The NY Jets had gone more than 1,000 days without a divisional win entering Sunday's game. It had been even longer since defeated the Miami Dolphins, their Week 5 opponents.
The stage was set for a classic Jets letdown. Momentum was on their side following a come-from-behind victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4. The Jets fan base was restless for a division win in a meaningful October game.
In years past, it's a game the Jets would have lost — probably by multiple scores. But that's not what happened. That's not how this story ended.
You see, the Jets won. And they didn't just win, they blew out their opponents to the tune of a 40-17 beatdown. They ran away with a blowout victory at home against their division rivals to improve to 3-2 on the season and put themselves squarely in the playoff picture.
In doing so, they proved that these aren't the Jets of old. That "Same Old Jets" narrative is dead in the water, at least for now. This is a new team, a new era.
The NY Jets are a genuinely good football team
You wouldn't know it by looking at the final score, but this wasn't always a one-sided affair. Far from it, in fact. The Jets led by just five points at halftime and entered the fourth quarter clinging to a two-point lead.
But the Jets did what they've done all year in the fourth quarter. They took charge.
First it was a seven-play, 56-yard touchdown drive set up by a Dolphins missed field goal that gave the Jets a 26-17 lead. It was a statement drive at a time when the Dolphins appeared to have all the momentum.
Rookie running back Breece Hall took over, finishing just three rushing yards shy of a 100-yard rushing and 100-yard receiving day. He helped spark a 21-point Jets fourth quarter that shut the door on any potential Dolphins comeback.
On the very first play of the Dolphins' next drive, the Jets defense came through with a massive strip sack. This time it was Carl Lawson who beat his man and forced the fumble, allowing Quinnen Williams to rumble his way to the five-yard line, complete with a stiff arm of Tyreek Hill in the process.
The rest was a formality.
That's how you close out games. That's how you defeat division rivals. That's how you change the narrative.
In a season that has been marred by bad football, the Jets have a legitimate case to be considered a top-15 team. It doesn't matter who the Dolphins had at QB in this game — Skylar Thompson isn't why Miami lost by 23 points.
The Jets were the better team in Week 5. They didn't lay an egg like many expected them to. They didn't fold when Miami began to show life in the second half.
Instead, they doubled down and shut the door on a comeback attempt with a clutch touchdown drive and a timely strip sack.
The Jets of old don't do that. The "Same Old Jets" lose this game. But these aren't the "Same Old Jets."
Consider the narrative changed.