It’s amazing what a home game against a winless team can do for a sputtering team’s confidence.
There’s no doubt that the New York Jets still have a lot of kinks to work out if they want to be where they want to be. But in the NFL, there’s no such thing as a bad win.
It wasn’t the prettiest win, but there is no reason to ever apologize for a win in this league.
The Jets (3-3) defeated the hapless Miami Dolphins (0-5) Monday night in a game dominated by the Jets defense, led by All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis, who had two interceptions, one of which he returned 100 yards for a touchdown.
Revis, normally avoided in coverage by the likes of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, was tested repeatedly by Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore, and let’s just say Moore found out why the elite quarterbacks leave “Revis Island” alone.
Revis was thrown at 11 times by my count, allowing 4 receptions for 51 yards to Brandon Marshall, with a long of 20.
In addition to the two interceptions, Revis also had four passes defensed and three solo tackles, showing off on the national stage why he’s the best in the game. Maybe Moore will get the memo next time.
Marshall, meanwhile, did not make good on his promise to make this game interesting whatsoever. His biggest play saw him beating Antonio Cromartie and then losing his balance and drifting out of bounds, costing his team a touchdown.
Stats-wise, Marshall had a pretty good game, gaining 109 of Miami’s 204 total receiving yards. But after yapping about being a “monster” and wanting to fight people, he was all sizzle & no steak, so to speak.
The Jets defense gave up 173 yards in the first quarter but settled down to allow just 135 yards combined in the second, third & fourth. Miami was held to just a 15% conversion rate on third downs, going 2 for 13 for the game.
The Jets offense, however, still showed the signs of inconsistency that have plagued them in recent weeks. They began the game with four consecutive three-and-outs, with a dismal 10 yards of total offense in the first quarter.
Yet, when they finally got it going, Mark Sanchez and company were able to move the ball effectively. After the first four drives, in which Sanchez was 3 for 7 for 14 yards, he then went 11 for 18 for 187 yards the rest of the way.
Sanchez finished with a solid 95.6 rating overall, with zero turnovers and a touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
Speaking of Holmes, he and right guard Brandon Moore were chosen by coach Rex Ryan to represent the team at midfield as gameday captains.
It was a gesture of solidarity to emphasize that there is no schism in the locker room, despite some comments being blown up in the media during the course of the week.
With their 24-6 victory, the Jets are now 3-0 at home at MetLife Stadium and 0-3 on the road. They’ve allowed just 11 points per game in their three home games, compared to 33 points per game allowed on the road.
They still have a ton of work to do before they start to look like serious contenders, there’s no doubt about that. But a division win can cure a lot of ills.
Next week, they will face their toughest home matchup since Week 1 when the San Diego Chargers come to MetLife Stadium.
It will be the first time that ex-Chargers LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Cromartie will ever face their former team in their NFL careers.
A win over San Diego to get the Jets to a 4-3 record going into their Week 8 bye would ease a lot of the pressure on a team that has not yet played up to their full potential.