After the Patriots completely embarrassed the Jets 45-3 on a Monday night in December nobody gave New York a chance to get a little payback this past weekend. After all, New York and New England split the season series but it was the Patriots’ regular season domination that blinded everyone’s judgment and got them thinking New England couldn’t be beat. But this is the postseason and the team that rises to the occasion and plays their best on that given day advances to the next round. The Jets were obviously the better team that day, but was their celebration necessary?
A touchdown celebration ending in an unsportsmanlike penalty. Braylon Edwards doing a celebratory back-flip at midfield. Bart Scott doing his Jet imitation through the Patriots players. After a week of pregame hype and stinging remarks from the Jets aimed at the Patriots, the postgame talk didn’t end with the Jets heading to a second consecutive AFC title game. New York was left to defend their celebratory antics after being labeled as “classless.”
Deion Branch joined KJR in Seattle to talk about what happened in the game against the Jets, what the Jets did after the game that made him angry, and how much trash talking there was going on between the wide receivers and defensive backs.
What happened in the game against the Jets:
“It just goes to show you that if you don’t come to play week-in and week-out what can happen. We had a great season, finished the year 14-2, by far the best team in the NFL during the regular season but once the postseason starts it is a different season. The Jets came out. They had a great game plan. They executed their game plan. Now going into the game we had a great one as well but we didn’t execute our game plan and that is the difference. You can’t just rely on what happened during the regular season even though we didn’t do that, we didn’t execute our plays.”
Anything but winning the Super Bowl is a failure in New England:
“That is the mindset. It was here when I came here in ’02 and when I left they had the same mindset, when I returned it was the same exact thing. The goals around here are a whole lot bigger than just winning the division, winning the conference, just getting to the playoffs, it is bigger than that and I think that we didn’t do a good job executing the things we set out to do, and the goals we set as a team. Like I said, it was a great season. I think we don’t have to hang our heads down low. Guys went out and played good this season but we didn’t finish off what we set out to do this year.”
What the Jets did after the game that made him angry:
“Well I mean the thing was, it was a guy asking me a question about ‘Was it embarrassing losing the game or was it losing to the Jets?’ My answer was ‘No, losing the game itself. It didn’t make a difference who we had played in the playoffs, the fact is we lost the game. The only thing that was embarrassing was some of the cracks those players on the football field was their antics after the game.’ I said ‘Some of them. Not all because there is a great handful of guys on the Jets team that has a lot of class, and there is a couple of them that don’t and the ones, they know who I am talking to. I don’t have to say their names and I won’t.’ (HOST: If I asked you who they were would you tell me?) No, I would never do that but they know exactly the ones I am talking about them that I think are talking about me. A guy asked me ‘Would you shake their hand?’ I told him that I would never shake their hands. I would congratulate the ones who deserve the respect and congratulations from me and my teammates but I would never congratulate the classless guys on the football team. Sometimes when you go into a game and you play, they did a great job, they won the game, congratulations to the ones that deserved it, but for the ones that don’t deserve it I would never shake their hands, never congratulate them, and that was all that was said. There is a handful of guys that are very classy. Sometimes when you are not supposed to be in certain situations you act that way and that is how some of those guys are. They aren’t used to being in that position, and this was their Super Bowl. But it wasn’t our Super Bowl. This was probably their Super Bowl and that is probably why they were acting that way. So, who knows? I don’t know.”
How much trash talking there was going on between the wide receivers and defensive backs:
“There was none. There really was none. You know me and Darrelle had some words but it was nothing about smack talk. It was, ‘Hey you got me on that one. I got you on that play.’ Great competitive, great competition out there on the football field amongst me and him. I only went against Cromartie that one time, which was on that fourth down play. Well twice. Actually I went against him three times, I am sorry. Three times. The rest of the time it was just me and Darrelle. There really wasn’t a lot of trash talking going on. Other than that, I can’t say. I don’t know what was going on in the interior line but the outside there wasn’t a whole lot of trash talking going on.”