Seeing Bill Belichick smiling on the sideline late in this one more or less told you everything you needed to know.
Belichick’s team let their play on the field speak for themselves after handing the Jets an embarassing 45-3 loss in front of the entire country Monday night. (PHOTO:Icon/SMI)
He didn’t need to respond to all the talk during the week where a few hours away Rex Ryan did his best WWE impression talking about how he planned on bringing his Jets into Foxboro and laying a whipping on both Belichick and his football team. He didn’t need to offer up a quote or a soundbyte to feed the media frenzy that Ryan stirred up over the past 10 days in the city where he once lived.
He’s been around a long time, and he knew better. He decided to put his faith in his players to go out and do their talking on the field.
That was the mantra when this one was over. With mere minutes left you could see him smiling, likely reveling in the fact that his guys went out and played exactly how he knew they could. They lit up the Jets 45-3 in their home stadium – on Tedy Bruschi night no less – in front of the entire nation and showed the textbook reason why talking trash is so unwise.
Because when you lose, you just look ridiculous.
He still didn’t figure it out, even when it was over. Speaking with the media after the game Ryan wanted to go back out and do it again. That approach works when you lose a close game. When you get outright destroyed, you just sound like a complete and total idiot.
“I mean humiliating, for one night,” said Ryan when asked about the loss. “Shoot, I’ll fight tomorrow, I guarantee you that. Humiliating? It’s the biggest butt whipping I’ve ever taken as a coach in my career. But I can promise you one thing, I’ll be ready to play ‘em. I’ll play them right now if they’ll go out and do it again.”
It’s like that annoying kid you grew up with who constantly shouted, “Hey, do over!” Uh, no. They don’t need to go back out and play it again. Belichick’s team already went out and outplayed New York from the first snap of the ball Monday night. They hit them harder, played harder, and executed better – because it was clear they really wanted to win this one and send a message. Ryan and his players may have spent the week running their collective mouths, but the only talking that matters happens with their play on the field, which was the message that everyone in the Patriots locker room fired back with after the game was over.
“It doesn’t bother me at all,” said Welker when asked about the talk from the Jets coming into this one. “Whatever they want to do or say or anything like that, we’re just going to go out there and try and do our talking out there on the field.”
“Not really to be honest with you,” said Jerod Mayo when the same question was posed. “Coach Belichick does an excellent job telling us to ‘ignore the noise’ each and every week, and that’s what we did. I think we did our talking on the field tonight.”
They said everything that needed to be said. They picked off Mark Sanchez three times. They committed just one penalty (a ‘pick’ by Deion Branch on a play that looked incidental) and no turnovers. They were absolutely everywhere on defense to the point where Sanchez spent most of the game running around trying to make a play because his first read didn’t show any signs of anyone being open. When he did throw, his guys were drilled and couldn’t hold onto the ball. It was a lot like that scene in “Remember the Titans” where their intention was to not let the other team gain another yard – and that appeared to be the tone of the entire evening.
On the other side of the ball Tom Brady went out and threw four touchdown passes in what was nearly another perfect outing, while runningback BenJarvus Green-Ellis also had two touchdown runs. They put the pedal down and were still looking for more with mere minutes left in the game.
That’s how it went for 60-minutes – and they didn’t let up until the final whistle blew.
“I think so,” said Mayo after when asked if he thought his team played a complete game. “Throughout the game [Belichick] kept reminding us, ‘Hey, play 60 minutes, let’s put it all together,’ and this is one of our best efforts this year.”
That’s clearly an understatement. But he doesn’t need to say anything more, because his team already said enough.
The lights may be out at Gillette, but what happened Monday night will likely be in Ryan’s mind for a long, long time. That in itself is enough of a reason for Belichick to smile about this one until the next time these two meet.