When he was introduced as the Jets' coach, Rex Ryan went out of his way to emphasize the importance of the home crowd being involved. Then he reinforced that message with a taped pep talk that was delivered by telephone to every season-ticket holder last week.
Mission accomplished. The fans came early Sunday and arrived at a fever pitch. They grew louder with every big defensive play and the promise showed by rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez in a 16-9 victory that broke the Patriots' eight-game winning streak on the Jets' home field.
"I think our fans are huge in this victory," Ryan said. "In fact, we're giving a game ball to our fans. It will go up in our trophy case. I thought they were the difference. Any time you can hold Brady to under 50-percent completions, that is saying a lot.
"My first victory at home. I never saw that crowd in preseason. It was pretty intense out there. It was hard to communicate, but I thought our guys did a great job. It was loud, and that is what I was talking about. Make it miserable . I can't tell you the last time New England has been 0-for-3 in the red zone."
The Pats had to settle for three field goals on their three trips inside the Jets' 20-yard line. The last time that happened to New England was Oct. 26, 2003, against Cleveland.
Sanchez also threw a bouquet to the Jets' "12th Man." Recalling his days at Southern Cal playing rivalry games against UCLA and Notre Dame, Sanchez said, "As much as I'll remember them, it's not even close. It was so loud in here. And to see how happy these guys were, the entire offensive line just smiled after the first 'victory' play [kneel down]. Man, that was a special moment in that huddle."