The Jets have done it again. What looked like a lock for the Jets, who held a 23-7 lead in the 4th quarter, turned into one of the most amazing finishes in Jets franchise history, and by far the most exciting finish I have ever witnessed in person. This has become some special season for the Jets and their fans. After the years of misery that this team has brought to its fans, this team has outgrown the “Same Old Jets” mentality, and that will take some getting used to for Jets fans.
This Jets season has nothing to do with stats anymore. Sure, Sanchez is near the top, if not, the top of the league in passing yards over the last 4 weeks. Sure, the Jets are 4th overall in rushing offense even with Greene and Tomlinson struggling lately. Sure the Jets pass defense is not even close to the #1 ranking it had last season. The only numbers than can define this Jets season are 8 and 2, their win-loss record. If anyone watched HBO’s Hard Knocks, you would have seen that Rex Ryan’s goal for all three phases of the game was to “lead the league in f***in’ wins,” and that’s exactly what they are doing at the moment.
It’s a special time in New York, at least for Jets fans. Can any Jets fan safely say that had this been last year, you would have expected the Jets to win any of their last 5 games the way they were going? I think I just heard a big, resounding, “NO!” Like I said, it will take time for us to get used to the Jets pulling out these close wins. Of course, there was always the hope of the comeback on Sunday, which made me want to stay at the game until the very last tick, but there could not have been many fans that actually expected the Jets to score. 75% of New Meadowlands Stadium was empty for that last drive on Sunday. Looking back, the game was obviously far from over, but we all have 20-20 vision in hindsight and Jets fans are used to the disappointing “Same Old Jets” and felt there was no need to stay. This is something I doubt we will see again this season. The Jets have shown they are capable of coming away with a win in any close game, no matter what the situation. Down 10 with 4 minutes to play? No problem. Getting the ball with 50 seconds left in overtime? No problem. Down 4 with 49 seconds, no timeouts, and 68 yards to go? NO FREAKIN’ PROBLEM.
Many have criticized the Jets for their inconsistent defense, less than stellar ground game, and their inability to close out games. To me, it seems that the Jets have just played up (or down) to the competition this season. Aside from a couple of duds against Baltimore and Green Bay, the Jets have found ways to win no matter who they play. Their most convincing win, surprisingly, came against the New England Patriots. The Jets kept it close in the first half, then came out and dominated the second half. The following week, the Jets put up 31 points on another division rival, the Miami Dolphins. Their only dominant win against a bad team came against a winless at the time Buffalo Bills. So far, they have not lost any games that they were supposed to win easily. They were the favorites against Green Bay, but no one expected the Jets to blow out one of the best teams in the NFC.
The Jets biggest tests are ahead of them now. Following the Thanksgiving night game, the Jets play the Patriots, the Dolphins, the Steelers, and the Bears, three of which are either tied or own first place in their division. Should we expect the Jets to win all of these games? Probably not, but anything seems to be possible with the 2010 New York Jets. I, for one, am willing to accept a 12-4 record if that’s what it comes down to. It would be nice to have a home game or two in the playoffs, but the Jets are still undefeated on the road this season, so playing away from New York does not seem like it would faze Rex Ryan and his Jets. It’s going to be a tough final stretch, but this Jets team is ready to continue shocking the world.