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Suddenly the Jets Find Themselves In Good Position For AFC Wild Card

(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)


Two weeks ago, the New York Jets sat in third place in the AFC East with a disappointing 5-5 record after getting off to a hot 4-1 start. The team was struggling and losing to teams they should beat. And with the Dolphins and the Giants as their next two opponents, the Jets desperately needed two wins to stay in contention in a jam packed Wild Card race.

Well now, the Jets control their own destiny after winning an overtime thriller against the Giants by a score of 23-20. In what was arguably Ryan Fitzpatrick’s best game of his career, the Jets now have all the momentum they need moving into the final few weeks of the regular season.

Despite the incredible fourth quarter comeback, the Jets still played a very ugly game at times. Here are a few takeaways.

  1. Ryan Fitzpatrick – This game just might have been the best of Fitzpatrick’s career. Fitzpatrick had a completion percentage of 72%, 390 passing yards, two touchdown passes, and no interceptions. Despite only scoring 23 points including overtime, Fitzpatrick played a complete game. He got into a lot of rhythms with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker and even seemed unstoppable at times. He did not look like a career back-up quarterback. Fitzpatrick also came up clutch numerous times in the fourth quarter and overtime like rushing for a first down on fourth and six. If he had a typical “Fitzpatrick” game yesterday, the Jets would not have won.
  2. Receiving Core – Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brandon Marshall teamed up a lot in Sunday’s victory as he finished with 12 receptions, 131 yards, and a game tying touchdown catch in the final minute of regulation. Marshall also picked up his 1,000th receiving yard of the season. He is now the first player in NFL history to have 1,000 receiving yards in a season for four different teams (Broncos, Dolphins, Bears, and Jets). Marshall also came up with some big in the fourth quarter and overtime to extend drives. But Brandon Marshall wasn’t the only receiver getting it done for the Jets on Sunday. Eric Decker also had a really nice game with eight receptions for 101 yards. It is a rare sight for Jets fans to see two receivers with 100+ yards in the same game. Bilal Powell also had eight receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown. These stats show how impressive Ryan Fitzpatrick was. When he got in a groove, he was spreading the wealth to these three players and the Giants could not stop it.
  3. Defense – There were times in the game when the defense looked like the best in the NFL. There were also times when the defense looked like they had never played football before. First of all, missing Darrelle Revis and Marcus Williams clearly hurt the defense. But some of the mistakes they were making were just inexcusable. Missing tackles that led to Odell Beckham Jr getting a 72 yard touchdown reception, penalties galore that extended several drives, and unable to stop the Giants on any given third down. The Giants may have been 4/15 on third down, but they got one when the Jets could not afford to give one. Yet despite all of those things, they came up with a season changing interception at the goal line on fourth down, in the fourth quarter. And yes, it was season changing because a Giants touchdown there puts the Jets down by 17 in the fourth quarter. Assuming the Jets went on to lose, they fall to a 6-6 record giving them an uphill battle to a Wild Card spot. The momentum was in favor of the Jets since that interception and they never looked back. Also give the defense credit that they held the Giants scoreless for the entire second half, including overtime. The Giants got all of their points in the second quarter, and one of the touchdowns was given up by the special teams.

The Jets without a doubt played sloppy football at times given all the penalties. But they prevailed in a must win game. Now at 7-5, Jets fans can breathe a little easier knowing the team controls their own destiny. Their upcoming schedule is not too difficult either as they host the Titans next week, followed by going to Dallas to play the Tony Romo-less Cowboys.

Things are looking good for Gang Green right now.

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