Suffering Jets: Inconceivable!

“This is amazing! Nothing can ever tarnish this moment!” -Lavonte David after intercepting a pass that was grossly overthrown by a rookie quarterback starting his first regular season game.


Yes, Lavonte David’s late hit on Geno Smith set up the game winning field goal for the New York Jets. Yes, the New York Jets won on a gift. But, a gift is a gift, and a win is a win; we’ll take it. Thank you very much for your glorious, glorious mistake, Mr. David. Though frankly, even if the Jets had wound up losing this game, I would still be writing here that I was satisfied with their performance. On Sunday they showed that, if not this year, there can be some hope for the future.

Geno Smith committed two bad turnovers, but seeing as he’s a rookie with limited experience, yadda yadda yadda, these types of things were to be expected. The good news about these turnovers? He committed them early on and did not let them get to him, allowing him to play well enough to keep the team in the game. You would hope that Geno can become more than just the stereotypical game manager, the quarterback that plays within himself and doesn’t lose games for his teams. For now however, that is all the Jets need. These crazy kids might just make it after all.

Especially because, the defense! There was a pass rush! They got three sacks! It feels like that hasn’t happened in forever. Seeing as I pretty much predicted that Doug Martin would run for 100+ yards and two touchdowns, without explicitly saying it last week, holding him to only 65 yards and one touchdown is damn impressive. And that touchdown only came on a five yard run after the Jets fumbled the ball within their own ten yard line; anyone could punch it in from that close.

Even the “star-less, unremarkable” receiving corps proved capable. My anti-favorite Kellen Winslow Jr. was Geno’s most reliable target, as tends to be the case with young quarterbacks and tight ends. He grabbed seven passes for 79 yards and the team’s only touchdown. Meanwhile, Stephen Hill showed that he can in fact catch the ball, totaling SIX receptions for 39 yards.

Their game was of course not without its troubling flaws, aforementioned turnovers aside. It’s never a good sign when your quarterback leads the team in rushing by scrambling for 47 yards, but that is what happened. Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory pretty much split the carries, with neither really putting up numbers that I would call “good” or “acceptable.” Powell rushed for 29 yards on 12 carries, while Ivory rushed for 15 on 10 carries. This may be due in part to the play of the offensive line, who weren’t necessarily bad, but did only allow their running backs to rush for 44 yards and allowed their quarterback to get sacked five times. I guess they didn’t read what I wrote about keeping Geno’s confidence up. And while the run defense was great, the pass defense had its share of just frustrating moments, particularly on third down. As has been the team’s problem in recent years, they are just allowing too many conversions on third downs, when they should be shutting a team down and getting the ball back to their offense. A 37-yard reception allowed to Vincent Jackson late in the fourth quarter would have proved to be the decisive blow against the team, had it not been for the deus ex unnecessary roughness.

Darrelle Revis was there too! On the two plays he was thrown at, he played great defense and showed why teams usually prefer to hang onto a guy like Darrelle Revis. Best of luck to him in assembling Revis Island 2.0 down in Tampa. Though, from how this game went, it looks like he may yet again be a great piece to an overall weak team.

Up next for these 1-0 Jets is the arch rival, the universally loathed, the also 1-0 New England Patriots. New England looked beatable against the Buffalo Bills, and a lesser team that didn’t have one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time playing for them probably would have rolled over and lost. Tom Brady don’t play that however, and will take anyone he can and make them into a receiving threat. I’m expecting to hear many names I’ve never heard before catching balls for the Patriots, especially with Danny Amendola likely out and Shane Vereen definitely being out.

Hopefully this game goes better for the Jets than the last time these two met on a Thursday night. You know, last year’s Thanksgiving primetime game AKA The Butt Fumble Game AKA the game I turned off before half time out of sheer defeat and embarrassment. I think I even announced on Facebook that I was going to put on Leonard Cohen and cry myself to sleep, it was so bad. If they keep up their work against the run and can get pressure on Tom Brady early, there may be a shot here. In Foxboro though, I’m not holding my breath for an upset. Lest we forget, this team peaked in Week One of last season.

Spare thoughts:

– Bilal Powell also added 35 receiving yards to his stat line, which I guess shows who the preferred running back is right now.

– The Rex Ryan job security watch is at a breezy, post-Week One win honeymoon phase. We’ll see how long before they have their first fight and the rose-colored glasses come off.

– Shout out to Michael Koenen for being an awesome punter. Now there’s a leg you can set your watch to.

– Shout down to Dee Milliner whose rookie was showing on defense a handful of times throughout the game.

– Look for Rob Ninkovich to make a big defensive play late that totally derails a Jets comeback, as only Rob Ninkovich can. (Ninkovich is my Newman.)

– Yes I am implying in the opening that Lavonte David got what he deserved by getting called for that late penalty. It had to be him (though I would have settled for Dashon Goldson.)

– After the Giants committed six turnovers (and three on their first three drives!) against the Cowboys on Sunday night, the Jets are somehow the best team in New York. Let us enjoy this moment while it lasts.


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