Sunday, November 9, 2014

Jets Stun Sleepwalking Steelers

JETS 20
STEELERS 13

Someone break up the Jets they actually won a game. In the words of Harry Doyle from the movie Major League, "we call that a winning streak."

Joking aside New York actually came out to play on Sunday smacking around an overconfident and, perhaps overrated Pittsburgh Steelers team across the side of the head. The Jets dominated the Steelers. They took advantage of Pittsburgh soft defense, harassed an usually unflappable Ben Rothlisberger, and made plays in the secondary for the first time in a coons age.

Who knew that fans could motivate their team by threatening that everyone be fired on billboards and airplane signs? I am sure the Jets will point at their fans for the added motivation.

No the Jets are not on pace to do a complete 180 from their hideous first half this year. They are going nowhere inspite of what Rex Ryan might think. The Jets simply caught the Steelers looking past New York.

The Steelers had recently won three big games at home with their offense exploding at record levels. They had the lowly Jets and Titans coming up on the schedule before a bye week. So why not put down 8-3 next to the Steelers name? The Jets proved that anyone can win any given Sunday.

Right from the get-go this game had a different feel to it. Michael Vick was in complete command for the Jets. He settled things down nicely, allowing them to focus on what it is they do best: run the football. On the opening drive of the game, the Jets ate up 7:52 on 14 plays, and converted on six first downs, as they pounded the rock with run plays from Chris Ivory, Chris Johnson, an end around by Percy Harvn, and even some nifty moves by Vick.

The Jets kicked a field goal to take a 3-0 lead, but unlike past early Jets leads this one felt different. It felt like the Jets were making a statement that they were not going to be pushed around on this day.

Pittsburgh felt that right away. They couldn't do anything on their opening drive. The Jets broke up a screen pass for a five yard loss on first down, sacked Rothlisberger on third down to force a punt. Next Vick did something that no Jets fan had seen from a quarterback in a long, long, long, long time. Vick nailed a 67-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Graham, who caught it in stride, giving the Jets a stunning 10-0 lead.

On the next Pittsburgh possession the Jets forced Antonio Brown into a fumble when Muhammad Wilkerson jarred the ball loose from his hands. Jaiquawn Jarrett jumped on it for the Jets, and New York was in business in Steelers territory. Five plays later, Vick found Jace Amero in the back of the end zone for the score. 17-0 Jets. Yes, Jets!

For Jarrett he had a monster day in the secondary for the Jets. Replacing the ineffective Calvin Pryor, another John Idzik first round bust, Jarrett had his best day as a Jet. He recorded 10 tackles, a sack of Rothlisberger, a fumble recovery and both interceptions of the Steelers All Pro quarterback. 

While the final score indicates that the Jets had to hold on for dear life, it was never that close. The score was 20-6 Jets with 1:17 to play in the game, before the Steelers hit a desperation touchdown. Before that Pittsburgh spent 58 minutes totally befuddled by the Jets defense, which bid for the shutout.

With the win, the Jets avoid a Rich Kotite-esq disaster of a season. While 2014 is still a mess, the Jets have a win under their belts that they can be proud of.

As for Vick, he hasn't turned the ball over in two starts, and has really done a nice job settling this Jets offense. It makes one wonder what this season would have looked like if the Jets had gone to Vick earlier in the year.

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