Patriots-Jets: A Loss Well Learned

Bing WangCorrespondent INovember 14, 2008

Eight seconds left and the Pats are down by seven...TOUCHDOWN RANDY MOSS! TOUCHDOWN WITH ONE SECOND REMAINING!

No folks, this was not the work of Tom "Terrific" Brady.

This touchdown drive was lead by Matt "hasn't started since high school" Cassel.

This heartbreaking loss is probably going to be more beneficial than any of the wins the Patriots have had this entire season. This game against the division rival Jets the Patriots showed why they have have dominated the NFL for the past decade.

The ability the Patriots have of just rotating guys in and out is just amazing. With a patchwork defense and an offense that lost its top two guys in the backfield, the Patriots forced OT with a Jets team that had been devastating other teams.

The performance by Cassel this game was amazing. Not only did he pass for over 400 yards and three touchdowns, he led a game-tying drive with around 1:05 to play. He bulleted the last pass into a place where only Moss could make the play, and make the play he did. 

He also led a touchdown drive right before the half that brought us back in the game, that was very big. Take away a bad snap and an unforced fumble and Cassel could very well have thrown five touchdowns this game.

Cassel will earn his big fat paycheck somewhere next year, he is showing all the signs of maturing and growing into a solid NFL starting QB that Brady showed his first year.  The one thing Cassel is missing from his arsenal is the ability to connect on the deep ball, but I see that changing the next few weeks. 

The reason I believe that is because I was once a non-believer. If you told me six weeks ago the poise that Cassel would show in a game like this, in a pressure situation like the one at the end of the game I would have asked you what you were smoking. 

Cassel has given this team hope, he has given us the same hope that we always had when Brady was at helm. While he may not win every game he has shown the ability to take us to promise-land.

There was one thing I saw this game that I had not seen in a long time out of my beloved Patriots. They adjusted in game, they were getting flat out dominated before McDaniels set Cassel loose, and Pees decided to mix things up against Favre and the Jets. They did something I was scared they forgot how to do.

The result? Come back from a 18-point deficit to tie game with one second remaining.  Our defense came up big and helped fix the mistakes that our offense made. The total points that came from the bad snap by Koppen, the fumble by Watson, and the dropped third down pass by Gaffney? Zero. The Jets scored zero points off of those critical errors.

That second half I saw the type of defense that I wanted to see. A defense that got after the QB whenever given the chance, and a defense that punished whoever had the ball. Thank you Jerod Mayo for proving to everybody just why Coach Belichick drafted you with our first round pick. Vernon who?

While this is still a loss, and greatly hurts our chances in a competitive AFC East, this loss has shown us the way to get things done. It would be hard for me to ignore how much potential this team has, we shot ourselves in the foot and still came within one stupid penalty or play away from beating one of the best teams in the league despite them playing a perfect game.

Thank you Patriots, for sucking me right back into this season. Man this loss hurt so good.