The Semi-Final round of the Best Jets Team Ever tournament has begun, courtesy of www.whatifsports.com. The 1998 Bill Parcells’ Jets took on the current team, the 2010 Rex led version, and the “ground and pound” Jets won in a fourth quarter comeback, 21-13. Here is the recap.
The first half was a battle of field goals. The 1998 Jets took the opening kickoff, and went down the field 9 plays, 38 yards, taking 6:12 off the clock. John Hall connected from 42 yards out to give the 1998 squad a 3-0 lead.
The current squad responded on the very next drive, starting a drive from their own 40. A Sanchez connection to Dustin Keller for 26 yards set them up deep in 1998 territory. The drive was capped by a Nick Folk field goal from 48 yards out, and the quarter came to an end with a 3-3 tie.
After exchanging punts in the second quarter, the 1998 Jets embarked on the go-ahead, only scoring drive of the second quarter. The drive began on their own 12 yard line. Dedric Ward got them out of the shadow of their own endzone with a 20 yard reception. They moved into 2010 Jets territory with a 12 yard pass from Testaverde to Kyle Brady, and a 10 yard connection with Keyshawn Johnson. Another reception by Kyle Brady, this time for 15 yards, set the team up for a John Hall 34 yard field goal with 1:49 remaining in the half, and brought the halftime score to 6-3 in favor of the 1998 Jets. The 1998 Jets had one more chance after a quick 3 and out by 2010 before the end of the half, but a Dwight Lowery interception ended the threat.
The third quarter opened with a 2010 Jets drive that tied the score. LDT took a pitch to the right side from Sanchez, and took it 42 yards down the field to the 1998 Jets’ 15 yard line. 3 plays later, Nick Folk connected from 37 yards out to tie the score at 6-6. The ensuing drive brought the first TD of the game. The 1998 Jets took over at their own 20. 2 Curtis Martin runs, one for 10 yards and one for 15 set the team up near midfield. Four plays later, Keith Byars took a pitch from Vinny Testaverde and scored from 37 yards out, to put the Tuna led Jets up 13-6.
The very next kickoff was returned by Brad Smith out to the 41 yard line of the Rex led 2010 Jets. Mark Sanchez then hit Santonio Holmes for 22 yards, and then Dustin Keller for 14, setting them up at the 1998 Jets’ 23 yard line. Four plays later, Nick Folk hit from 31 yards out to make the score 13-9 in favor of the 1998 team, and the quarter came to a close with that score.
The fourth quarter opened with a punt, and this was the turning point of the ball game in favor of Rex’s team. Steve Weatherford set up to punt from the 39 yard line of the 1998 team. The ball was downed at the 8 yard line. Curtis Martin then lost 3 yards, had another run for no gain, and then Vinny Testaverde rolled back to pass. Drew Coleman met him in the endzone for a safety, closing the gap to 13-11.
The free kick set the 2010 team up in great field position at the 1998 team’s 41 yard line. After drivning to the 32, Shonn Greene took a handoff off tackle right, and ran it down to the 6 yard line, setting up first and goal from the 6. The drive stalled, but Nick Folk connected from 22 yards out to put the 2010 Jets ahead, 14-13. They pulled ahead after a three and out by the 1998 team.
The drive started from their own 42 yard line. Two connections between Sanchez and Santonio Holmes of 15, and 13 yards set them up at the 1998 Jets’ 30 yard line. 2 plays later, Shonn Greene scored from 29 yards out to make the game 21-13 in favor of the current, Rex led Jets team.
The 1998 Jets had their shot on the next drive. They started at the their own 22. A 9 yard Curtis Martin draw opened the drive. 3 plays later, Curtis took a pitch right and scampered 29 yards to the 2010 Jets’ 34. The drive ended on the 26, where Keyshawn Johnson fumbled after receiving a pass from Vinny Testaverde, with the 2010 Jets recovering to end the threat. They were able to get a three and out, and get the ball back with 36 seconds left from the 2010 34 yard line. A hail mary ended with an incomplete pass, and the 2010 Jets escape with a 21-13 win.
Player of the game was Shonn Greene, with 11 carries for 74 yards, and the TD that opened up the lead. LDT added 13 carries for 64 yards. Santonio Holmes led all receivers with 4 catches for 60 yards. Mark Sanchez went 12-19 for 149 yards. In a losing effort, Curtis Martin led all running backs with 25 carries for 125 yards. Keyshawn Johnson led his team with 4 catches for 42 yards. Vinny Testaverde went 14-25 passing for 136 yards and 1 INT.
So the current Jets have made it to the finals, to face the winner of the 1968 Jets vs the 2009 Jets. Will it be Rex vs. Rex? The Sanchize versus himself, or Broadway Joe? Tune in to find out