A Quick Recap of Last Week in JetNation:
Jets Overcome Turnovers and Dominate Second Half to Reach 4-1
On Sunday Todd Bowles and his Jets faced the team he won a Super Bowl with as a starting safety. Although Bowles respects the organization he won a Super Bowl with as a player, he was focused on getting a win for the team he’s coaching now. The game didn’t exactly begin how the Jets had hoped. The defense did force a three-and-out for the first drive against the Redskins’ offense, but the offense didn’t take advantage on the following drive. After getting the ball back, Fitzpatrick hit Eric Decker for an 11-yard pass but Kyshoen Jarrett knocked the ball loose causing a fumble on the first play of the drive. The Redskins cashed in with a touchdown following the fumble. The Jets answered with seven points of their own. Before the half Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a costly interception allowing the Redskins to pull ahead with a field goal making it 13-10. Todd Bowles must have had some choice words in the locker room, because the Jets absolutely dominated the remaining two quarters. After putting up 24 unanswered points in the third and fourth quarter, the punt team allowed a blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown with around four minutes left in the game. Aside from the special teams unit the Jets were nearly perfect in the second half of the game.
After giving the ball away three times in the first half, the Jets came out and played clean and effective football. The second half was full of explosive plays for the Jets as they dominated the Redskins’ defense putting up 17 points in the third quarter, seven more in the fourth, and finishing the game 34-20. The impact players of the game include: Chris Ivory, Brandon Marshall, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Darrelle Revis, Marcus Gilchrist, and Eric Decker. It’s a toss up for the play of the game, it could either be Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 18-yard scramble for a touchdown or Darrelle Revis’ interception to set up Fitzpatrick’s touchdown. Other impact plays were: Chris Ivory’s rushing touchdown, Fitzpatrick’s touchdown passes to both Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall, Marcus Gilchrist’s interception, Ivory’s 54-yard rumble, and the sack that was shared by Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson.
After a Fourth Win, the Jets Get Ready for a Divisional Showdown with Their Bitter Rival
Even though the Patriots won Sunday night against the Colts and moved to 5-0, the Jets could still take the lead in the division with a win next week at Gillette Stadium. If the Jets manage to leave Foxborough with a win both teams would sit at 5-1, but the Jets would have the advantage with a 2-0 divisional record. It’s still early, but the Jets have shown real promise so far through the young season. The Patriots have finished first in the AFC East every year since 2008 when the Dolphins went 11-5 and lost in the wildcard round. The last time the Jets won the AFC East was in 2002 when the Jets went 9-7 and lost in the AFC Championship. If the Jets’ fast start to the season is any indication, this could be the season that they finish atop the division for the first time in 13 years.
Sheldon Richardson made his return to the lineup against the Redskins and recorded three total tackles, half of a sack, and a quarterback hit. After serving his four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, Richardson played more snaps than anticipated. Richardson was in on 49 of 63 defensive snaps and started in a 4-3 package that Todd Bowles drew up for the Redskins. The Jets’ defensive line goes from great to even better with the return of Richardson. It will be interesting to see whether or not Richardson retakes the starting defensive end position from Leonard Williams over time. Williams has played well through the first five games of the season.
The Jets started the game slow with multiple mistakes, and had shades of the Rex Ryan era with the Jets struggling coming off of bye weeks. Under Ryan the Jets were 1-5 coming off of a bye and were outscored 138-48. In a somewhat questionable move, Todd Bowles decided to let the team rest on their bye week with no practice. The Jets seemed sluggish coming into the game, but after the half they shook off any rust they acquired during their week off. It seems that bye weeks won’t be an issue under Todd Bowles.
Bilal Powell returned to the lineup for Sunday’s game, but promptly made an exit with a sprained ankle after only four carries for negative two yards and one reception for one yard. Powell was replaced by Zac Stacy who had 13 carries for 46 yards. Buster Skrine suffered a concussion and was replaced by Dexter McDougle. A concussion doesn’t bode well for Skrine’s chances of playing next week. Darrin Walls was active for Sunday’s game and Marcus Williams could be good to go by Sunday as well. The Jets likely won’t be too depleted if Skrine isn’t able to suit up.
The Jets will need to cut down on the turnovers and play like they did in the second half of the game against the Redskins if they want to come away with a win against the Patriots. If the Jets manage to take down their rivals, it would send a message to the rest of the league letting everyone know that Todd Bowles’ Jets are for real. The game against the Patriots this Sunday will undoubtedly be the most important game so far for the Jets; it will have huge implications as to where both teams stand in the division.