An incredible stat flashed across the screen late in the game, as the New York Jets had rallied to erase a 14-point deficit against the Dallas Cowboys and come away with an improbable 27-24 victory.
The Cowboys entered Sunday’s game with a 246-0-1 record in games in which they led by at least 14 points in the 4th quarter.
That stat is perfect no more. The Jets rallied to score 17 points in the fourth quarter, getting timely plays from their defense and special teams, as well as a couple of key plays from the offense.
Rex Ryan called it “the best team effort that I can remember being a part of” as the Jets mounted a furious rally that included the first Jets touchdown for Plaxico Burress and the first interception for Darrelle Revis since 2009.
In the end, the Jets rallied from a 14+ point fourth-quarter deficit to win for only the third time in franchise history, the first time since the “Monday Night Miracle” victory over the Dolphins in 2000.
“Experience tells us around here that it’s never over to the last tick,” linebacker Bart Scott said. “You think about the Houston game [last season], you think about the Detroit game, the Cleveland game, we know as long as there’s time on the clock, we have a chance.”
The biggest play of the game came from the special teams unit, when 23-year-old reserve running back Joe McKnight surged through the middle of the line to block a punt, his first career blocked kick.
The ball bounced right into the hands of Isaiah Trufant, a guy who made the team initially, got cut, re-signed to the practice squad, and then just got added to the active roster in time for the game.
Trufant took the ball into the endzone for his first career touchdown, tying the game at 24.
The Jets had gotten back within seven thanks to Mark Sanchez’s touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress, who scored his first touchdown since the 2008 season.
In the end, a clutch interception by Revis set up Nick Folk’s game-winning 50 yard field goal, and the Jets escaped with a wild victory to move to 1-0 on the young season.
Last year the Jets had a propensity to sputter in the first half before making it interesting and coming back to win close games late. So far it’s more of the same in 2011.
A win is a win, of course. The Jets will take them any way they can. Now, it’s on to the next one.