Game Balls: “Playing By The Rules” – Jets 30, Pats 27


This was your classic “gut check” game that should have never been as close as it was and is single-handedly responsible for my heart palpitations and lost voice today. Geno was by no means spectacular but was good enough to win and he did get a considerable amount of help from his Wide Receivers (for the most part). I’m also not exactly sure what Rex said to his defense at half time but it definitely worked and the beat goes on as the Jets move to within a game of first place in the AFC East and break the Pats heart in the process, it’s definitely a “Victory Monday” and that can only mean one thing: Game Balls: 

Antonio Allen: 

The second-year Safety out of South Carolina was hands down the player of the game as he rose to the occasion when tasked with the assignment of covering the Patriots’ non-incarcerated Pro-Bowl Tight End, Rob Gronkowski in his season debut. Although Gronk did haul in eight receptions for 114 yards, Allen played outstanding and was able to contain him and it was obvious that Brady was trying to force the ball in his direction. Allen’s biggest contribution was also the play of the game, on the opening drive of the second half, Allen baited Brady into throwing at Gronk and jumped the route for a game-changing pick-six. I would imagine that Allen will have his hands full this week against either Tyler Eifert or Jermaine Gresham but in the meantime, here’s a Game Ball.

David Nelson: 

In only his third game with the Jets, Nelson played tremendously and likely saved Geno from throwing a couple of interceptions by fighting for the ball with Pats’ defensive backs. Nelson was the Jets’ second-leading receiver with four catches for 80 yards. In addition to his contributions catching the ball, Nelson also had a great game blocking in both the running and passing game and hopefully this is an indicator of things to come for him.

Jeremy Kerley:

It looks like Kerley has assumed the role of Geno Smith’s security blanket while Kellen Winslow is serving the remainder of his suspension for violating the NFL’s PED Policy. Kerley was the Jets leading receiver, hauling eight catches for 97 yards and a Touchdown. The third-year man out of TCU has assumed the “Jericho Cotchery” role in the Jets’ offense by creating yards after the catch and more importantly, converting key first downs while extending drives. One could only imagine that Kerley would provide even more of an impact when Winslow and Santonio Holmes inevitably make their respective returns.

“Beast Mo” Wilkerson:

I usually give the Game Ball to the entire Front Seven but considering the performance in the first half as well as the fact that certain players were noticeably absent for long stretches, only a few individuals will get one. Of course, the first member of the Jets’ strongest unit is Mo Wilkerson, who is arguably the best player on this team and an absolute nightmare for opposing offenses. Wilkerson racked up 5 tackles and another Sack to bring his season total to six

Damon Harrison: 

“Snacks” as he is commonly referred to, didn’t play that many snaps because the Jets were in Nickel for most of the game but when he was in there, he made an impact and recorded his first career sack while doing so. I think it’s safe to say that Harrison has officially supplanted Kenrick Ellis in the rotation and he’ll collect a Game Ball to go with his first sack.

Chris Ivory: 

Following the loss to the Steelers, Ivory lobbied for a bigger role on offense and ask and ye shall receive as Ivory carried the ball 34 times for 104 yards. The YPC is not impressive but considering he was running against heavy boxes and run blitzes for the majority of the game, it’s not too shabby. Ivory made Bilal Powell look like a forgotten man but how Anthony Lynn and Marty Mornhinweg divvy up the carries going forward is really anybody’s guess.


Jeff Cumberland:

Cumberland has been seeing the majority of the playing time while Kellen Winslow serves out his aforementioned suspension but he could have single-handedly cost the Jets the win with two costly drops. The first of which was a dropped Touchdown pass in the 3rd Quarter that would have given the Jets a two score lead and the second was a dropped would-be first down that would have allowed the Jets to potentially run out the clock and avoid Overtime. The bottom line is Cumberland has to catch those balls, especially with the likes of Fred Davis potentially becoming available in the not-too-distant future.

Bill Belichick:

There are a number of reasons the former “HC of NYJ” should be doing laps but this is for the moaning and complaining about the much-ballyhooed “Push Rule,” the amount of time he should have been flagged for Delay of Game or tossed for the amount of time he spent jawing with the officials after the Penalty call. The Hoodie ultimately admitted to his mea culpa in that he didn’t understand the rule but if you ask me, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer/classier guy.

The Punt Team: 

This unit had a less-than-stellar game from the Punter, Ryan Quigley to the Gunners, who couldn’t get really get a hold on Julian Edelman. Granted Edelman is a talented and shifty return man but you can’t let him set up Tom Brady with short fields because it’s pretty tough to win games when you give teams the ball on their own 40. We’ll just chalk it up to a bad week and move on.

  • Landon

    Cribs deserves a game ball.

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  • Dave2220

    Cribbs definitely deserves one!

  • John C

    Cribbs for sure.

  • mike

    i’d give one to marty for the script on the game-opening drive. efficient and aggressive.

  • um cumberland dropped one pass the endzone pass was stripped out of his hand and it would have been a td if geno threw it on time and u acting like fred davis is still a great player, the redskins r now trying to trade him he hasnt been the same after his injury. like i said before jeff is gonna be a good player in this league he has all the physical tools and once geno and jeff get more comfortable this connection will be a great one but jeff needs to remain consistent which i believe he will

  • Geronimo

    Jets have been trying out a few of these hybrid S/LB types for the last few years (e.g. Downtin). Had to figure this was an effort to find some way to counter NE’s TEs. These hybrids would usually hang out at the bottom of the roster for awhile and then disappear.

    Allen had a tough draw and really fought hard. If he can keep it going against other top TEs, he counts as one of this team’s biggest surprises.

  • Mark Phelan

    Give Cribbs 2 balls: KR & PR!

  • Harold

    E Star:

    I think you are forgetting Cumberland actually bobbled the ball and that had a lot more to do with him getting the ball strpped then Geno throwing late. He is throwing in the Red Zone better to be sure than sorry. Cumberland had a another drop as well they did not even include.

  • John C

    Not his best day, but Cumby will rebound – the “TD” drop was a confluence of events, that lead to the drop – body position/pass location/timing gave the DB a chance to strip before he could really secure it.

  • joeydefiant

    Worse than the drops was when Cumberland could have had a first down but ran out of bounds half a yard short. He plays like he’s scared to take a hit.