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Jets players shocked Patriots would kick off to start overtime 12.27.15 at 6:19 pm ET
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The Jets were surprised Bill Belichick elected to kick off to open overtime. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

The Jets were surprised Bill Belichick elected to kick off to open overtime. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — It is the latest talking point surrounding the Patriots: Why did Bill Belichick instruct Matthew Slater to say the Patriots wanted to kick the ball off to start overtime?

The Jets themselves may have been more surprised than anyone, as they instantaneously saw their chances of winning depending on preventing the Patriots from scoring a touchdown, to now winning the game with a touchdown of their own, which they did when Eric Decker caught a 5-yard pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick just under three minutes into overtime.

The most surprised player of all may have been captain Calvin Pryor, who was present for the coin toss.

“My face lit up, like ‘You really want to kick the ball?’ I don’t know, but I am glad they did choose to kick,” Pryor said.

“I was confused with what he was talking about because I was thinking [they] were going to receive,” he added.

Pryor said Slater said to referee Clete Blakeman, “We want to kick this way” and then the ball was awarded to the Jets.

“I just knew the refs said we would receive the ball and that is when we ran off the field,” Pryor said.

Also present for the coin toss was Darrelle Revis and like Pryor, he was surprised as well.

“It was kind of — I didn’t expect that to come out of Slater’s mouth,” Revis said. “He said it. I guess that is what they wanted to do.”

Following the game in the Jets locker room, a few members of the team were yelling and mocking the Patriots for their decision.

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Read More: Calvin Pryor, Darrelle Revis, Ryan Fitzpatick,
Darrelle Revis: Jets ‘did a pretty good job going against a Hall of Fame quarterback’ at 5:43 pm ET
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Darrelle Revis and the Jets beat the Patriots 26-20 in overtime Sunday. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Darrelle Revis and the Jets beat the Patriots 26-20 in overtime Sunday. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Being a member of the Patriots for all of last season and winning Super Bowl XLIX, Darrelle Revis knows how tough it is to beat the Patriots.

Following the Jets’ 26-20 overtime win Sunday, Revis took great pride knowing with their win and a Steelers loss, they are one win away against the Bills next week from reaching the postseason.

“We just wanted to keep the pressure on [the Patriots],” Revis said. “I think we did a pretty good job going against a Hall of Fame quarterback [Tom Brady]. You know Tom has had a hell of a career and it’s great to get this win because we need it.”

Revis and Jets defense was able to frustrate Brady for most of the afternoon, as the Patriots didn’t score an offensive touchdown until late in the fourth quarter.

Overall, Brady was 22-for-31 for 221 yards with a touchdown and an interception. In fact, Revis was the one who intercepted Brady in the second quarter, which came in Jets territory. It was a clear miscommunication between Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski.

“Football is a game of errors. I’m sure I made a couple of mistakes out there too today,” Revis said. “You got to look at the film and make some corrections. It’s just making the play. Our D-line did a great job pass rushing all game. The result of that is a turnover, especially on that play, the d-line got some pressure on Tom and made him throw it maybe quicker than he wanted to throw it.”

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Tom Brady shows Christmas spirit for Darrelle Revis: ‘It was great to have him as a teammate’ 12.24.15 at 12:36 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Tom Brady wasn’t about to put any proverbial coal in the stocking of Darrelle Revis on Christmas Eve.

The Patriots quarterback held his weekly pre-game press conference on Thursday, a day later than normal, and the first question he was asked by ESPN’s Mike Reiss was whether his opinion of the likely future hall of fame cornerback might have changed. In the offseason, it was Revis who said that Brady was with the Patriots when they “did stuff in the past” – a clear reference to Spygate – and “should live with” the four-game suspension handed out by the NFL for his role in Deflategate.

Brady deflected the question at first by simply talking about the greatness of Revis and how he is still playing at a high level.

“It was great to have him as a teammate,” Brady said. “He brings a lot to the defense that he plays on. Played him a bunch of times when he played for the Jets, then Tampa, played him here [in practice], back to the Jets. So, basically played against him every year in some form or fashion. He’s just a great player. I think he does a lot of things really well. It’s fun to watch him play.”

Jets columnist Manish Mehta appeared on Dennis and Callahan Thursday and said that there is a feeling in New York that Revis’ skills are in a “slow decline.” Brady did not share that same sentiment publicly Thursday.

“He as a very unique style. But he certainly locks his guy down. I think that’s pretty impressive to do it for as many years as he has. It’s not a simple scheme for a guy like that because it puts a lot of pressure on those corners. So, it’s like having two offensive tackles that you don’t ever give any help to. Whoever they go up against, they go up against. It’s pretty impressive to see what he’s accomplished this year, what he’s accomplished every year. He’s a great player.”

Reiss followed up and asked Brady if his personal feelings about Revis had changed since he left for the Jets.

“No, nah,” Brady answered.

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Read More: Darrelle Revis, Deflategate, New England Patriots, New York Jets
Manish Mehta on D&C: ‘You’re seeing a slow decline in Darrelle Revis’ at 9:07 am ET
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New York Daily News Jets columnist Manish Mehta joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to talk about Darrelle Revis and also a column he wrote Thursday, claiming there is a “rift” between Revis and Tom Brady. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Mehta, who has covered Revis back to when he was back with the Jets at the beginning of his career, admitted Revis isn’t the same player he once was.

“He’s not the best cornerback in the league anymore and I would be the first to admit that,” he said. “I thought that he could still be that this year because he played at a very high level on defense a year ago and he has come down the mountain. I’ve always said that if you’re a player like Darrelle Revis, that are very special players, best at their position for X amount of years, the most physical thing to digest as a player is when you take that step down from being the best at that particular position to being very good, or still being great maybe, but being closer to the pack, or with the pack. That to me is more of an ego burn than anything.

