Just when you think that the New York Jets were on the verge of blowing out the Jacksonville Jaguars, adversity strikes and the team finds themselves in a dogfight. Just when you think that the Jets were ready to collapse and blow a 10 point lead, Gang Green digs deep and finds a way to win their second game of the season in overtime 23-20. What a wild roller coaster ride of emotions for Jets fans on Sunday, but there is one thing that is for certain: Gang Green is fun to watch and easy to root for.
The offense continues to be led by veteran quarterback Josh McCown who offers valued leadership and a calming presence as coordinator John Morton installs his offense. McCown distributes the football to all of his receivers, offering up several great throws that I honestly thought that he could not make. Josh is the ultimate “team first” guy that shrugged off two unfortunate turnovers and guided the offense to another solid performance.
Powell and McGuire take off– Don’t look now but the Jets have a dynamic duo in the backfield as both Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire had breakout performances. Powell’s 75-yard touchdown run in the first quarter electrified both the team and the stadium, setting the tone for the game early on. McGuire’s 69-yard touchdown run in the third quarter opened many eyes with his speed and elusive moves. Good luck trying to give Matt Forte reps when he returns from injury. Note: Eric Tomlinson is doing a phenomenal job filling the role of blocking tight end.
Receiver by committee – Without a true “number one” receiver the Jets pass catchers are all contributing to help keep drives alive. The veteran presence and route running of Jermaine Kearse and Jeremy Kerley open up opportunities for Robby Anderson and ArDarius Stewart. Add in the size and pass catching ability of tight end Austin Sefarian Jenkins and the Jets can do some things in the passing game.
All Kony, all the time- While dealing with the loss of a family member Kony Ealy was a man among boys on Sunday. Ealy did it all for Gang Green including a tipped pass and interception, 3 qb pressures and 4 batted pass attempts. Kony is looking like a phenomenal waiver wire signing for general manager Mike Maccagnan.
Flying around– It may not be pretty at times, but this defensive group is flying around to the football and playing with a ton of passion and energy. The improved speed and athleticism has paid dividends for Gang Green as the team can change up their defensive looks and schemes. Whether it is 3 safety sets, or exotic blitz packages, this defense is no doubt fun to watch. Credit again to Demario Davis for another solid game while Darron Lee emerged late with the victory on the line. Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye continue to bring the lumber in the secondary while Mo Claiborne shuts down any receiver in his area. Recently signed David Bass is emerging as an outside linebacker, providing both a pass rush and run stuffing ability.
Inconsistent again – Lac Edwards made up for a mediocre day of punting, almost responsible for the loss, with a huge 70-yard punt in overtime. Chandler Catanzaro missed another kick this week and does not really inspire confidence when he kicks.
The fake punt in the second quarter was incredible, and well planned, but the lack of preparation after it along with the missed field goal took away from the effort.
As a person that has been incredibly critical of head coach Todd Bowles, I have to give him a ton of credit. This team is playing hard for Coach Bowles and has really bought into his program. This is a game that the Jets would normally lose, but the group refused to quit and kept fighting. What else would you want from a young rebuilding team?
As a long time fan of the New York Jets this team with limited expectations has been a lot of fun to watch. It’s so refreshing to watch a team willing to play hard for one another and a group that is ready to leave everything that they have on the field. It will not always be perfect, and will not always result in victories, but it is an effort that you can be proud of.
The New York Jets are 2-2 and I am already looking forward to next Sunday’s game versus Cleveland.