By Peter Schwartz
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There was a moment in the second quarter of Monday night’s game when I really thought that NFL Films called MetLife Stadium to order that all footage of the Jets 24-6 victory over the Dolphins to be destroyed.
It really was that bad, but the Jets are not about to throw it back as they put the brakes on a three game losing streak.
“We needed a win in the worst way,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “We’re just happy that we found a way to get one.”
Let’s be honest. The Jets were very fortunate that they were playing the winless Dolphins. Because a good team would have blown the Jets out of the water the way they were playing early in the first half.
The Jets went three and out on their first four possessions and had the lead only because of Darrelle Revis’ 100-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Revis was covering Brandon Marshall.
“He ran a double post,” said Revis. “Brandon cut in front of me and he kind of tripped a little bit. I kind of moved out of the way and the ball was right there.”
That matched Aaron Glenn for the longest interception return in Jets history. Glenn also accomplished at feat against the Dolphins back in 1996 in Miami.
The offense did pick up a bit, as Mark Sanchez would score on a five-yard touchdown run just before halftime. That was the 8th career-rushing touchdown for Sanchez, moving him past Joe Namath for third most by a quarterback in team history.
I wonder if Namath will find a way to complain about that this week.
Then, in the fourth quarter, Sanchez hit Santonio Holmes on a 38-yard touchdown.
“It was a good job by Mark of first, stepping up in the pocket and eluding the tackler,” said Holmes. “He got the ball to me quick.”
Ryan did a wonderful job diffusing the turmoil of this past week by meeting with Holmes and guard Brandon Moore to discuss the matter. After Holmes made critical comments about the offensive line this past week, Moore fired back saying that comments like that can fracture a locker room and it’s not something that a captain should do.
So after the meeting, Ryan had another idea.
He made Holmes and Moore captains for the coin toss.
“I talked to both of them,” said Ryan. “We had to get some things off our chests but I can assure you that we’re together. That’s the important thing.”
Nothing like a win to end a squabble!
“It’s water under the bridge,” said Moore. “It’s not an issue. We’ve moved forward.”
The karma seemed to work as the Jets won the toss and now everything is all smiles in Jetsland!
For the moment.
Here’s the bottom line. The Jets still have to find a way to be more consistent on both sides of the ball.
The offense has to start games a little faster because better teams will put them in a hole like in the Ravens and Patriots games. The running game is still non-existent and that has to get better.
Even though they held the Dolphins to six points and held Miami to 2 of 13 conversions on third down, the Jets defense is giving up two many big plays. I did think that third round pick Kenrick Ellis played well in his NFL debut but collectively, the unit needs to pick things up in a hurry.
I mean fast as the competition gets better this week against the Chargers.
But, not all was bad as Calvin Pace had 2 sacks and Aaron Maybin recorded a sack and two forced fumbles.
In the end, a win is a win is a win.
“It feels good, feels great, just getting a win at home,” said Sanchez. “It’s just what we needed. We’re back on track.”
For the moment.
The locker room turmoil takes a back set to a win as the Jets improve to 3-3 and they have a chance to get back over .500 before the bye week.
While the bleeding has stopped, there is a lot to improve upon.
The Jets improve to 3-0 at home this season and are now 8-3 at New Meadowlands Stadium/MetLife Stadium.
After three games, the just are giving up just 11 points a contest at home.
With the victory, the Jets are now 20-25 all-time on Monday Night Football including 7-5 against the Dolphins, 5-0 at home.
The Jets snapped a three game home losing streak against Miami.
Jets players and coaches wore pink Jets gear to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Jets flight crew cheerleaders wore pink belts and shook pink pom-poms. As part of the NFL’s “A Crucial Catch” program, pink Jets merchandise is available at http://www.jetsshop.com. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society.
At halftime, Freeman McNeil, Al Toon, Larry Grantham, and Gerry Philbin were formally added to the Jets Ring of Honor.
At one point during the game, some “members” of the media sitting in the row in front of me in the press box had to be told by a Jets representative to stop cheering. No….Joe and Evan were not in the press box!
THE WEEK AHEAD
The Jets will enjoy a day off on Tuesday. Their short work week begins on Wednesday when they begin preparations for Sunday’s game with the Chargers as Ladainian Tomlinson faces his former team for the first time. Kickoff at MetLife Stadium is set for 1pm.
IN THE COMMUNITY
On Tuesday, Jets cornerback Kyle Wilson and defensive tackle Marcus Dixon will visit two New Jersey schools as part of the NFL Play 60 Challenge. It’s a six-week program created by the NFL and the American Heart Association that encourages students to participate and track at least sixty minutes of physical activity each day.
Wilson and Dixon will visit with students at Madison Junior High School, Harding School and Ridgedale Middle School. They will stress the importance of staying active so that they could lead a healthy lifestyle. Also, one boy and one girl who successfully complete the program will be chosen to be featured in the Play 60 Jets football game on Sunday, November 27th when the Jets take on the Buffalo Bills.
On a final note, a minor miracle occurred last week. I signed up for Twitter! You can now follow me @pschwartzwfan.
That’s all for now. Check back later in the week for a Jets/Chargers preview.