East Rutherford, NJ – You’re daydreaming about the playoffs again, right? I told you you would be at this time. I’m going to quote myself. In last week’s game recap, I said, “If the team follows suit, they’ll have an awesome last minute win next week. Around 4:00 pm next week, those daydreams about the playoffs will reemerge.”
Ok, there’s my pat on my own back moment. Now I’ll continue. The Jets took down the Saints today 26-to-20. I don’t know about you, but it felt like they won by more. Maybe it was the crowd noise, or the explosiveness of Chris Ivory, or the return of the defensive line that made the Jets seem so dominant. The important thing is that the Jets are going into the bye with a 5-4 record and have a solid chance at making a playoff run.
“It was huge,” Willie Colon said. “You want to go into a bye week with momentum. After getting our butts kicked in Cincinnati, something had to turn around.”
Let’s start off with the offense. By the numbers Geno didn’t have a fab game. He completed 8 passes on 19 attempts and racked up only 119 passing yards. But it didn’t look that way, because he protected the football and didn’t allow any interceptions. It’s his second game this season turnover free. Mornhinweg was being conservative with the game plan and that made a difference as well.
“The thing I was really proud of was that he didn’t force anything,” Rex said following the game. “He never really forced the issue. He had one throw that he really forced and other than that he was like, ‘Nah, I’m gonna throw it away.’ He’s not worried about stats. He’s worried about wins.”
Chris Ivory was killin’ it running for 139 yards, which isn’t an astronomical number, but it was all pretty explosive. He was traded from the Saints in the off-season for a 4th round pick. New Orleans was probably wincing at that decision during this game.
Ivory wouldn’t admit that the win meant more because it was against his former team. “You guys want me to say that [this game meant more], but that’s just not how it feels,” Ivory said. “I really look at it just like another game.”
It was classic ground and pound for the Jets in the third Ryan Brothers showdown. (Rex has won every time. The Ryan Bowl is much more worthy of a tough fight than the Snoopy Bowl * Rolls eyes *)
The Saints don’t have the finest run defense and the Jets took advantage. They managed the win completely out-passed. The Saints had 366 net yards passing, while the Jets had only 140.
“He had that go-go juice today,” Sheldon Richardson said on Ivory’s performance. “He was moving today. [He] couldn’t be brought down, I’m glad for him, it was [against] his old team. He had a statement to make and he made it.”
After the game, Geno spoke about how much easier his job is when the run game is running smoothy. “Not only are we not in third-and-long situations, but it’s wearing down the defensive line,” he said.
With Kellen Winslow, Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley, and Jeff Cumberland out of the game (and Stephen Hill targeted only once), most of the guys catching the ball today weren’t on the Jets roster as of Week 1. Greg Salas, Zach Sudfeld, Josh Cribbs and David Nelson stepped up and performed rather well. They combine for 7 catches and 128 yards.
We still don’t know where the Jets defense was in last week’s 40-point loss against the Bengals, but thank goodness they’ve returned. Dee Milliner had probably his best game of the season. His effort seemed more present than usual having 4 tackles, 2 assists, and an almost interception.
In fact, the entire secondary came to play. Even when Brees had time to throw it seemed he could never find an opening, often trying to fit the ball in tight windows.
The result? Drew Brees was intercepted twice. Once by Demario Davis and again by Antonio Cromartie. The Saints were never down by even as much as ten points, but could only muster two field goals in the second half. Brees accumulated 382 passing yards, but that was on 51 attempts for 7.5 ypa, a full yard below his season average. He also failed to complete 60% of his passes for only the second time all season.
Papa Buddy Ryan must have been proud to see how confused the Saints offense looked. They were forced to use three time outs in the first quarter alone.
Richardson noticed Brees being uncomfortable in the pocket. “We knew he had trouble seeing over the line,” he said. “It showed. It seemed like the first couple of series he was looking over the offensive line.”
Wilkerson agreed. “We knew he’s a short quarterback and we knew, obviously, he’s an elite quarterback and getting him off his mark would get him rattled,” he said. “And I think we did that, getting pressure on him, hits, sacks, and overthrows and batted balls. Credit to the whole defense for being disruptive.”
In conclusion, the Jets as a whole are still inconsistent, but Nick Folk is still perfect.
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