go on and on, a new angle at every turn - and we haven't even mentioned the coach or "TEDY BRUSCHI Night" yet! The thing is, as was true this week, as is true every week, the Patriots do their talking on the field. More appropriate, then, to devote our words to the guys who yap and yap. Ya know, the trash-talkers on the other side of the I'll - as in..."I'll guarantee we beat New England" or "I'll look forward to torching that young secondary..."
Yes, let's start there, with ex-Steeler wideout SANTONIO HOLMES, who doesn't seem to understand the definition of bulletin board material, at least not when it comes to New England's up-and-coming corps of up-and-down defensive backs. "If I could speak my mind, I would," Holmes reportedly said prior to Monday's game. "But just off the strength of me being a professional, I don't worry about those guys." ("IF I could speak my mind..." Mmm. That is rather slippery of you, Agent Starling.)
Then there's LADAINIAN "The Shield" TOMLINSON, whose first quarter 1st down scamper moved him to engage in a truly ridiculous premature exhilaration. This called to mind LT's former Charger teammate SHAWNE MERRIMAN, who's been known to offer up his "Lights Out" sack dance following missed tackles in playoff losses to the Pats.
And hey, how are things on REVIS ISLAND? According to the Jets cornerback himself, not so hot. The shutdown defensive back made the odd postgame claim that, when going up against the likes of noted UGGS Endorser Tom Brady, "you can't bring your C-plus game." Your C-plus game. Really? 'Cause if that was the Jets D's C-plus game, anything lower-grade would have BELICHICK nestled all snug in his bed while visions of Avogadro's Number danced in his head.
Of course, we'd be remiss if we didn't talk a little Dirty SANCHEZ. Hollywood Mark, "aka QB1: Page 6," had this to say, following the game: "We didn't get the route communicator right and I was throwing to a spot and we weren't quite there." Not to mention this: "I would never say it was the cold or the weather, but me and the receivers just were not playing our best game." Look, Sanchez has the potential to be a dynamic and successful quarterback and it's only his second season. But, Mark, listen to BRADY or PEYTON or BREES following a loss - share the credit, take the blame. Everyone knows it wasn't just on you, that you're telling the truth about "me AND THE RECEIVERS not playing our best game." But, for a guy who wants to be a winner as much as you clearly do, saying it from the podium is poor form. And you know what poor form gets you? A trio of picks and the wrong end of 45-3. Which brings us to...
REX "I came in to kick his butt and he kicked mine" RYAN, whose postgame speechlessness was not only almost charming, but a documented first! Of course, Ryan's version of "speechless" is different from that of mere mortals. It goes on for several minutes and includes suggestions that the Patriots had run up the score. That said, for a blustery, swaggerlicious guy like Rex, known for talking up the green 'til he's blue in the face, it was a master class in stunned, classy-ish humiliation. And, much as we hate to admit, it pushes us ever closer to accepting one of the hard truths of this season:
We LIKE Rex Ryan. We really like him. Especially when he's just lost by 42 points.
Schadenfreude, Thy Name is Jet Fan Messageboards
It has become a late Autumn tradition - or should, anyway - to pop over to the fan sites of
THE NEW JERSEY JETS to gauge their immediate, hysterical reactions to big games. This past Monday did not disappoint. Here, now, for your viewing pleasure, is but a sampling of the myriad, come-in-off-the-ledge, completely authentic THREAD TOPICS from a few of our favorite Gang Green places...
What's MORE Embarrassing?
Sick of being a Wild Card Team!
This Season has been a Tease...[Out-Takes Note: Our lawyers would like to advise the originator of this thread that the phrase "Same Old Jets" is protected intellectual property.]Why is Anyone Surprised??? Why is Anyone Allowing this to Ruin their Lives???
"#1" Defense?![Out-Takes is a big fan of the subtle use of quotation marks there.]
This was our Worst Beat-down since...FILL-IN! Jets Record Against Winning Teams----Not Good So...How About Those Mets?
Tonight will Prove Just How Good Rex is as a Coach Coaching Staff Blows! The Coaches' Game plan.....WAS there a Game Plan? Proactive Approach to Revoke Play-calling from Schottenheimer! Schitty [Out-Takes gives this one the thumbs up for its profane simplicity.]
Rex: You are NOT One of the Guys! Honest Question: Bill Cowher? [Our "Typically Frantic Overreaction" Award-winner.]
PATS HAVE WORST DEFENSE - WHAT DOES IT TELL YOU ABOUT JET OFFENSE? Did Someone say Woodhead Doesn't Belong in the NFL? Joe McKnight was Good
I HATE MO LEWIS[Classic reference, Jetfan. Wonder how many threads were devoted to Mo's sideline knock-out of DREW BLEDSOE back in 2001? Karma says hi. As does #12.]
Don't BAIL on the Team... Calm the Down!! This Loss is the Best Thing 2 Happen to this Team... A Tiny Light in the Darkness... [Here it comes...]
Still Think We Win the SB! [And there it is...]
