These last 2 weeks Keller has been a beast for the offense. I like many other Jet fans questioned the move to trade up and draft him late in the 1st round but he’s certainly starting to earn some respect. All that mismatch talk experts talked about in the spring is finally starting to come true and it couldn’t come at a better time.
The excitement from the Jets win over the Patriots is just starting to level off for me. It’s been awhile since I can recall the Jets being atop the AFC east in 1st place (November 19th, 2001 to be exact). Overall the game wasn’t pretty (especially the 2nd half) but it’s definitely a psychological boost in the right direction. In the end it was too painful to be pretty. There were enough mistakes, blown calls and heartaches to fill all the cardiac hospitals in New England and some in New York.
On a personal note, I will now watch all Jet games at BIG SHOTS! The ladies are quite attractive and the fan-base, along with me, is very amusing. I also come to a realization; I don’t have many friends that are Jet fans. I actually have more Giant fan friends than I do Jets. Any Jet fans out there that actually read my blog want to be my friend? (You know how I know I’m gay? Read last sentence)
YOUNG GUNS LEAD THE WAY
The first half of football was exciting to watch (well for Jet fans at least). It showed how dangerous the Jets can be when they are clicking on all cylinders. The Jets started the game off great, moving down the field and scoring a touchdown on the opening drive. I can’t recall the last time they were able to do that against the Patriots so you could imagine my excitement. Dustin Keller is a Golden God. Finally Schottenheimer is utilizing his best weapons by spreading Keller in the slot and Leon Washington in the backfield. When LW took that kickoff and ran it back 92 yards I was in a state of pandemonium. Devo and I were high-fiving anyone who put their hands up. At this moment I really thought, “Oh Sh!t, they could do it.”
Now it was no David Tyree catch-in-the-hat but damn, Cotchery deserves a lot of credit for that grab he made. With Cotchery well-covered and much interfered with Favre threw a 55 yard toss up in the air. Falling down Jericho reached out his left arm and caught the ball behind his back while falling over. It was remarkable, I had no idea he had even caught it, I was glad that the Patriots got a penalty on the play. But he wasn’t done there, no sir. My man went ahead on the next play scored a touchdown reaching across the goaline while being tackled at the 4. It was a truly superb effort on his part to help give the Jets a 24-6 lead going into halftime.
3RD QUARTER BLUNDERS
Why do the Jets struggle so much in the 3rd quarter? After the quick Jabar Gaffney touchdown the Jets needed to strike back to put the game almost out of reach. Instead, the spark that they had going into halftime was now gone. They punted on the next possession and all of a sudden the game was in reach by merely a field goal. It’s been the same story for the Jets all season, Arizona was trailing 34-0 in the 3rd but rallied with a 21 point 3rd quarter to make the game just a little bit more interesting.
Why do we call Eric Mangini “Mangenius?” He must think that the opposing team won’t make any second half adjustments, so, nor should he. But we’re talking about Bill Belicheat here. Regardless of the Spygate accusations he is still a very smart coach. After the Ben Watson gift-fumble the Patriots began running a no-huddle offense. This would keep the Jets defense on their heels (especially the weak secondary) and it would also tire out the defensive line, mainly Kris Jenkins. And it worked. Jenkins was getting tired and Mangini had no way to counteract and stop the Patriots through the air.
BIG PLAYERS MAKE BIG PLAYS
The 2nd to last New York drive in the 4th quarter is why the Jets brought in Favre. He took the ball and drove it expertly down the field and gave the Jets a 31-24 lead, managing the game using all but 3 minutes of the clock. Its times like these were you’re no longer sitting at the bar, you’re standing.
Now it was the defense’s turn to respond. If they could force the Pats to punt here the game would be a wrap! And MVP Kris Jenkins responded with a burst up the middle and a big sack to force 4th and long.
But even without Tom Brady, these are still the New England Patriots and they know how to win. With less than 2 minutes left the Patriots stopped the Jets and forced them to punt. At this point I am kicking myself and have become a nervous wreck. I know it’s not Brady under the huddle but every time the Patriots touch the ball I become apprehensive. Slowly but surely the Patriots moved the ball downfield. This was it, 4th and one with 8 seconds left. This is where leaders come up and make big plays. This is where the Jets defense has to be clutch and hold their ground. This is when the Jee………
My heart dropped. For 59 minutes and 52 seconds of this game the Jets were consistently bumping and shoving Moss at the line of scrimmage. So what does Law do? He decides to fall back and play 8 yards deep. WHY!!!!!!! You can argue that it almost looked like Moss’ foot was coming off the ground before he had possession of the ball but you can’t overturn a call like that, it’s just way too close. Now the game is tied and a demoralized Jets team has to go back out on the field for overtime
Had the Jets lost the coin toss I think it’s safe to say they would have lost the game. The defense was tired; they just gave up that last second touchdown to send the game into overtime, there was no way they were physically and mentally ready to go out and try and stop that offense. After the first incomplete pass and then the sack I knew this game was all but over. Still, all that money spent on free agent signings and they’re still the same god damn Jets. Favre, facing 3rd and 15 found a wide open Dustin Keller for 16 yards. I’m not used to seeing the Pats defense and a blown coverage, especially against the Jets but this certainly was the case. Now it was all on Favre’s shoulders. Pass after pass he moved the chains and the ball closer to a suitable range for my cousin Jay Feely. And low and behold we all know the outcome, JETS 34, PATS 31!
It was a fantastic game to watch (and drink a lot of $2 Sam Adams too). I knew it would be a close contest but I never would have guessed that it would have been so dramatic. The Jets still have some work to do. They gave up a total 511 yards to the Patriots offense and over 400 of those yards were threw the air. If the Jets want any chance on staying atop the division and securing a possible playoff bye they need to play better and coach better. Maybe now they too have learned how to win.