By Peter Schwartz
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The Jets are 5-1 and have the best record in the NFL.
I know that may be hard for some people to believe, but it’s true.
After Sunday’s dramatic 24-20 win over the Broncos in Denver, the Jets head into their bye week residing in the league’s penthouse. Here’s the scary part for the rest of the NFL….
The Jets haven’t even clicked on all cylinders.
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In fact, the Jets played most of Sunday’s game like they couldn’t wait to depart for a few days. They did a lot of things that they had not been doing much of during the season like turning the ball over, committing un-timely penalties, and looking out of sync.
But the difference between this Jets team and Jets teams of the past can be summed up with a statement that I never thought I would make….
These are not the SAME OLD JETS!
The same old Jets would have lost Sunday’s game.
The same old Jets might have stubbed their toes a few other times this season.
And let’s be honest. The same old Jets would not be nearly as fun for the fans to watch or for the media to cover.
That is why my game ball for Sunday’s big victory goes to head coach Rex Ryan. The players trust him, believe in him, and would go through a brick wall for him.
I really think if he told them that the sky was green, they would believe him.
Think about all of the other head coaches who tried to change the culture at both Weeb Ewbank Hall and the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center over the years.
Bruce Coslet? Was too worried about the color pattern of the uniforms.
Pete Carroll? Spent too much time playing basketball in the parking lot at Hofstra.
Rich Kotite? Sorry I just made everyone reading this throw up!
Bill Parcells? Ok. He did make some strides and brought back the old uniforms but he left before the job was done.
Bill Bellichick? Spent one day as HC of the NYJ. Then resigned to, instead, turn the Patriots into Super Bowl Champions.
Al Groh? As soon as he started, he had one foot out the door to the University of Virginia.
Herman Edwards? Took the Jets to the playoffs three times, delivered the most passionate press conferences that I’ve ever seen, told everyone that “you play to win the game!”, and then when the going got tough, he bolted for Kansas City.
Eric Mangini? Again, sorry to make everyone throw up!
Which brings us back to Rex. Has he made some mistakes? Absolutely. The middle finger incident and the lifting of the hockey jersey and showing the belly disaster are reason for some demerits.
But let’s be honest, he has been a godsend for this organization. I think the Jets finally got it right. They have an energetic and dynamic head coach that should be around for a long time.
As for Sunday’s game, again it wasn’t pretty but the Jets will take it.
Mark Sanchez was shaky, especially in the first half when he threw his first two interceptions of the season. But this is not the same Mark Sanchez as a year ago. He didn’t feel sorry for himself and guided the Jets to three-second half scoring drives including a pair of Ladainian Tomlinson touchdown runs.
It was the first victory of Sanchez’ brief NFL career when he led the Jets to the winning points with two minutes or less remaining in the game.
Give plenty of credit to Nick Folk who kicked the longest field goal in Jets history, a 56-yard boot in the third quarter.
The Jets certainly got lucky with the pass interference call that set up the game-winning score when Tomlinson scored from two yards out.
But when I say lucky, I mean in terms of being fortunate to have that happen on a day when not much was going right. It was the right call to make. Renaldo Hill interfered with Santonio Holmes. The Denver Broncos radio broadcast team was not happy with the call. In fact, analyst Brian Griese said something to the affect that you can’t make that kind of call on a “Hail Mary.”
First of all, it wasn’t a “Hail Mary.” It was a desperation pass by Sanchez that was coming right at Holmes. Hill grabbed Holmes’ facemask and bumped him.
Secondly, who says you can’t call pass interference on a “Hail Mary?” Pass interference is pass interference.
End of story.
After some team meetings and a session with the media on Monday, the Jets will enjoy some time off and hopefully they can stay out of any negative off-the-field news.
After the brief vacation, the Jets will return to work and beginning preparations for their next game, which is on October 31st against Green Bay at the Meadowlands.
That just happens to be Halloween, which has a different meaning for Jets fans this year.
Normally, any promise or good start becomes a “trick. ”
This year, it’s really looks like it’s going to be a “treat!”