How many times can Santonio Holmes pull the rabbit out of his hat? Well, he may say, “It’s elementary, my dear fans,” and we would accept him on his word after these last three weeks of amazing catches that win games. Simply amazing!
If it sounds like I am channeling my inner NY Mets fan, you are indeed right. I keep thinking of the late great Tug McGraw’s mantra, “You gotta believe!” It applied to the 1973 Mets and it certainly applies to these 2010 Jets. How else can you explain what happened at New Meadlowlands Stadium today?
Going into the fourth quarter, the Jets (8-2) had what looked like a sure fire win over the Houston Texans (4-6). When you go into the fourth quarter with a 23-7 lead, and you have the defense that the Jets have (even despite looking not so great in the last two games), it would seem to be a no-brainer that the game was over, but guess again. These are the Jets, after all, and they excel at giving their fans every kind of torture one can imagine during four quarters.
I don’t know what happened in that fourth quarter, but all of a sudden the Jets were down 27-23 with less than a minute on the clock. Yes, I was playing with my son and talking to my father and ready for the high fives to go around, and then we were on the verge of losing. What exactly happened there?
Well, I know what happened. After a Shonn Greene fumble, the defense that had shut down Andre Johnson and the rest of the Texans for three quarters fell apart, allowing twenty points in about twelve minutes. The same thing happened in the last two games against the Lions and the Browns. Those games went into overtime and the Jets salvaged wins in both cases and again here today. Say it with me: “You gotta believe!”
I have to credit Mark Sanchez with enormous grit and pluck and determination to make the drive that he did with those final seconds ticking away like crazy. How do you make such incredible passes under pressure? Sanchez seems to have found some kind of late game mojo, completing four passes for seventy-two yards, with the final pass to Holmes completed with just ten seconds left in the game.
Sanchez did have one interception today and, as in past weeks, that has hurt him, but he was also 22 for 38 for 315 yards with three touchdowns, that last one being the game winner. He is starting to look like the guy Jets fans are expecting him to be, and he has a way of making the big passes when needed just the way old Broadway Joe used to do.
After the game, head coach Rex Ryan said, “We keep finding ways to win, and that’s what championship teams do. If I have to apologize for every week I will, all the way to the Super Bowl.”
Right now the Jets are tied with the New England Patriots atop the AFC East with the best record in the league. Some people might say they should be at least 5-5 right now, with these last three weeks being all games they should have lost, but I’m not so sure anymore.
As Rex said, they do keep finding ways to win, so “You gotta believe!” At least until Thursday night anyway.
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