It wasn’t spectacular, but it was a win nonetheless, as the Jets beat the Jacksonville Jaguars yesterday by a score of 17-10, keeping them on the fringe of the playoff race. Believe it or not, after all that we have been through, the Jets are one game behind for the final wild card spot. You can say a lot about this Jets team, but one thing they don’t do is quit. Without further adieu, let’s talk recap.
One thing that came out of this game for me was finally, a reason to prefer Tony Sparano over Brian Schottenheimer. The reason is the persistence with the running game. During the game, a great analogy was made about the running game, when they said it was like swinging the axe to chop down the tree. The tree doesn’t come down right away, you have to keep swinging your axe until you get all the way through the tree, and then it comes down quickly. It’s the same concept with the running game. It doesn’t always start quickly, and it didn’t start quickly yesterday. The Jets were not picking up big chunks of yardage early on the ground by any means. But in the past, they would have gotten away from the running game quickly, and that way it will NEVER work. You have to stick with the running game because eventually, and this happened yesterday, the offensive line wears the defense down, and all of a sudden, big chunks of yardage come on the ground. All of a sudden, from early in the third quarter on, the Jets started dominating on the ground. Right off on the first drive of the second half, the Jets averaged 5.4 yards per carry. The tree came down, and the Jets could move it on the ground. Shonn Greene finished with 77 yards on 20 carries, and Bilal Powell with 78 yards on 19 carries, both with a TD. The ground game was clearly effective because they stuck with it. Schotty would have gotten away from too quickly in the past, but Tony kept persistent. Good for him, and finally a reason to be happy that he is here.