“I don’t even know what to say right now,” Tomlinson said. “What an unbelievable win for our team.”
After Greene scored the Jets last touchdown, he put the ball on the ground like a pillow and rested his head on it. A quiet climax to a loud week.
Now Sanchez gets a chance to beat one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks for the third straight week when he faces Ben Roethslisberger after knocking off Peyton Manning, who won the NFL’s last two MVP awards and Brady, who is a favorite to win his second in four years.
“He’s just now getting better and better and better,” Ryan said.
And the trash talk just keeps coming.
“Big Ben, he’s next on our list,” Edwards said.
The Steelers have been installed as 3-point favorites.
In one of their worst halves of the season, the Patriots looked more like the ragged group that went 5-11 in Belichick’s first season in 2000 than the steamrolling machine that led the NFL this season with a 14-2 record and 32.4 points per game.
In the first two quarters, Brady absorbed three sacks and was sent scrambling at least that many times. He misfired on an interception on his first series after finishing the season with a league-record streak of 335 passes without a pick.
Then on the Patriots fifth possession, trailing just 7-3, they botched a fake punt attempt. Patrick Chung took the short snap and fumbled. He got the ball back but all escape routes closed quickly. He was tackled at the Patriots 37 with 1:06 remaining.
Plenty of time for Sanchez.
Just one week earlier, Indianapolis had taken a 16-14 lead with 53 seconds left on Adam Vinatieri’s 50-yard field goal. But Sanchez brought New York back, connecting with Edwards on an 18-yard gain to the Colts 14, and Nick Folk kicked a 32-yard field goal as time expired, sending the Jets to Foxborough.
Fifty minutes before the game, a pumped-up Brady ran onto the field, jumping and clapping as he headed for the end where a couple of Jets were tossing the ball. It was the closest he would come to their end zone for nearly three quarters.
About 15 minutes after that, Ryan got his first boos when he was shown on the Gillette Stadium video screens hugging Jason Taylor as the linebacker was loosening up.