TOJ Fan Friday – Jets Show New Ability To Handle Adversity

TOJ Fan Friday: Timothy Fay on how the New York Jets have shown a new ability to handle adversity

On Fridays throughout the year we are going to publish an article from one of our fans/regular readers of the site. We want to hear from you and hopefully source a few new regular contributors. Timothy Fay submitted today with an article about how the New York Jets have handled early in game adversity. If you are interested in submitting an article for next Friday, send an e-mail along to JoeC@TurnOnTheJets.com!

It is only 2-0. That’s the message we heard from Todd Bowles in the post-game presser and interviews he’s done since the Jets convincingly beat the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on Monday night. It is only 2-0, but the Jets are already halfway to their win total from last year. It is only 2-0, but the Jets are only 3 takeaways shy of last year’s total. It is only 2-0, but the Jets line has only given up 1 sack. In other words, yes, it is only 2-0, but there is a different feel around this team. There are many reasons to have hope this year under a new regime and revamped roster that came out of the gate swinging. The Jets have a suffocating defense and an offense that can move the ball on the ground AND in the air. These are great things to energize a starving fanbase that wants to see the green and white stack some wins together (we haven’t seen a three game win streak since the 2nd half of the 2011 season).

This is a team that has responded to in-game adversity and shown resilience that we have not seen in a few seasons. Watching the game Monday night, there were two situations that stood out:

The Interception

With 8:30 left in the 2nd quarter and on the Colts 35 yard line, Brandon Marshall took off down the left sideline covered by Vontae Davis who had safety help from Mike Adams. Fitzpatrick made a questionable decision and forced a throw to Marshall and it was tipped by Davis around the 5 yard line. Adams made an incredibly athletic interception, snatching the ball out of the air and getting both feet in before falling out of bounds for a touchback. This could have been a momentum changer and sucked the life out of the Jets Defense. Instead, they responded like an elite defense should. On first down, Frank Gore gashed the right side for 9 yards. On second down, Gore was stuffed for no gain. On third and 1, the defense stepped up and forced an incomplete pass to Andre Johnson with Douzable dropping in coverage and knocking him off his route. This is what big time defenses do. The Jets get the ball back, marched down and put 3 on the board. Jets 10, Colts 0. Momentum killed.

The Offense Steps Up

The Jets defense played extremely well all day long. They made Andrew Luck look pedestrian and wreaked havoc all over the field. They gave up a few long drives, but they proved to be harmless up until the 4th quarter. With 14:06 left in the final period, the Colts put together a 4 minute drive that covered 91 yards and culminated in a 26 yard touchdown reception by Donte Moncrief. The Jets defense topped off the breakdown with a nice 15 yard penalty on the extra point. Every Jet fan who has followed the team for more than 10 minutes has seen this movie before; They play dominating defense for the 3 ½ quarters, only to let the opponent back in the game and lose because the offense didn’t put up points and the defense can only hold for so long. I admit it, I immediately thought “we are in trouble”.

Enter JR Fitz, who answered the call and lead the offense on their own 4 minute drive covering 80 yards. After some tough sledding against an 8 man box for the entire game, the offense finally hit some runs while Fitzy went 4-5 for 56 yards. The drive ended with a 15 yard reception by Marshall who dragged and ran over what seemed like half the Colt’s defense. Jets 17, Colts 7. The Jets defense came right back on the next series and intercepted Luck (again) leading to 3 more points. The victory was sealed.

I don’t think we can understate the importance of how well both units responded to the others adversity. Both sides of the ball picked up the other when they had a breakdown, and then responded with positive series when they got back on the field. These scenarios seem a bit foreign to those fans who, like myself, have filled the seats at Metlife for the last few years. Like Todd Bowles said, “It is only 2-0”, but this 2-0 feels different.

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the EVP of Content at Whistle Sports