With the excitement from the New York Jets’ win over the New England Patriots beginning to level off, it’s important for fans to reflect on the overall significance of the win as they return to normalcy.
Fans witnessed the good and the bad from the Jets on Thursday night, but they finally had an opportunity to see their team end up on the winning side of a nail-biter.
A lot of words are going to be thrown around about the Patriots being a shadow of themselves because of key injuries to star players. Even more words will be spewed regarding the 18-point lead New York let slip away.
Not enough can ever be said about what the Jets did to take full control of their division as the home-stretch approaches.
No Offensive Player Left Behind
The first-half of football showed what New York can do when they’re clicking on all cylinders. It shows how dangerous the Jets are when their players are executing the way they’re supposed to and the offensive coordinator’s gameplan is on the money.
Brett Favre was spreading the ball around, as every offensive player had an opportunity to touch the ball and take it for positive yardage. But most importantly, he did it without committing any mistakes.
The Jets’ early stretch of mediocrity was usually coupled with ugly turnovers from the future Hall of Famer. For the second consecutive week, Favre led his team to victory without giving his opponents an opportunity to take it away.
Thomas Jones carried the ball 30 times for over 100 yards and a touchdown—his fourth straight game finding the end zone.
And he did it against a Patriots’ defense that hadn’t allowed a 100-yard game from any running back since the Ronnie Brown show in Week Three.
Going into Overdrive in Overtime
Brett Favre said the team was “deflated” when Randy Moss reminded the Jets why he’s one of the greatest receivers to play the game.
Catching a touchdown that would lead New England to tying the game with one second remaining is the kind of glory Patriots’ fans have grown accustomed to in the new millennium.
It was the kind of play that takes the life right out of a team. And it nearly did.
But one word resurrected the Favre-led Jets when it mattered most.
That’s what Jets’ Captain and star Safety Kerry Rhodes called when the coin was in the air to give his team the ball. And it’s the only significant way to tell the tale of the Jets’ dramatic finish in Massachusetts.
It was that word that would allow the Jets to exhaust New England of any adrenaline for the next seven minutes and 50 seconds. Being on the receiving end of the opening kickoff in overtime was all New York needed to seal the game that looked to be theirs from the beginning.
Favre and rookie Dustin Keller connected to convert two crucial third downs against a team that needed the win just as badly.
In what was more than just a regular-season game for first-place in their division, New York announced to the NFL that they are contenders. They gave the league a look at the different ways they can win a game.
Whether it be a snap to Brad Smith, a clutch special-teams return by Leon Washington, a 100-yard rushing game from Thomas Jones, or veteran leadership from Brett Favre—the New York Jets have declared to the NFL that they are as dangerous and multifaceted as a championship team should be.