How sweet was that? The New York Jets were down 20-10 with 8:50 left in the game with the New York Giants at their 4 yard line. Tom Coughlin decided to go for it, instead of kicking a field goal. The Jets intercepted Eli Manning and then proceeded to march back for a thrilling 23-20 overtime victory, priming themselves for a playoff run in the final quarter of the season. This was an ugly 3.5 quarters from the Jets turned into arguably their biggest regular season win since 2010.
Ryan Fitzpatrick played the game of his life today and one of the best games we have seen from a Jets quarterback in a few years, finishing 36/50, 390 yards, with 2 TDs and zero turnovers. He led the game tying drive, which included a 4th down conversion on a scramble by him and culminated in a perfectly thrown fade to Brandon Marshall, who was the best wide receiver on the field today. Marshall had 12 catches for 131 yards and his 10th touchdown of the season. He became the first Jets receiver to go over 1,000 yards since Jerricho Cotchery in 2007. Eric Decker got in on the party as well with 8 catches for 101 yards, including two enormous third down conversions in overtime.
Bilal Powell had a monster game to support the Jets primary weapons in the passing game. He racked up 8 catches for 91 yards and his first touchdown of the season, along with 17 rushing yards. Chris Ivory had a big first quarter but only finished with 47 yards on 10 carries and also added on 22 receiving yards. He also had a killer fumble that directly led to Giants points. This wasn’t a pretty day for the Jets offensive line, which let up a ton of pressure and 3 sacks of Fitzpatrick. They also continued to struggle with penalties.
Special teams nearly lost another game for the Jets as they allowed a punt return to Dwayne Harris for a touchdown, had a brutal drive extending penalty, roughed the kicker and continued to be generally awful. The Jets were able to overcome it along with Ivory’s fumble and the absence of Darrelle Revis and Marcus Williams to still get a win…sometimes you have to get it done ugly.
Defensively, people are too quick to pounce with criticism. Yes, they allowed a huge Odell Beckham touchdown…so does every defense in the NFL. Without their top two corners, they held the Giants to 10 points (7 are on specials and 3 are on Ivory’s fumble). The Giants were shut out in the second half and overtime, while the Jets got a critical fourth quarter red-zone stop on a Rontez Miles interception and racked up 3 sacks. Leonard Williams stood out with 5 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, 2 quarterback hits and his first solo sack of the season. Antonio Cromartie and Darrin Walls played well on the outside and Calvin Pryor put together yet another solid week of football.
After being left for dead, the Jets have strung together back to back wins and now stay in New Jersey to host the 3-9 Tennessee Titans. The AFC Wild Card is wide open and the Jets are right in the thick of it. They can double their 2014 win total by beating the Titans next week and should have the benefit of getting both Revis and Williams back.
LIGHT IT UP BABY!
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com