When ESPN and everyone else ranks you 32nd out of 32 squads, and you are the brunt of ‘pathetic’ jokes before the year even starts, an opening day win is more than just a win. You take any “W” in this league but yesterday’s 18-17 thriller by Gang Green helped remind us all that paper is paper. A team ultimately earns their reputation from play on the field. The “W “wasn’t a model of execution but for a week one game in a world where training camps now allow limited work in comparison to the ‘two-a-days’ world of preseason’s past, this one was picture perfect enough to us.
The victory sets up an interesting and exciting week 2 TNF matchup with the hated Pats. Who barely pulled one out in Buffalo on the game’s last play too. Might as well try and catch Belichick and Co. now before they begin to cement their perennially hard to beat regular season system. It is as good of a time to take them on as any.
1 – Good Job Geno
Geno Smith deserves a ton of credit for Sunday. The guy clearly has a short memory and a ton of self confidence. His three INT performance against the Giants weeks back did nothing to sway him internally as a player. Neither did the two turnovers yesterday, especially in crunch time, where the rookie was decisive and ready to win a game for his club.
Smith had great screen pass timing (something that Mark Sanchez does not), an inner clock that was on time allowing him to scramble effectively, and the patience to throw balls away when pass plays had no chance for success.
Geno was clapping and positive heading into the huddle with 0:34 left. He then made two big plays leading to the late hit flag and game winning FG. It wasn’t perfect, but a lot of his decisions maxed out the play he was given. We look forward to watching him grow in the coming weeks.
2 – The D Line Disrupts Tampa
Our second key to beating the Bucs was the D-Line. We asked for pressure on Josh Freeman and containment on Doug Martin. We got both. Antwan Barnes and Mo Wilkerson were often chasing down Josh Freeman from the blindside. Sheldon Richardson and Damon Harrison were stout against the run inside, as was ILB David Harris. The entire front 7 came to play. They’ll have to bring it every week. Now if they can, the Jets will be in many ball games. Great job by this group in the opener. Great.
3 – Winslow Shows Some Attitude
TE Kellen Winslow (7-79-TD) was Geno Smith’s favorite target on Sunday. More than that, his catches were gritty, tight windowed, chip on the shoulder grabs that went beyond Winslow’s statistical prediction of 100 catches in 2013.
We love this guy as Dustin Keller’s replacement. He’s tough, he’s dependable, and he’s just plain good. Nice pickup by John Idzik.
4 – The 12th Man Finally Makes An Impact
This may have been the Jets first Met Life home game where the crowd greatly affected the opposing team’s offense. The noise helped wreck the Bucs early drives. False starts, delay of games, and time outs were the result of a fired up fan base that wanted no part of the many predictions that had the Jets as one of the worst teams in the league. Kudos to the thousands of tailgaters, who were shall we say, “Budweiserly” fired up from kickoff until the Folk game winner.
Hopefully this trend continues. The pre snap noise. The J-E-T-S chant still rocking even without the leadership of Fireman Ed. Heck, even the college like drumline. MetLife has to consistently give the Jets an edge like it did yesterday. Otherwise what’s the point of being at “home?”
We’ll Say It For You Rex
For Rex Ryan, the win had to feel extra special. His team has been ridiculed and written off. He had been ridiculed too for his role in the Sanchez injury, and had already been fired by so many in the press. Now his team is headed to New England with a head of steam.
Eat it, nonbelievers. Stick it where the sun don’t shine. There, we said it for you coach. Since you aren’t allowed to anymore.
– Nick Folk was 3-3 in windy MetLife and hit a 48 yard game winner with :02 left. CLUTCH.
– The run game, gadzooks. The Jets have to pick it up immediately in Foxboro. Hurry back from the four game suspension Mike Goodson.
– Needed: A deep threat receiver. Have to start stretching the field. Could that guy be Stephen Hill?
– Beast Alert week 2: Antwan Barnes. We smell a breakout game coming. His motor is making us believe that.