The NY Jets took the field on Sunday afternoon and saw thousands of Steelers fans waving terrible towels. Every expert said the Jets could not win this game. Most fans felt the same way. By beating the Steelers in Overtime by a score of 19 to 16, the Jets did what they do best. Shocked us all with their play on the field, this time it was a welcome surprise.
Hats off to Eric Mangini and his staff. At one and nine, this team could have easily mailed it in for the season. Instead the Jets played hard, executed well and improved in many areas that had been lacking in previous weeks. There were positive signs in every aspect (Defense, Offense and Special Teams). They switched up their defensive packages a little bit but the story of the day was execution and play calling. The Jets made tackles and played aggressively. Calling a flea flicker that saw Kellen Clemens complete to Laveranues Coles for 56 yards really set the tone for the day. The Jets were not going to roll over. Throw the records out the window, they came to play some football.
The Jets offensive and defensive lines had been criticized heavily (rightfully so) this year. Thomas Jones did something running backs don’t do against the Pittsburgh defense, he ran for over 100 yards (30 carries, 117 yards). The defense did something they don’t do, they sacked Big Ben 7 times (Dewayne Robertson 2.5, Sean Ellis 2). Willie Parker was shut down and the front 7 on defense had their best game by far. The Jets secondary stayed with the receivers and even created coverage sacks as well.
Kellen Clemens has only a few games under his belt. Along with that there will always be some poor decision making. Right now the good far outweighs the bad with him. He faced the top ranked defense in football and walked away with a victory.
It was a big win especially for this coaching staff. They have lost a lot of close games, things clearly have not gone “according to plan” this season. After Mike Nugent nailed his 4th field goal of the day, it was nice to think, even for just one Sunday afternoon, that this franchise is closer to winning than it has seemed in recent weeks.