The New York Jets ended their eight game losing streak today with an impressive 20-13 win over the favored Pittsburgh Steelers. It was basically bizarro world at MetLife Stadium as they forced four turnovers, including Jaiquawn Jarrett’s first two career interceptions, avoided any turnovers themselves and hit a huge play down the field in the passing game. They will now have two weeks to prepare for a road game in Buffalo and hopefully begin a strong end to their season. Without a doubt, there were plenty of bitter Steelers fans and people in #FireIdzik shirts leaving MetLife Stadium this afternoon. Let’s get into it…
Marty Mornhinweg started the game with a well-scripted opening drive that heavily featured both Percy Harvin and Chris Ivory leading to a Jets field goal. Harvin had another strong game (56 offensive yards and two third down conversions) and has made a persuasive early argument to be back with the Jets in 2015. Ivory led the Jets with 51 rushing yards, although he only received 14 carries. The Jets converted on a bomb from Mike Vick to TJ Graham for a 67 yard touchdown. It was a perfect throw from Vick and an opportunity for Graham, a mid-season acquisition, to show off his deep speed. Vick also hit Jace Amaro with a touchdown pass (his second of the year) and finished 10/18 for 132 yards with 39 rushing yards…more importantly he avoided any turnovers for the second straight game.
The Jets still had some missed redzone opportunities but were able to move the football consistently and produced more than enough for their defense, who played their best overall game of the season. Jarrett led the way the performance of his life, recording a sack, fumble recovery and two interceptions. The front seven dominated the line of scrimmage and consistently got after Ben Roethlisberger. Cornerbacks Marcus Williams and Philip Adams both held their own, particularly Williams who made a great play directly leading to Jarrett’s first interception. This was a strong day for Rex Ryan who had Roethlisberger off his game from the opening snap and got the most out of a defense with minimal talent in the back end. We know Ryan can craft up some gems of defensive gameplans but now can he improve on his recent struggles in the game after a victory? (2-12 in last 14).
Ultimately, it was great to see this team finally put together a complete, consistent effort and finally win a game. It has been two months, which has felt like two years. They will have a prime opportunity to play spoiler down the stretch against the divisional opponents and continue to develop younger players, while further integrating Harvin into their offense. Today was a snapshot of the team many of us expected for most of 2014,.