This time last week, Bart Scott was going viral. This week, he’s going crazy.
Minutes after the Jets’ road win at New England in the divisional round, the linebacker unleashed an angry tirade, quickly earning the nickname the “Madbacker.” Scott called out all the “nonbelievers” who didn’t think the Jets could beat the top-seeded Patriots and said he “can’t wait” for the AFC championship in Pittsburgh.
Fast forward a week and Scott couldn’t wait to hurry up and clean out his locker at the Jets practice facility. A week removed from taunting a Patriots defense which he said, “couldn’t stop a nosebleed,” his Jets conceded 24 points in the first half to the Steelers. A subdued Scott didn’t have much of an answer for the poor play of the defense, which was gashed time and time again by bruising back Rashard Mendenhall.
“We just, uncharacteristically, weren’t able to tackle well early on,” Scott said. “We didn’t get the runner down. We had a couple of blown assignments and we weren’t able to get off the football field.
“In the playoffs, it’s one-game elimination, you can’t have lulls.”
And while he’s no nosebleed, the Jets certainly couldn’t stop Mendenhall.
It was the big-talking Scott who got mauled on Pittsburgh’s first touchdown. On the game’s opening drive, Scott had Mendenhall wrapped up on the goal line but was unable to get the running back down on the ground. Instead, Mendenhall kept churning his legs, sneaking into the end zone for a touchdown which epitomized the listless efforts of the Jets defense in the first half.
The touchdown opened a flood of points for the Steelers and the Jets didn’t have enough tissues to stop the hemorrhaging on their end.
On the play, Scott went from “Madbacker” to “Badbacker” in an uncharacteristically awful play. He acknowledges that the defense put the team in a bad hole with its sloppy first half performance.
“You have to be able to play complete football games, especially against a tremendous football team at their place,” Scott said. “We weren’t able to do it.”