The week leading up to the divisional round of the NFL playoffs was extremely intense. With two big rivalry games on the schedule, a lot of trash talk was spewed through the press, mainly from the mouths of the New York Jets. However, the easiest way to justify talking the talk is walking the walk, and that’s exactly what the Jets did on Sunday.
Seemingly unbeatable once again, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots went into Sunday’s divisional playoff game with the New York Jets as the presumed #1 team in the league after posting a 14-2 regular season record. After New England defeated the Jets by a score of 45-3 in Week 13, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that they would move on and host this weekend’s AFC Championship Game.
Rex Ryan and the Jets had other plans though. Using swarming defensive schemes and tight coverage from their stud cornerbacks, the Jets were able to contain Tom Brady in a way that we haven’t seen in a long time. In a testament to how well New York’s defense played, the Patriots won the time of possession battle by nearly 10 minutes, which typically spells doom for opposing teams. Factor in Mark Sanchez’s turnover-free day and a solid day on the ground for running back Shonn Greene, and the Jets were able to continue the trend of playoff upsets.
In other action, the Pittsburgh Steelers used a dominant second half performance to erase a 14-point halftime deficit, beating the Baltimore Ravens 31-24. Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler racked up four touchdowns to lift the Bears over the surprising Seahawks 35-24. Aaron Rodgers of the Packers also scored four times, leading the Green Bay to a dominant 48-21 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
Check out some of the cleats being worn in this past weekend’s games.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, wearing a custom-designed Under Armour Fierce cleat, airs out a pass.
New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, in the Nike Air LT Superbad, tries to locate an open receiver .
Braylon Edwards, in the Nike Zoom Vapor Carbon Fly, drags Patriots defenders.
Seahawks linebacker Aaron Curry prays for an injured teammate while wearing a Player Exclusive colorway of the Nike Air LT 2.1
Matt Hasselbeck throws a pass downfield in the Reebok NFL U-Form 4Speed.
Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher angles to make a tackle while wearing the Nike Air Zoom Merciless.
Chicago’s Devin Hester wears a shoe that perfectly describes him – the Nike Super Speed.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler runs for a touchdown in the newly unveiled Nike Air Zoom Alpha Talon.
Tight end Kellen Davis scores a touchdown in a Nike Air Zoom Superbad Player Exclusive.
Aaron Rodgers tries to avoid a sack in the Nike Speed TD.
John Abraham of the Falcons sacks Aaron Rodgers while wearing the Nike Air Zoom Alpha Talon.
James Harrison celebrates one of his signature sacks while wearing a Player Exclusive colorway of the Nike Air Zoom Merciless TD.
Steelers safety Ryan Clark intercepts a pass in the Reebok Molded NFL Burner Speed.
Ben Roethlisberger calls out a play while wearing a Player Exclusive colorway of the Nike Air Marauder.
images via ESPN