New York Jets coach Rex Ryan outfoxed New England Patriots counterpart Bill Belichick with a defensive scheme that put his team on the brink of a Super Bowl with just one more championship quarterback waiting in their path.
The Jets, who beat the Colts and quarterback Peyton Manning 17-16 in the first round, stopped top seeds New England and Tom Brady 28-21 on Sunday night to set up an AFC Championship clash in Pittsburgh next Sunday against the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger.
With one ring for Manning, three Super Bowl rings for Brady and two for Roethlisberger, another win would cap a glittering treble and send the Jets to their first NFL title game since Joe Namath made good his guarantee of victory 42 years ago.
Brady was sacked five times in Sunday night's game and threw for losses even when the Jets (whose record was 11-5 in the regular season) rushed only three men at him.
Now the New Yorkers aim to book a trip to Dallas for the Super Bowl against the winner of next Sunday's NFC title game between the Chicago Bears and visiting Green Bay Packers.