They've stopped the bleeding
The Kerley Factor
It's night and day for Geno Smith when Jeremy Kerley is on the field. The Jets are 6-3 with Kerley and 0-4 without him. Geno has a total QBR in the 70s with Kerley in the game, and is hovering somewhere around single digits without him. It's no coincidence that his first passing touchdown since week 7, which was to Kerley, was, you guessed it, caught by Kerley in the first quarter of yesterday's game. It's a reason for Jets fans to have hope for Geno. If one competent receiver can help him raise his game that much, think of what two or three more playmakers could do for the young QB.
The momentum of the game swung with one special teams play in the first half -- a blocked punt by Antonio Allen that was recovered in the endzone for a touchdown. Allen is beginning to solidify his reputation as a playmaker. It was his pick-6 against Brady back in week 7 that swayed the Jets-Pats game. He's been losing valuable playing time to Ed Reed (who had his first interception as a Jet yesterday) but is certainly the type of player the Jets need to keep on the field as much as possible because of his upside.
While Gang Green still in the playoff hunt, I believe that Jets fans would be better off switching into evaluation mode -- not so much hanging on wins and losses, but keying in on individual players and their development. For example, Dee Milliner had his first positive game of the season yesterday, and even if the Jets were to lose out, if he continues to trend upwards, you have yourself a promising starting corner next season. On the flip side, Antonio Cromartie looks more and more like he's over the hill with every week. Simply put, it's more fun to approach these-late season games with a different perspective because in reality, if the Jets are going to make any real strides towards sustained success, it's contingent on the progress of the young players and identifying which veterans should not be re-signed.
Unleash the Kraken
I'm not sure where the nickname 'The Kraken' came from, but I like it. Chris Ivory had a bruising touchdown reminiscent of one Marshawn Lynch, whom he's constantly compared to, in which he broke 4 tackles and carried the last defender into the endzone. If the Jets can continue to trend upwards in the passing game (which shouldn't be too hard considering their starting point) and clear out some of the defenders from the box, Ivory should have a very strong December.