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Kellen Winslow Jr. Shines in New York Jets Debut

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

When the New York Jets signed Kellen Winslow Jr. during the offseason, they wanted him to be a safety net for either of their quarterbacks in Mark Sanchez or Geno Smith. This week it was Smith as the quarterback competition is still going on. The first game of the NFL season for the Jets against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers proved why he was worth the one year contract the Jets offered him.

In yesterday’s game he solidified his position in the passing game with the Jets as he caught seven passes for 79 yards and one touchdown in a win against the Buccaneers. It was Winslow’s first touchdown catch since Week 9 of 2011 against the New Orleans Saints when he played with the Buccaneers. After Jeff Cumberland took a massive hit from Dashon Goldson, it became the Winslow show at tight end. This was more than just a touchdown, it was a score that shifted the momentum to the Jets from the Buccaneers to close the opening half. In the second half, Smith and Winslow continued with their new found chemistry. Down by two with 29 seconds left in the game, Winslow caught a pass for 25 yards from Smith which got the team in field goal position on their final possession that ended on Nick Folk‘s 48-yard game winning field goal.

Before yesterday’s game Winslow was supposed to be playing behind Cumberland on the tight end depth chart; now with his play yesterday he may be the first option at the tight end position. Coming into yesterday’s game Winslow for his career had 438 receptions, 4,848 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Now we are on to week two to face the New England Patriots. Will the Jets and Winslow be able to bring that same energy and tenacity to the Patriots?

Alfred Epps is a New York Jets writer for Follow him on Twitter @mralfredepps or add him to your network on Google

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