Looks like the roller coaster is headed back up. The New York Jets continued their trend of alternating wins and losses by defeating the New Orleans Saints 26-20 in a game that saw their defense turn in a huge performance. A week after getting shredded by the Cincinnati Bengals, the Jets completely disrupted the Saints’ high powered offense, and they were the key to the win.
The Jets held the Saints to 41 yards rushing, sacked Drew Brees twice and only allowed three third down conversions the entire game. The Jets had Brees under heavy pressure the entire game, and it was shocking that they could only come up with two sacks. Brees’ rhythm was disrupted for much of the afternoon, and the Saints’ offensive line had no answer for Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Damon Harrison and Quinton Coples.
The Jets also finally managed to force some turnovers, intercepting Brees twice. They had a third interception overruled by a penalty, and they had three additional opportunities that just slipped through their fingers. Demario Davis and Antonio Cromartie came up with the two picks that did count, both coming off of tipped passes.
This game was huge for the Jets because of how horribly they played against the Bengals. That was one of the worst defensive performances of the Rex Ryan era, and it was a complete embarrassment for a unit that was being discussed as one of the NFL’s best. However, they came into this week’s game prepared and motivated, and they held the Saints to their second lowest point total of the season.
This game could prove to be a turning point for the Jets’ playoff chances. They are now 5-4, and they hold the last Wild Card spot in the AFC. The Jets have their bye next week, followed by seven games that are all winnable. We have known all season that the Jets would need their defense to play well to win games, and they turned in one of their best performances of the season today.
If the Jets can continue this level of play, they will have a great chance at the playoffs. They Jets obviously need to find some consistency, but this game could get them started on a winning streak. Today’s game showed why the Jets’ defense deserves to be talked about as a top unit, and it showed why the Jets are legitimate playoff contenders.