Suffering Jets: Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo

Gonna fly now

Despite their best efforts, the New York Jets outlasted the Buffalo Bills and asserted themselves as the best football team in the greater New York area. Not even a team record 20 penalties, totaling 168 yards could stop this train. Not even Kyle Wilson committing four penalties on four consecutive plays in the fourth quarter could stop the rock. Despite their best efforts, the New York Jets played their own brand of football, and came out winners.

This game started off about as well as one can, with an opening drive touchdown. Running the ball, making smart passes, converting on multiple third downs; it was divine. Later on , Santonio Holmes was contributing and making me not be angry at him for that damned first down celebration (it’s cocky as all hell and takes time off the clock.) Jeremy Kerley was back from his concussion, making great catches and doing generally awesome Jeremy K. things. Geno Smith had a really good first half, even with his interception on a completely under thrown pass intended for Holmes. And before I go any further, Bilal Powell. Let the record show that last week I said the Jets needed to get back to running the ball, because Smith was too inexperienced to be throwing as much as he was and shouldering as much as the offensive load as he was. (Here’s my exact words: “…if this team actually wants to succeed (and I think that they do,) the play call cannot force Geno Smith to work outside of his current comfort zone. Effective running of the football was a very big part of the Jets’ two AFC championship game trips; they need to incorporate it more.” Pretty damn prescient, eh?) So what does the team do? They give it to Bilal “Pow!” Powell 27 times for 149 yards, have a balanced offensive attack and win the game. I could be an offensive assistant. E-mail me, Marty! I think I can be a great help to your scheme.

Anyway, the defense continued to look great, especially against the run. C.J. Spiller only rushed for nine yards (a total so low, I’m grammatically obligated to write out the word,) and Fred Jackson’s numbers only look any good because of a 59 yard run that, were it not for a complete brain fart, would have been a stop at the line. Everything was going pretty perfectly right up until the second half. Then things started to go off the rails. Geno Smith threw an interception, right at the defender, the team blindly challenged two plays and lost two timeouts as a result, all leading to a fourth quarter sequence, with the Bills driving, down eight. Here’s where Kyle Wilson’s momentary loss of sanity threatened to ruin everything that had been accomplished throughout the course of the game.

Instead of Buffalo making plays to get them down the field, they relied on Wilson to give them free yardage with a bunch of penalties. Wilson seemingly lost it after an altercation with “A grown man named” Stevie Johnson, who would end up catching the two-point conversion that tied the game a few minutes later. Why Rex Ryan did not remove Kyle Wilson after two penalties when it was clear he was rattled, can only be guessed. Presumably, Wilson is doing a lot of push-ups in practice.

Miraculously however, this Jets offense bounced back. On a play where I actually said, “Nope” as the ball was in the air, Smith completed a 69 yard bomb to Santonio Holmes for the go ahead touchdown. It looked like it was going to be underthrown and hit the defender in the back, but it ended up being a pretty perfect pass, hitting Holmes in stride right as he turned around and right in the spot where the defender could not defend it. I’m frankly still amazed that he caught it; awesome stuff. This game was a true roller coaster ride of all kinds of exciting emotions. But, as is the nature of the National Football League, that was last week and now the Jets have another game to take care of this week.

Another game to take care of this week: New York Jets (2-1) @ Tennessee Titans (2-1)

These two teams have actually been kind of similar this season. Both were not expected to do much of anything. Both currently have running backs that rank in the top ten in terms of yards (Powell and Chris Johnson.) Both lost close games they easily could have won, in Week Two, against playoff teams (a 24-30 overtime loss to Houston for Tennessee.) Both are surprisingly 2-1. Basically, because they are so evenly matched, it’s going to be a 17-13 win for one these teams. I’m going to have to put my hypothetical money on the Jets yet again this week. In my original season prediction, I said the Jets had about two winnable games in the first part of their season. The first one was last week. The second one was this week’s game against the Titans. Granted, I did not think the Jets would actually be looking as good as they have at this point, but hey, I like surprises. Defense has been the constant strong point, especially against the run, and I see no reason why that should not continue against Tennessee. Wow, the Jets could be 3-1 by Monday.

Spare thoughts- Extended Edition:

Before we get any further, the Rex Ryan job security watch is at a tepid forcing your players to do pushups as a punishment for committing penalties because NFL players need to be treated like they are in high school sometimes. Double shout out to Ellis Lankster and new punter Ryan Quigley for their special teams play and double shout down to Kyle Wilson for being the most undisciplined of all. My phone now autocorrects to Mornhinweg, so I think that no matter how this season shakes out, I am a winner.

Now, I’m trying to figure out when is an appropriate time to definitively declare what kind of team these Jets are. You can usually tell if a band will have staying power by their third album, and the long-term success of a single sports career tends to be seen by the third year. But the third week of the NFL season? Last year, everyone anointed the Arizona Cardinals after their 4-0 start, yet they completely fell apart after that and finished 5-11. Likewise, everyone thought the Ravens were finished late last year after they fired their offensive coordinator and lost some crucial games, and they won the damn Super Bowl.

Are the Jets really a team with a strong defense that will completely shut down your running game and a capable enough offense that will put its share of points on the board? Is that even a viable formula for success in this league? As with most things in this sport, only time will tell. This team is fast approaching a rather tough stretch of games; I expect we will see what they are truly made of very very soon. For right now though, I’m over the moon as a fan, I’m dancing, I’m running around the stage like David Byrne in Stop Making Sense. For right now.


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