The Jets backed up their tirade of trash talk Sunday by upsetting the New England Patriots and whipping fans into a state of Gang Green euphoria.
“This feels incredible,” said Aaron Plenty, 27, of the Financial District, as fellow fans threw cocktail napkins like confetti at Brother Jimmy’s restaurant in midtown. “I’ve waited my whole life for this.”
Fans say now is the time for the Jets to rise to the occasion and represent New York – especially after the Giants’ playoff hopes were dashed this season.
The Jets handed the top-seeded Patriots the ultimate embarrassment this season by winning their AFC Divisional game 28-21 on the road.
They’re now headed for their second straight trip to the AFC championship next Sunday, this time against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The winner packs its bags for the Super Bowl.
The Jets “came through, and they seemed to confuse (Quarterback Tom Brady) the whole game and outplay him,” said blogger Marc Greenberg, of thejetpress.com.
Sunday’s victory also gave Jets head coach Rex Ryan bragging rights over his nemesis, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
The last time the bitter rivals met in December, the Jets suffered a humiliating 45-3 loss.
“They played awesome … and Rex Ryan is owning the team,” said Jets fan Carlos Lozava, 36, of Mount Vernon. “He’s backing up what he says and he’s in control.”
The hotly contested game, which Ryan called the second biggest in the franchise’s history, followed a week of blustery barbs against the Patriots and Brady.
Ryan came out to a smattering of boos at the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium, but the crowd was left stunned when the Jets pushed through a sluggish start to hold back Brady.
The quarterback tried to muster up some last-minute magic for the Patriots with a scoring pass – but it wasn’t enough.
“Tom Brady and Bill Belichick think they walk on water, so it’s about time someone beat them down,” gloated Frank Anthony, 26, of Harlem. “This really gives the city something to get behind and celebrate.”
(With Tim Herrera)