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Jets’ defense has outstanding day against Tom Brady

New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91)

New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) and New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams (92) go after New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) for the sack in the fourth quarter during a game on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

The Jets’ defense did not allow the Patriots a touchdown until 1:55 remained in regulation Sunday. Then it got to watch the entire overtime from the sideline as the offense again got the job done in a 26-20 victory.

All in all, not a bad way to spend an afternoon against your archrival and its future Hall of Fame quarterback.

“We came in with a great game plan across the board,” said cornerback (and former Patriot) Darrelle Revis, who had his fifth interception of the season, his highest total since 2009.

“We mixed up a couple of coverages on Tom [Brady] and our d-line got to him when it mattered. All we wanted to do was just control the game, and that’s what we did.”

Still, there was that tying drive, on which Brady converted two fourth-down pass plays of 8 and 26 yards to Rob Gronkowski, then found James White all alone for a 9-yard scoring pass.

But Brady — playing without injured receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola — threw for only 231 yards and the Patriots ran for 63. They were 3-for-3 on fourth down but only 1-for-10 on third down. The Jets have allowed a league-low 21.5 percent third-down conversion rate during their five-game winning streak.

The key, as it usually is against Brady, was pressing him into mistakes or misfires.

The plan, defensive end Sheldon Richardson said, was “to beat his offensive line, make sure the rush was relevant. Get him early and often, and we did that. We did that. That was it.

“He didn’t worry about the rush. He stayed in and actually made some throws a lot more than he usually does. I was hesitant a little bit on some of those plays because usually he’ll throw a long foul ball to try to get a roughing-the-passer call. He actually stayed in and made some tough throws.”

Revis’ interception came on a play on which Brady and Gronkowski appeared to not be on the same page.

“Football is a game of errors,” Revis said. “Our d-line did a great job of pass rushing this whole game, and the result of that is a turnover, especially on that play.”

Linebacker Calvin Pace said the defense talked about “being physical and executing. For the most part, we did that . . . You got somewhere to be, be there.”

Richardson admitted to shaking his head as Brady engineered that late drive to tie the score.

“I never lost faith, but most definitely it was one of those times where I was just like, man, why, why does he always get back in the game?” Richardson said.

But then Brady’s own coach took the ball out of his hands in overtime by winning the toss and opting to kick off.

What was Richardson thinking then? “That he doesn’t get a chance to get on the field and be him.”

New York Sports