Sunday, November 21, 2010


A Great Jets Win, But...

Reading my Sunday afternoon Twitter feed (starting, roughly, here and working up) should give you a fair idea of the rollercoaster ride the New York Jets took their fans on (poor reception in a bar caused the non-posting of a tweet that recognized the winning TD).  For the third consecutive week (and fourth time in the last six), Gang Green won a game they shouldn't have been trailing in the first place. 

In Detroit, they needed a 10-point 4th quarter comeback to tie the game against an inferior Lions team -- so they could win it in OT.  In Cleveland, they gave up a game-tying TD to a rookie quarterback starting his second NFL game -- and then won it with 16 seconds left in the overtime period. And today, they blow a 16-point lead to the Houston Texans in a fourth quarter that had a fumble, an interception (more on that later), blown coverage and  a stupid personal foul penalty that negated a great kickoff return that would have set the Jets up in great field position for could have been a winning field goal.  

Over on my Facebook page, a friend disliked my calling the Jets performance -- before the incredible game-winning drive -- a "collapse."  But when you play that poorly -- in all phases of the game -- in the final quarter, what else can you call it? And this is what makes me wary of believing the J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets! should be favorites for the Super Bowl.  As one tweeter observed, yes, the team has proven itself lucky over the last three weeks, but that is also a function of being a talented team.  Every Super Bowl team can point to moments in the season when they won a game they should have lost ('01 New England Patriots "tuck rule," anyone?).  

But, while the Detroit and Cleveland games might be passed off as a good team underachieving on the road, this week's was something different.  Keep in mind that the last time the Jets played at home, they pulled a scoreless 9-0 stinker against the Green Bay Packers. While Rex Ryan has produced a great team spirit, his game-to-game handling leaves much to be desired -- especially in terms of time management.  

The Jets trailed by a single point with 2:18 left in the game. So, why is the coaching staff having Sanchez throw home-run passes downfield?  There was more than enough time to do short passes in order to get into field-goal position.  The second long pass is the one that got intercepted, leading to a Houston field goal.  Yes, the team came back to win dramatically, but it shouldn't have gotten to that point. The teams the Jets will face in the playoffs won't make as many errors as the Lions, Browns and Texans did in giving games back to the Jets.  

Still, on a much brighter note, the chemistry between Sanchez and wide receiver Santonio Holmes is awesome to behold.  Seeing them hook up for clutch late-game plays three straight weeks gives really puts beleaguered Jets fans into "you gotta believe" mode. 

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