By Jason Fitzgerald
Wow. I’m not sure what else there is to say about today’s game. The Jets came out and simply took care of business against a bad football team, something that very few thought the team could do after all the flubs earlier in the year.
An excellent day for Thomas Jones and the Jets running attack today. The Jets blew the Rams right off the line giving Jones huge holes to the inside and the outside to simply walk all over the Rams front 7. Jones more than did his part and looked very good running the ball for the 2nd straight week and would deservedly get the award as the offensive MVP.
Brett Favre didn’t do much and didn’t have to. Favre did what he needed to do in the first two drives to take control of the football game and set up the run all day long. For the first time this year he was never touched as his linemen kept him clean all day. Favre had a few bad ones in there that could have been picked off and maybe his arm is a little tired, but he was very efficient today.
I think it was also an important day for young TE Dustin Keller who was publicly chided by Brett Favre on the field last week on national TV. Keller had some big catches today as Favre’s primary target and exploited the Rams deep down the middle. He also made a terrific grab diving near the sidelines which shows that athletic ability that pushed him into the first round. If this is a sign of things to come it should really open up the passing game. Simply put the offense just took over the game early to set the tone of the game and never looked back. The Jets need that more often during the race to the playoffs.
Another great showing by the squad. This was as active a group as we have seen all year long. The secondary was literally flying all over the field. They were hitting the QB. They were picking off passes. They were defending passes. They were tackling runners. The Jets need Abram Elam to keep starting at safety. The guy makes plays on the football field. Calvin Pace had a big pickup for a score and he played great today as well. One thing you have to like about him is how he rarely gives up on a play. Today he was moving back to help players in the secondary make tackles on runners or receivers that made their way to that level. Kris Jenkins again stuffed the middle and while the Jets did allow a run or two to the outside none of it made a difference. The guys were always in the right place and always making plays on the football. When they play like they did today they are one of the best defenses in the NFL. The team still can’t cover a slant pattern, but it took St Louis 2 quarters and 2 Qbs to figure that out. The team showed such improvement from what happened against the Cardinals when they limited the Rams to a FG off the first drive of the 2nd half that you have to say they are growing and learning.
Jay Feely played as if he knew Mike Nugent was ready to come back. He was even running up to make tackles on specials. Easily his best game as a Jet. Coverage was solid and Leon played well on punt returns.
Eric Mangini had his players ready to go right from the start. There was no overlooking of anyone here. Get out and win the game early seemed to be the message based on the intensity level and they didn’t mess around. I thought he did a good job on his 4th down play call and did a good job of taking a time out to go over their options before a Feely FG late in the 1st half. He also had the team coming out of the half and playing hard, something he hasn’t been great at in games like this.
How in the world did this team ever lose to the Oakland Raiders? Just a tremendous team effort as the Jets gear up for the most important game they may play this season on Thursday. The Jets have played their best football of the year these last two weeks and you have to hope they are beginning to peak as a team right now. Winning in New England, where the Jets usually play better than if they were in the Meadowlands, would make the Jets the big favorites to win the AFC East. If they play like they did today they can do just that.
Today’s game was the kind of party that is never seen in the NFL. 40 points in a half is basically what you see when USC takes on some low level team in college. Those things are not supposed to happen in the NFL, no matter how bad the opponent is. If it happens in the NFL its something special and hopefully a sign of a special team beginning to take form. Go Jets.
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