Game Balls: Jets vs Raiders, “We’re Back…Maybe”

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Well it wasn’t pretty but the Jets finally got off the schneid after going over a month without winning a football game, the offense came to life against a beleaguered Raiders team and carried the Jets to a much needed “W.” As far as what this means in the grand scheme of things, as of right now, not a whole hell of a lot but that could all change with a win at Carolina but let’s not hold our breaths. Without further preamble let’s paint up some Game Balls:

Jeremy Kerley

Call it serendipitous timing on Kerley’s part but this offense looks much different when he is in the lineup and he has restored my faith that the Jets at least have one competent receiver on their current roster. Although he was only the team’s third-leading receiver with four catches for 41 yards, it is obvious that Geno was missing arguably his favorite and most reliable pass-catcher as he was targeted a team-leading seven times. His biggest play of the day came with 3:17 left in the First Quarter as he hauled in the Jets first Offensive Touchdown in several weeks and Geno’s first Touchdown pass since Week 7 against New England. I think I can speak for all Jets fans here in that we were happy to see “eleven” back in the lineup and for that he comes away with our first Game Ball.

Antonio Allen

Although Allen didn’t make a ton of plays on Defense as he is still sharing time with Ed Reed, he made arguably the biggest play of the game on Special Teams. With time waning in the first half, the Jets defense stopped the Raiders deep in their own territory, forcing them to punt, Allen came flying through untouched, blocked the punt and fell on it to give the Jets a 20-3 lead. You could argue that his Touchdown came as a result of great scheme on the part of Ben Kotwica or incompetence on the part of the Raiders but we won’t and he can have this “no strings attached” Game Ball.

Chris Ivory

Regardless of what he did running the ball, Ivory sealed up this Game Ball early for the lick he put on Raiders’ Linebacker, Sio Moore in Blitz pickup. Ivory absolutely annihilated Moore, sending him to the sidelines for some concussion testing, where they almost certainly asked him whether he got the license plate of the truck that just ran him over. Oh and the former Saint had another pretty good game running the ball, refusing to be brought down by any mere mortal, racking up 76 yards on 18 carries and a Touchdown run that would make Marshawn Lynch proud.

Geno Smith

I was wavering as to whether or not Geno should get a Game Ball because although he was by no means spectacular, it was a nice bounce-back performance from Geno but nothing that really makes you think he can be the proverbial “guy.” Perhaps the biggest improvement I saw out of him was his realization that he can actually run the ball if no one is open and extend plays and by doing so he racked up 50 yards on five carries and a Touchdown. In terms of how he fared throwing the ball, it was an improvement but still shaky a times as far as accuracy but he finished the day with a more-than-respectable stat line of 16 for 25, 219 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT.

Kellen Winslow

Winslow gets a Game Ball for the incredible catch he made on the Jets’ first scoring drive, reeling in a high Geno Smith pass for a 30-yard gain. The second-generation Football-playing Winslow finished the day with a team high 61 yards on three receptions. Despite his incomprehensible dearth of playing time, Winslow has been a good soldier, making plays when his number has been called although many would argue that it has been far too infrequent.

Nick Folk

What can you say about Nick Folk’s season that hasn’t already been said, the guy has been absolutely automatic, making clutch kick after clutch kick and what more can you really ask from your kicker. I know some of you are going to bring up this short kick-off garbage but it has yet to really hurt the team and Nick retains his Folk Hero status for yet another week.

*Honorable Mention

The Offensive Line for actually showing up and keeping their Quarterback clean and to Willie Colon for actually not committing a penalty.

Take A Lap!:

The Secondary

This is a unit that has felt the absence of Darrelle Revis more than anyone thought they would and are constantly being torched on a weekly basis by both Veteran and Rookie Quarterbacks alike and made Matt McGloin look like Drew Brees at times. I want to specifically single out Antonio Cromartie who has had a miserable season plagued by injuries and spotty play and had his own “Buttfumble Moment” yesterday when he collided with Ed Reed as if it were a bad episode of “The Three Stooges” and allowed McGloin to hit Rod Streater for a 48-yard Touchdown strike. It makes me queasy just thinking about Ted Ginn running right past this secondary next Sunday but hopefully Rex has them doing enough wind sprints this week to get them physically prepared.

Santonio Holmes

The malcontent Wide Receiver who is playing out the string of his Jets career didn’t have a horrible game but for a guy who likes to complain about Quarterbacks and how few targets he gets, it would behoove him to actually catch the ball when it is thrown to him. However Holmes did the exact opposite and dropped what should have been a Touchdown on a well-thrown fade route from Geno Smith. I don’t care about hamstrings or bad feet today “Tone Time” will consist primarily of counting how many times he can lap the Jets Training Facility without puking.