Can the upstart Jets truly be real?
By Jack Monaghan
The New York Jets are 3-2 and have a shot at making some serious noise in Week 6 with a game against the New England Patriots. Are these upstart Jets for real?
The New York Jets continued their winning ways on Sunday with a 17-14 victory over the Cleveland Browns. With the game scoreless for nearly the entire first half, Chandler Catanzaro nailed a 57-yard field goal as time expired giving New York a 3-0 lead heading into the locker room. The Jets came out sluggish to start the third quarter and fell behind when Browns quarterback Kevin Hogan found rookie tight end David Njoku in the end zone for a 21-yard touchdown.
However, Morris Claiborne turned the game around with an interception late in the third quarter setting the Jets up deep inside Cleveland territory. The Jets were in the endzone two plays later as Josh McCown hooked up with Austin Seferian-Jenkins, giving New York the lead for good. Jermaine Kearse padded the lead with a 24-yard touchdown catch and the Jets hung on from there to escape with a win and climbed over the 500. mark for the first time since the 2015 season.
A 3-2 start to the season is a nice surprise for these young Jets that have played with plenty of fire and passion. The question is how long can it last and with better competition ahead in the coming weeks were about to find out. First up is a meeting with their arch-rival New England Patriots whose Swiss cheese defense looked much improved in their most recent game against the Buccaneers.
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With first place on the line, it will be fascinating to see if the Jets are up to the challenge of actually competing with the big bad Patriots or if the last few weeks have just been a mirage against some of the league’s lesser teams. After
After that, the Jets will head down to South Beach for another division battle with the Miami Dolphins and then play host to the defending NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons. The Dolphins will certainly want revenge for the beatdown the Jets handed them in Week 3 and may have saved their season with a win over Tennessee.
While there is plenty to feel good about, the season is still young and Gang Green’s offense showed signs Sunday of being the putrid unit we all expected them to be by posting a meager 212 total yards and had one of their touchdowns gift wrapped by Hogan’s terrible decision making.
Those are awful numbers and are even more alarming being that the Browns came into the game with the 28th ranked defense in all of football. Hopefully, it was just one bad day, but the red flags were glaring enough to raise at least some cause for concern.
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The Jets defense was also shaking at times yesterday and were bailed out by two Cleveland turnovers in the red zone (one being a fumble at the goal line). The Browns also turned the ball over on downs deep in Jets territory where a field goal could have tied the game.
The big yardage gains that haunted the Jets the first two weeks of the season reared its ugly head once again, none worse then Duke Johnson slipping through miss tackles and juking by defenders on his way to a 41-yard touchdown. Luckily, the catch and run were late in the fourth quarter with the Jets already up double digits.
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Credit should be given where credit is due and nobody deserves more than head coach Todd Bowles who has kept his team level headed and working hard despite all the noise and negativity surrounding them. For now, expectations should be tempered until we see how the Jets fare against better competition.