2nd effort, 1st down.
The most impressive accomplishment of Gang Green's defense on Sunday was holding Brady and the Pats to a 1/12 conversion rate on 3rd down. The Jets offense, conversely, was 11/21. Further, the defense didn't just keep the Jets in the game, it made the play to get them back in it. With a 21-10 lead, Brady and Belichick were poised to deliver the all-too-familiar dagger after receiving the kickoff to start the 2nd half. The defense responded immediately to the dire circumstances. Quinton Coples sacked Tom Brady on 1st down, stripping the ball (which would be recovered by the Pats). On the next play, safety Antonio Allen, intercepted a pass intended for Gronkowski (Allen had been playing man-to-man on Gronk most of the game) and returned it for a TD. Thanks to the defense, it was a new ballgame.
Geno the Goldfish
Alright, that's a terrible nickname and I for one hope it does not stick, but hear me out. In the Jets biggest win of the season thus far, Geno Smith demonstrated an extremely important trait of any successful quarterback: having the memory of a goldfish. On the Jets 2nd drive of the game, with the score tied at 7-7, Geno threw an atrocious pick-6 in the red zone. It was as bad as it gets, and yet Geno played fearlessly for the rest of the game, putting the INT behind him and essentially out-dueling Tom Brady when it was all said and done. The key drive for Geno came in the 3rd quarter with the Jets trailing by 4 points. On 3rd and long, Smith scrambled for the 1st down, absorbed a hit about a yard short and then dove for the marker to extend the drive. A couple plays later he would scramble 8 yards into the endzone, making one defender miss and absorbing another hit before diving forward for 6. It was another gutsy performance from Geno that could be a major building block for a success.
For all intents and purposes, this was Chris Ivory's true debut as a New York Jet. From weeks 1 to 6, Ivory carried the ball 34 times. Yesterday alone, Ivory had 34 carries. He racked up 104 yards on the ground, always hitting the defense before it hit him, falling forward for extra yardage with a running style reminiscent of Marshawn Lynch. More than anything, Ivory was the centerpiece in an offensive game plan that helped Geno Smith avoid the 4th quarter turnovers that doomed him and the Jets last time they played the Patriots, in week 2. Ivory didn't make any spectacular plays, but he kept the chains moving. Moving forward it should be very interesting to see how reps are split between Ivory and Powell, who was completely phased out of the offense this week despite having such a successful start to the season.
OK, I give -- let's address the call. Despite all the ways the Jets outdid the Patriots (first downs: 27 - 21, total net yards: 383 - 295, time of possession: 46:13 - 23:40, to name a few) without the penalty called on their 56-yard overtime field goal, they would have almost certainly have lost the game. According to Mike Pereira, former VP of officiating, it was the correct call. It was the kind of obscure, yet boneheaded play one would expect the Jets to make in a contest with the Patriots, and yet for once things played out the other way for Rex and company. The Jets are thanking their lucky stars the call was made while the Patriots are probably cursing those very same stars. It is what it is.
The tough stretch of the schedule continues in Week 8 as the Jets will travel to Cincy to take on the 5-2 Bengals.