by Kennedy Ross
Cold, Hard Football Facts AFC East Overlord (@FNscribeNY)
You could have flipped a coin to decide whether or not the Jets were going to defeat the Rams. Coming off of a hard fought battle against the 49ers, the Rams appeared better than their record and their stats. They were not. Now you can flip a coin to decide if it will make a difference in the outcome of the Jets season.
The Patriots decided to stomp a mud hole into the butt of up and coming star Andrew Luck. They must have heard the "passing of the guard" comments floating around the NFL universe this week. Brady must have put the word out that the only thing he is ready to pass on is some good advice about hair care products.
Here are five things we learned from Week 11 festivities:
1. The Jets can look in the mirror one more week. (Jets 27 - Rams 13)
The Jets actually looked like a professional team. The offense looked in sync. The defense looked intense. They even cleaned up the bloody knife wounds from Tim Tebow's back.
Sadly for Tebow, today's performance by Mark Sanchez has buried all talk of Tebow replacing Sanchez in the lineup. Not that there was any talk of this within the organization. But now Rex actually has something to point to in his defense of Sanchez besides the man-crush he has on him.
Once again, Sanchez's numbers were not spectacular. But for a change they weren't laughable either. Sanchez completed 15 of 20 passes for 178 yards and one touchdown. He actually generated a quarterback rating of 118.3, which is only the third time this season he has gone over 100.
Sanchez got some help from the running game for a change as well. They didn't break the bank in yardage, compiling only 124 yards on the ground. But they did come up with two rushing touchdowns, both by Bilal Powell.
Powell ran for only 42 yards, second on the team to Shonn Greene who rushed for 64 yards. But the balanced attack helped expose a pathetically porous St. Louis defense. So Rex Ryan got that desperately needed win he was pleading for all week.
He better start pleading for next weeks win right now.
2. The Patriots don't believe in Luck. (Patriots 59 - Colts 24)
This game started out like the numbers predicted. Two really crappy defenses were going to get mutually abused by superior offenses. Then all of a sudden the Patriots went away from the script and that was all she wrote.
The Patriots defense and special teams scored three times to go along with three receiving touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns from the offense. This is whats known as a complete beating. One which young Andrew Luck won't forget.
Tom Brady did what Tom Brady usually does. He completed 24 of his 35 passes for 331 yards and three touchdowns. His main targets, tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Wes Welker were playing their usual parts. Gronkowski was virtually unstoppable with seven receptions for 137 yards and two touchdowns.
The No.1 running game in our Offensive Hog Index did their part yet again. The Patriots churned out 115 yards on the ground with Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley each contributing a touchdown run to the onslaught.
The day will come when Luck is on the other side of this horse whipping. It just sure as hell wasn't today.
3. The Jets need to do the hard math.
It is still conceivable that the Jets can make the playoffs if they get to 9-7. After they play New England next week, which is a certain loss, they will have to sweep the rest of their games.
While the reality of the situation is that it is improbable to highly improbable that they sweep the other games, there is still a chance. The question to all concerned is, is it in the best interest of the team that this incarnation be allowed to survive to next year?
Beating Arizona, Jacksonville, Tennessee, San Diego, and Buffalo might be impressive after the shambles they have turned the franchise into, but does it really mean anything?
Having a mutiny earlier in the year than you had one last year, pretty much says you shouldn't be the captain of the ship anymore. Hopefully, no matter what happens, the folks in charge will pull out their abacus and work the numbers on this one.
4. Help these youngsters out.
Hopefully for Andrew Luck, his future wont be the present of Sam Bradford. Bradford was off in Week 11. But he wasn't given a chance to overcome it because of the creaky defense.
The Rams defense is middle of the road according to the numbers. They are 18th in Defensive Passer Rating, 19th in Defensive Real Quarterback Rating, and 11th in our Defensive Hog Index. They didn't even play up to those numbers, and against the Jets of all people.
While the Jets didn't have an offensive explosion, they got what they needed when they needed it. The Jets came up with 17 first downs and was 7-15 on third down conversion. That's monumental for the Jets.
Luck's defense was significantly worse because his opponent was significantly better. New England racked up 25 first downs and was 8-12 on third down conversions. You're in an up hill battle fighting those types of numbers.
Add in the two interception returns for touchdowns and the punt return for a touchdown and you get what they got, destroyed.
5. Now that the smoke has cleared . . .
. . . Rex Ryan gave Tim Tebow his standard five useless plays for the game today. See, he's not treating Tebow any differently just because he was attacked and abused by a bunch of guys in the locker room.
. . . The Patriots 59 points tied a team record set back in 2009 against the Titans. When did piling on points go from rubbing it in, to making sure we win even with a 35 point lead?
. . . In his mind, the Jets win validated the belief Rex Ryan has in his team. Conversely, will not making the playoffs validate everyone else's belief that his team is garbage?