“Eventually players are going to be not close to what they were at their peak, but it’s a slow decline and I think you’re seeing a slow decline in Darrelle Revis. Don’t get me wrong, I still think he’s a top 10 cornerback. He isn’t a guy that is going to get torched left and right, but he’s clear a player who doesn’t instill that type of fear that he did back in 2009.”

In Mehta’s column Thursday, he looked back at Revis and Brady after their first meeting where Brady barely stopped to shake Revis’ hand after the game.

“I thought it was strange,” Mehta said. “I didn’t think that probably was a way he would handle dealing with a guy who he was friends with or didn’t have a problem with.”

To see the short clip, click here.

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Read More: Darrelle Revis, Manish Mehta, Tom Brady,
Todd Bowles thinks Malcolm Butler is ‘probably the best [cornerback] in the league’ 12.22.15 at 4:26 pm ET
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Malcolm Butler comes away with one of the two Patriots' interceptions on Sunday. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Malcolm Butler comes away with one of the two Patriots interceptions on Sunday. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — On a week when there’s been almost non-stop talk about Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman, Jets head coach Todd Bowles thinks maybe people should be paying more attention to what’s going on in New England with a second-year cornerback.

Bowles has been bowled over with the effort and execution of Malcolm Butler. The Jets coach believes that Butler, along with Logan Ryan, has been a big reason the Patriots defense has emerged as one of the best in football over the last two months since the Jets last played them at Gillette Stadium.

“Their defense has been playing outstanding and those two corners are a big part of it,” Bowles said.

“They were good then,” Bowles said of Butler and Ryan Tuesday in a conference call with New England media. “Malcolm’s probably the best in the league. He shows up. He takes the best [receiver]. They can play zone, they can play man. They’re both big. They’re physical. They can tackle.”

Some of this may be an effort to soften up Butler, who covered Eric Decker in the first meeting on Oct. 25. It was a good back-and-forth battle all day as Decker caught six balls on 12 targets for 94 yards. It was Ryan who covered Brandon Marshall, who caught four balls on seven targets for 67 yards. Neither receiver had a touchdown.

When it comes to secondary play, Bowles, a former defense coordinator, can really appreciate a good corner who plays well and studies harder.

“He studies the game,” Bowles said. “He’s not just a man corner, he’s a zone corner, too. He’s feisty. He has very good technique, which is rare. He’s got great hand-eye coordination. He reads the ball. He accepts all challenges. You can tell he works at it. I enjoy watching him play.”

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Read More: Darrelle Revis, Malcolm Butler, New England Patriots, New York Jets
Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson on D&C: Malcolm Butler has been better than Darrelle Revis at 8:38 am ET
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Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday to defend his website against Bill Belichick‘s comments on Monday and also to discuss Malcolm Butler and Darrelle Revis. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

There’s no question Revis played a major role in the Patriots winning the Super Bowl last season, but the team didn’t pick up his $20 million option for 2015 and he became a free agent. With Revis gone, the team now had Butler, a second-year player, as their No. 1 corner which many questioned going into the year, but it has gone a lot better than many expected.

In fact, according to Monson and Pro Football Focus, Butler has had a better year than Revis.

“Oh man, that is tough. It would look ridiculous before the season to say it would it be Butler, but honestly I think overall he has probably been better than Revis,” Monson said. “It’s been really close. It’s been up and down. Each guy has been inconsistent, but I think Butler has been better.”

On Monday’s Dale & Holley show, Belichick was asked about analytical websites and the coach said he doesn’t always believe what they say. Monson defended his website, saying their own is different than some of the other ones.

“Part of the thing about PFF is it isn’t really a formula driven thing,” he said. “What we do is different from most analytic places. We’re actually grading every single player on every single play. We collect a whole different unique statistics and data and all that kind of stuff that we will put out statistics or metrics or whatever. That is not the crux of what we’re doing. What we’re doing is trying to grade people.

“Yeah, we have an extensive check process, both internally and we also refer our stuff to a group called the Pro Coaches Network, which is a collection of current and former NFL coaches with something like over 400 collective years of NFL coaching experience and they have a fairly extensive audit process and our grading system. It’s a hell of a lot more robust than it was when we started this and we were just a collection of guys grading. Now we got serious NFL input and feedback into the whole process.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Darrelle Revis, Malcolm Butler, Sam Monson
Julian Edelman on OM&F: ‘We had to go out and just execute’ against Dolphins 11.02.15 at 12:41 pm ET
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Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman and linebacker Dont’a Hightower checked in with WEEI’s midday show on Monday with the team coming off Thursday’s rout of the Dolphins. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.

The Dolphins rolled into Thursday’s game on the heels of two blowouts in the first two games under interim coach Dan Campbell, who had infused some energy into a previously underperforming team. However, the Patriots gave Miami a dose of reality with a 36-7 decision.

“There was a lot of energy in the beginning of the game, and the whole game,” Edelman said of the Dolphins. “We knew that they were going to be a confident group. They’d been playing really good football with the new coaching change and everything. It was one of those games where we had to go out and just execute, and we really tried to do that.

“We started in some mud at the beginning, putting ourselves in bad situations with penalties, not staying on track with the drives. So then once we got everything going, started to execute play by play, that’s when things were going well. It was a complementary game. We were getting great field position from the special teams, our defense was holding them — an electric offense that’s been scoring a bunch the last two weeks. Anytime you have that — and we were able to kick it on a little better.”

Said Hightower: “Defensively we had a hard time getting off the field as much as we wanted to, but we definitely came together and played like we wanted to and executed the game plan at the end to the extent that we wanted do.”

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Read More: Aqib Talib, Darrelle Revis, Julian Edelman, Tom Brady
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