Wow. Been to over 250 NFL games in my life but I can honestly say few of them were as stunning, as exciting, as completely unexpected as yesterday’s JET win at MetLife over the 6-1 New Orleans Saints.
No one I know..including myself…gave them much of a chance against a high powered Saint offense featuring the ever awesome Drew Brees, and including the likes of Graham, Sproles, Colston. I was listening to Mike Francesca before the game and he pointed out that the Saints aren’t nearly as invincible on the road as they are at home…an opinion shared by the swami Chris Berman. Hearing them say that gave me a little more of a positive attitude but honestly, as I walked into the stadium I figured we had no chance.
People get wrapped up in the offensive game. I enjoy a nice offensive drive as much as the next guy. 50 yard TD pass? Sure. Like it. 38 yard run off tackle? Cool. A double reverse, a flea flicker or a screen that goes a mile? Great stuff. I like it ! But I LOVE DEFENSE!There’s nothing better than seeing a 225 pound running back getting stuffed on a third and one. There’s something primal about three blitzers all coming from different directions on a fourth and two. And the bigger and the badder the offense, the more I love watching them get their lunch handed to them. Yeah baby. D E F E N S E….that’s football!
And it just so happens that the NY JETS have one of the youngest, most athletic, bad ass defenses in all of football. Many of the pundits have called Mo Wilkerson, the third year stellar defensive lineman the baddest bad ass of them all. His 8 sacks and numerous tackles, batted passes and even an interception have placed him amongst the elite defensive players in the league. Simply put he’s a BEAST. But he is just the beginning of the JETS defensive story. Rookie defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson has been a force. He collapses the pocket, he runs down ball carriers, he sacks the quarterback. He is a freak of nature that disrupts offenses. Let’s not forget Quinton Coples…another standout onthe line. he has massive strength, length and uncommon speed. Damon “Snacks” Harrison, Kenrick Ellis and Leger Douzable round out a tough physical defensive line.
The JET linebackers are also a pretty decent group. Demoario Davis has stepped in for the retired bart Scott and done a wonderful job with speed and strength. he made a nice tiptoe interception against the Saints. The ever present tackling machine David Harris is having one of his best years thanks to the d-line keeping him clean to flow to the ball. Calvin Pace is still steady if not flashy and Garrett McIntyre has also played well at LB and DE. The strength of the JET defensive unit used to be REVIS ISLAND and the defensive backfield but now they take a beackseat. They are capable with Cromartie and Landry, and with an improved Kyle Wilson and the emerging Antonio Allen at safety. Number one pick Dee Milliner had his best game at cornerback against the Saints. After missing time with injuries maybe he can have a productive second half of the year.
The defense can take this team to the playoffs but only if Geno Smith and the offense can lend a hand. Chris Ivory was dramatic yesterday as was the offensive line. Unheralded backups Zach Sudfeld and Greg Salas also pitched in with solid efforts. and no summary of the JETS can be complete without mention of the amazing FOLK HERO…Nick Folk…who continues to be automatic within the 5o yard line. His season now stands at a phenomenal 23 for 23.
Can QB Smith continue to manage the offense in an efficient way..with no costly turnovers? If he does the 2013 JETS might be playing in January 2014.
- Boomer & Carton: Rex’s Jets Are Flyin’ High (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Lack Of Turnovers Key To New York Jets’ Victory Over New Orleans Saints (rantsports.com)
- Folk and defense lead Jets past Saints 26-20 (sunherald.com)