"Kirsch Words" Cliff Notes (2010 Edition)
For those too busy to back up the DVR, here's the clip-show reel version, the bare essential, "just the facts, ma'am" recap, of what Patriots.com calls "Kirsch Words."*
*Kirsch Words [kersh wurdz] - noun 1. A wide-ranging in-game chat with commentary from FRED KIRSCH, Editor-in-Chief & Publisher of Patriots Football Weekly.
7:30 Kirsch Words: I am not emotionally prepared to lose this game.
7:30 Kirsch Words: Welcome to the biggest regular season game in the tenure of Robert Kraft.
8:03 Kirsch Words: Ryan and Belichick talking at midfield. Whatever Ryan said made BB laugh.
8:18 Kirsch Words: I think this is the game they finally figure out the Jets.
8:40 Kirsch Words: any moment now. Tate deep.
8:45 Kirsch Words: There's Branch "disappearing," Cris Carter.
8:47 Kirsch Words: 41-yarder. It's good. 3-0 early.
8:56 Kirsch Words: 4th and 1. Jets challenging the spot.
9:03 Kirsch Words: And it's no good from 53.
9:08 Kirsch Words: There's the flag we're looking for!
9:10 Kirsch Words: TD bjge!
9:16 Kirsch Words: That's all on Sanchez. He's shaken...and stirred. And Paul gives the nod.
9:38 Kirsch Words: Thanks for Woodhead, Rex.
9:43 Kirsch Words: Running on the vaunted Jets D.
9:46 Kirsch Words: close play. Call on the field is a TD!
9:46 Kirsch Words: Will Rex take another challenge?
9:47 Kirsch Words: No challenge. Play stands. 24-3 Patriots!
10:11 Kirsch Words: OK that's it. Where was that in the grasp call in 2007?
10:12 Kirsch Words: Bruschi, Kraft and families making their way to the stage set up at midfield.
10:13 Kirsch Words: Showing Tedy video on the big board.
10:15 Kirsch Words: Kraft says he went full tilt, full time.
10:16 Kirsch Words: Do we want to see him in that #54 one more time? Crowd cheers.
10:16 Kirsch Words: He put his jersey on. Tedy chant. "Proud to say I played for Coach Belichick and I only played for one team...the Patriots. It's about winning championships and hanging banners."
10:18 Kirsch Words: Remember the players, Faulk, Andruzzi, Milloy, Harrison, Faulk, McGinest, etc.
10:18 Kirsch Words: I will remember all of you. You're the best fans in the world. I wasn't raised here... but I call myself a New Englander.
BACK TO THE ACTION...
10:35 Kirsch Words: Spikes with the big play!
10:37 Kirsch Words: Woodhead mocks Holmes 1st down thingy
10:39 Kirsch Words: g-force with the 1st down grab
10:41 Kirsch Words: Welcome back, Aaron. [Hernandez's 35-yard catch was his 37th catch of the year.]
10:44 Kirsch Words: Welker in for the score!
10:51 Kirsch Words: McCourty with his 6th!
10:56 Kirsch Words: Woodhead AGAIN!
10:59 Kirsch Words: 4th TD pass for Brady
11:10 Kirsch Words: Simply no fight left in the Jets. They have succumbed to our will. Patriots with their own version of "Hard Knocks."
11:34 Kirsch Words: That'll do it. Unbelievable win. On top of the AFC East and the AFC!
11:35 Kirsch Words: Can't wait for the Jets pressers. Good night everyone!
11:08 Kirsch Words: Dandy Don is singing from above...
Checking in with Old Friends...
ELLIS HOBBS was a player and a personality that many in New England found vexing at times. And when we hear him say he enjoyed football "just as much watching it as I did playing it," it's hard to keep our hands off the diminutive cornerback's penchant for watching AND playing, often at the same time and with a 10-yard cushion. But news that a second neck injury has him open to closing up shop struck us as a little surprising, and a lot sad. Until, that is, we read his comments more deeply.
"Is it really worth it, the game itself? You're financially okay. You have your health now. There are so many things you can look forward to at the age of 27."
So, this holiday season, think of Ellis Hobbs, the not-so-shy, retiring type, and raise a glass. THEN you can get to the part where you scream, "For the love of God, get closer! Get closer to Plaxico!!!"
It's easy to take potshots at JOSH MCDANIELS and his various meanderings in and out of trouble around the greater Denver area. And, if asked to write him a job recommendation, we'll steer clear of phrases like "pure as the driven snow." But, whether or not he brought it upon himself, this has to be a brutally horrible time for the guy - we know, we know, he's not the only one! - so Out-Takes is choosing to be stand with those who are standing with him.
In that spirit, we wish Josh a sincere "Better luck next time" and a Merry, if possible, Christmas.
John Cockrell is a writer for USA Network's "In Plain Sight," and a screenwriter, whose other work has run the gamut from "Sesame Street Parents Magazine" to Playboy TV's "The Weekend Flash." (He figures everything else is pretty much in-between.)