Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wilhite has put loss to Colts behind him

Jonathan Wilhite isn't going to pretend that he can ignore plays at will, that he'd completely forgotten the game-winning touchdown catch he surrendered to Reggie Wayne by the time he got on the plane in Indianapolis late Sunday night.

"You wouldn't be a football player if you didn't think about it," the second-year cornerback said. "Wayne made a good catch, and Peyton (Manning) made a good throw. It happens in football."

A cornerback, though, has to have a short memory -- and the Patriots do short memory as well as anyone.

"You can't succeed without it," Wilhite said. "If you're worried about what happened (last) week, that means you're not giving the Jets your full attention."

The Jets certainly merit attention.

Wide receivers Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards both are averaging better than 15.0 yards per reception this season. Cotchery has more receiving yards against the Patriots than any other team in the NFL. (He's averaging 56.1 yards per game against the Patriots -- and just 45.6 yards per game against Buffalo and 35.4 yards per game against Miami.)

Edwards has brought a new dimension to the Jets' offense that wasn't there in Week 2, a big and physical wide receiver who can outmuscle smaller cornerbacks.

"He's a good receiver -- I knew that since I watched him in college," Wilhite said. "He can stretch the field, and he can make big plays."

The job of Wilhite will be to limit those big plays.

According to the film analysis experts at, Wilhite hasn't made a positive impact in pass coverage since Week 5 at Denver. His minus-3.7 mark overall ranks him 67th among cornerbacks in the NFL -- and behind Leigh Bodden and Darius Butler among cornerbacks on the Patriots.

He's become one of the team's top cornerbacks, but he wasn't exactly satisfied with the way he handled Manning and Wayne a week ago.

"All you can do is try to make a play," Wilhite said. "Sometimes, you're not going to always be in good position to try to make plays, but we did that. We just didn't make enough plays."

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