By Peter Schwartz
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A funny thing dawned on me as I watched the end of the Patriots-Ravens game last night. Once Justin Tucker’s game-winning field goal snuck inside the right goal post, it occurred to me that the Jets were in first place in the AFC East.
But let’s face it: after Sunday’s 23-20 overtime victory over the Dolphins, the Jets deserve to be in first place about as much as I deserve to be the Pope.
Even though New York lost Darrelle Revis to a season-ending knee injury, this was a game that they should have won handily. They made way too many mistakes and there’s plenty of blame to go around. Mark Sanchez misfired on a lot of passes and threw a terrible interception in the end zone. There were more drops including a Stephen Hill miscue that should have been a touchdown. The defense was asleep at the wheel again as they had difficulty getting off the field in key situations and was porous against the run.
This did not look like a first place team. Not even close.
I’ll give game balls to Nick Folk for his game-winning field goal and to Santonio Holmes for a career-high nine catches for 147 yards. Honorable mention to Muhammad Wilkerson for nine tackles — but there’s not much more to brag about.
For what it’s worth, I think it’s time to anoint Bilal Powell as the starting running back and move to Shonn Greene back to the fourth-quarter role that he flourished in when he backed up Thomas Jones in 2009.
With the next two weeks against an unhappy 49ers team and an undefeated Texans squad, the competition is about to step up. I haven’t seen anything to suggest the Jets are capable of winning either of these games.
My entire body was in pain from watching the contest against Miami. After Folk’s game-winning field goal, I had a blank look on my face and just stared at the television. My wife felt compelled to remind me that the Jets had actually won the game and asked if I was OK.
A day later, I’m not sure.
The Jets captains were former Dolphins Clyde Gates, Yeremiah Bell and Dedrick Epps along with Florida natives Tim Tebow and Bilal Powell.
Brandon Moore notched his 129th career start, the sixth most in Jets history by an offensive lineman. He has started 124 straight games dating back to 2004.
Jeremy Kerley is averaging 23.1 yards per catch this season. He has eight receptions for 185 yards.
Mark Sanchez recorded the 10th comeback win in the fourth quarter or overtime of his NFL career.
Sanchez, as erratic as he was, threw for 306 yards. He is now 3-1 in overtime during his career.
The Jets are now 3-0 when Santonio Holmes reaches 100 yards receiving in a game.
Nick Folk notched his 4th game winning field goal since becoming a Jet in 2010. Here is a list of his game-winning boots:
11/07/10 at DET 30 Yards W, 17-16
01/08/11 at IND* 32 Yards W, 17-16
09/11/11 vs. DAL 50 Yards W, 27-24
09/23/12 at MIA 33 Yards W, 23-20
* AFC Wild Card Game
The Jets have won three straight overtime games and six of their last eight.
The Jets are now 2-0 against the AFC East this season and they have won five of seven against division opponents.
And I have a couple of non-related Jets items to mention. Well, I guess there is a Jets connection to both of them.
Congratulations to my Alma Mater East Meadow High School for not having to break a sweat Saturday to beat Hicksville. The Jets (yes they are the Jets), were victorious as Hicksville forfeited because they didn’t have enough players.
College Football lives on Long Island! Congrats to Stony Brook (no I didn’t go to college there!) on their 32-31 victory over Colgate that drew a record crowd of 10,278 fans to Lavalle Stadium. Maybe somewhere down the road, the Jets will make the smart decision to hold training camp there.
That’s all for now! Check back later in the week for a Jets-49ers preview!
What range of emotions did you go through during the Jets’ win? Be heard in the comments below…