OTAs signal the start of the 2012 season so I’m gonna take you on trip down memory lane.
Just a trip back to last year for my top 5 plays of the 2011 season. Now for the cynics, just because the Jets went 8-8 last year doesn’t mean there weren’t five top plays.
So here we go, my number 5 moment of the 2011 season:
JOE MCKNIGHT ‘S BLOCKED PUNT AND THE BOUNCE HEARD ROUND THE WORLD
September 11, 2011; I don’t need to rehash what that date means to you New Yorkers, but also to everyone across the country. But on the tenth anniversary of the worst tragedy in this country’s history, there was football played. The memory of the horrific day was felt all across the country, but no one felt it more than the 78,702 in attendance at Met Life Stadium.
The stadium was appropriately somber in remembrance of the day, and the Jets came out onto the field with the American flags out in full force wearing the hats of the first responders.
Everyone there and at home knew what the day meant. But the Jets as the game started, didn’t exactly play with a sense of urgency.
Dallas and the Jets played on that Sunday night and for three quarters of play, the game was close. The Jets were being out played in the entire game and as the fourth quarter of the game began, the Cowboys extended their lead to 24-10. The Jets then executed a 2:54 drive in seven plays to go 84 yards to end the drive on the Mark Sanchez threw a 26-yard pass to Plaxico Burress in the endzone to cut the Cowboy lead to 24-17.
On the next drive, the Jets defense did it’s job highlighted by Jim Leonhard pushing out Cowboys tight end Jason Witten before the endzone and Jets nose tackle Sione Pouha’s fumble recovery. But on the ensuing drive, the Jets offense stalled and there was a sack fumble on the Dallas 46 yard line.
Then comes the Cowboys next drive. They started on the Jets 47-yard line and Gang Green kept the composure. Helped out by two Cowboys penalties on that drive, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo threw towards Dez Bryant but was broken up by Darrelle Revis.
Then the comes fourth down on the Dallas 41. It was a great call by Mike Westhoff; Joe McKnight comes up the middle and blocks the punt. Then call it divine intervention, a lucky bounce, whatever you want but the ball goes right into the hands of Isaiah Trufant and he runs it in for a touchdown to tie the game up at 24-24.
If the Jets hadn’t gotten that lucky bounce right back at them on the blocked punt, no one could say for sure that A. they would’ve tied the game up and B. the Jets wouldn’t have been in a position where Revis could pick off Romo to set up Nick Folk with the game-winning field goal. You could call it a lot of things, divine intervention, the Jets getting lucky, whatever. I think it was a lucky bounce but maybe the spirits of the people who had perished that day were Jets fans, who knows.
All that matters was that if weren’t for the bounce heard round the world, the Jets possibly wouldn’t have won the game and we can’t say for sure where the rest of the season would’ve gone from there.
So that is why Joe McKnight, Isaiah Trufant and the bounce heard round the world is my number 5 moment of the 2011 season.