By Peter Schwartz
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It’s kind of funny that NBC’s Al Michaels was just down the New Jersey Turnpike on Sunday getting ready for the Giants/Eagles game in Philadelphia. He had to have been watching football all day and surely kept his eye on the Jets/Texans contest. Not because the Jets or Texans are scheduled to appear on Sunday Night Football for the rest of the season, but perhaps because of some special connection that he might have felt.
You see, something happened in the Jets game that must have sent chills to Michaels because of his past.
It was, of course, a miracle!
Now, I’m not going to say that Sunday’s 30-27 Jets win over the Texans is up there in American history with the USA Hockey team’s Miracle on Ice, but what I will say is that this Jets team has a little something special working for them.
Luck? Yeah probably.
Talent? Yep, lots of it.
Mental toughness? You are on the Mark!
Speaking of that, the legend of Mark Sanchez got a little bigger Sunday as he led the miraculous comeback with under a minute to go. What was left of the crowd at the New Meadowlands Stadium was still reeling from watching a 23-7 4th quarter lead turn into a 27-23 deficit.
With no timeouts, Sanchez went to work as the Jets drive started at their own 28. First, a five-yard pass to LaDainian Tomlinson. Then, Sanchez hit LT for a 19-yard catch and run to the Texans 48.
Up next, Sanchez found Braylon Edwards with a terrific pass down the right sideline for 42 yards down to the Houston 6. That was followed by the game winning six-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes.
In just his 25th NFL start, Sanchez came up with a performance that is usually reserved for legends like Elway, Montana, Brady, or Manning.
But Sanchez is building his own legend right before our very eyes. He may not make all of the throws right now. He may have his moments of inconsistency. But when the game is on the line, Sanchez has developed into a crunch-time performer.
He has his whole team believing that he can pull off almost anything.
But when it comes to game-balls for Sunday’s win, I have to give out two.
Sanchez, of course, gets one as he threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns. But the other one goes to Holmes who had another outstanding day with 7 catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns. Many questioned his acquisition because of his off-the field issues in Pittsburgh, but after serving his four-game suspension, Holmes has actually turned into a godsend for the Jets.
Even though the offense sputters at times, where would they be right now without a playmaker like Holmes?
As the Jets now quickly turn the page towards Thursday night’s game with the Bengals, Gang Green is now 8-2 and they remain tied for the best record in the NFL. They certainly have a lot to be thankful for.
With all do respect to Al Michaels, “Do you believe in Miracles?”
Perhaps its time that even the naysayers start believing in the Jets.
*With the win, the Jets improve to 8-2, their best ten-game start since they were 9-1 in 1986.
*The Jets have made a habit of playing close games. They have now played five games this season, and three straight, where the contest has been decided by 7 points or less. Just to show that these are not the “same old Jets”, Gang Green is now 4-1 in those games.
*Patrick Turner was active in place of the injured Jerricho Cotchery and made his first NFL reception, a 21-yard catch.
*Braylon Edwards now has a team leading 6 touchdown catches.
*LaDainian Tomlinson moved past both Edgerrin James and Marcus Allen for sixth place on the NFL’s all-time rushing attempts list. He now has 3,033 career carries.
JETS DREAM EXPRESS
The Jets and NJ Transit joined forces to send 15 New Jersey students with special needs to Sunday’s game against the Texans. The students, along with five chaperones, boarded a special VIP rail car on the Meadowlands rail line at Secaucus Junction and traveled to the stadium for the game. The students were are from the Verona school district and attended the game with help from Senator Kevin O’Toole of the 40th Legislative district.
“I applaud the Jets and NJ Transit for working with the Verona Board of Education to provide young students of the Garden State with special needs the opportunity to enjoy Jets football at our new stadium in the Meadowlands,” said Senator O’Toole. “Too many times we forget to pause and help those who need it most. I hope that other sports teams around the nation follow this great example and help those with special needs enjoy a live sporting event.”
That’s it for now. It’s a short work week for everyone with the Jets playing the Bengals on Thanksgiving, so check back soon for a preview!
- Keidel: What’s Up, Holmes? (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Fan Runs For 80 Yards At Meadowlands Stadium (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Holmes’ TD Gives Jets Win Over Texans 30-27 (newyork.cbslocal.com)