Sep 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackleGerald McCoy
(93) pressures New York Jets quarterbackGeno Smith
(7) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Jets won 18-17. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
The top three. Some of our followers were surprised that we were able to find this many, but we were. We are at the top three of our countdown of the ten best moments for the 2013 New York Jets. Some have been specific moments, while others have been game results. Before we enter the top three, let’s recap the list so far:
Number Ten: the Goalline stand against the Falcons.
Number Nine: Dee Milliner figures it out against the Browns.
Number Eight: Geno Smith and Santonio Holmes connect to beat the Bills.
Number Seven: The Jets top Miami to knock them out of the playoffs.
Number Six: The Jets pick off Drew Brees twice to top the Saints.
Number Five: Bilal Powell puts up huge numbers against Buffalo.
Number Four: Nick Folk kicks the Jets past the Patriots.
So, where do we go for number three? Back to the beginning of 2013, that’s where:
THE JETS TOP DARRELLE REVIS AND THE BUCS ON OPENING WEEKEND
There were lots of storylines going into this one. How was Darrelle going to perform in his return to MetLife stadium? What about Geno Smith? How would he respond in his first regular season game? He hadn’t exactly wowed anyone during the preseason. Was his play going to step up?
How about the game itself? In a rough first half of the season, this one was set to be one of the more winnable games for the Jets. Would they respond? The defense had a whole bunch of new starters. Would they continue to play up to Rex Ryan’s standards, or would this be the beginning of the end of the relationship between Rex Ryan and John Idzik.
Well, the Jets did what they had to do. Geno Smith had an excellent debut, throwing for 256 yards, one touchdown and only one interception. The interception thrown was NOT by Darrelle Revis, so they were able to keep him from making a huge impact. The Jets’ defense caused two turnovers, and kept Doug Martin from having huge impact, with only 65 yards rushing and one touchdown. Geno led a drive late that ended with a Nick Folk field goal, giving the Jets an 18-17 win.
What is this game doing on the list? Well, there are a couple of reasons. The first has to do with Revis. How many times have the Jets been caught up in the hype of a football game, due to an external storyline? Going up against Belichick, playing without Jim Leonhard, and other situations, outside of the game itself, have caused the Jets not to play well. Winning this one tells us that the team could ignore an external story and do their job.
We also learned a great deal about the potential of Geno Smith. He completed a pass early to Jeremy Kerley, a perfect way to bust your nerves. He kept his team in the game. At 24-38, he was an accurate quarterback on this day. More importantly, he kept his poise when the game was on the line. He was able to become a leader, far beyond his years. He COULD take this team on his back. If only he had better weapons, he very much could be the guy, and we learned this on opening weekend.