Monday Morning Quarterback: New York Jets vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Nov 9, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan talks with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Steelers 20-13. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Well, how about that? Just when you think that the New York Jets are never going to win again, they sneak up on you and play as well as they did. The Jets ended their eight game losing streak, beating the Steelers 20-13, running their record to 2-8, but the score didn’t even tell the story. The score was far closer than the game really looked, as the Jets dominated the Steelers for much of the day.
Let’s first talk about the play of Jaiquawn Jarrett. Where did that game come from? I mean, he has been a nice player, but he was running all over the field today. Two interceptions, a fumble recovery, a sack, and ten tackles? Jarrett was running around for the Jets like he was Ronnie Lott for a day! The Jets had hoped for quicker development from Calvin Pryor. Pryor didn’t get the start today, and Jarrett definitely gave him something to watch and learn from.
It’s amazing what happens when the defense actually forces turnovers, isn’t it? The Jets forced four turnovers! Four! They had only forced three turnovers all season long. Two interceptions by Jaiquawn Jarrett, and two fumble recoveries, one by Jarrett, made for a terrific day for the New York Jets’ defense.
We have to give credit where credit is due as well. Aside from the late touchdown, the Jets secondary, as a group, did a very nice job. Phillip Adams and Marcus Williams held their own against Antonio Brown and company. Yes, they gave up the late Martavis Bryant touchdown to make it a one score game. But for the most part, the Jets no-name cornerbacks kept the Pittsburgh receivers in front of them. Big Ben had thrown 12 touchdown passes over the last two weeks. He threw one today. The Jets secondary gets a ton of credit.
Nov 9, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbackMichael Vick
(1) is sacked by Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebackerJason Worilds
(93) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Steelers 20-13. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
By the way, I wanted to address the play during the victory formation. Technically it is not illegal. Is it unnecessary? Absolutely. I was proud of Nick Mangold for dropping the guy out of the air like third period French. Greg Schiano got killed for doing the same thing. The Steelers and Mike Tomlin shouldn’t get a pass for it.
Back to the game.
As the Jets scored at will early in the contest, I have to admit I was having flashbacks to the game against Green Bay, that completely went south after the first three scores. But, to their credit, the Jets did enough to win on offense.
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Michael Vick did not have the greatest day if you look at the box score. 10-18, 132 yards and two touchdowns isn’t bad, but it is not exactly one for the memoirs. Vick does still make defenders look silly, as he made one move yesterday that broke a guy’s ankle. Vick still has wheels, adding eight rushes for 39 yards. But what is the biggest reason that coach Ryan anointed Vick the starter? No turnovers. Vick has been protecting the football, and giving the Jets a chance to win.
Vick can still throw a nice deep ball as well. That throw to T.J. Graham was a thing of beauty, and congratulations to Graham on his first touchdown in the Green and White.
The Jets ran the ball well too, posting 150 yards on the ground. The Jets needed to have extended drives in this game, and then did, with two scoring drives of at least 10 plays.
You would like to see this offense actually put a team away once in a while. A second half touchdown would just about ended the football game, and the Jets couldn’t post one. They still don’t have that killer instinct, to put their foot to the throat of a team that they have down. We can hope that comes as they play together more and more, getting better and better.
The Jets got it done yesterday, and gave themselves a bit of confidence heading into the bye week.