A mood of complacency filled Metlife Stadium as offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg settled for 3 straight runs to set the Jets up with a 56 yard field goal attempt in overtime to beat the long time rival Patriots. Everyone and their mother seemed to know that Nick Folk would go on to miss the field goal, which he did, although an unsportsmanlike penalty flag was thrown on Patriots defender Chris Jones for pushing his opponent into the line, a newfound flag this year that was called for the first time on Sunday.
Tough to complain about such a lucky call that would eventually lead to a much shorter field goal for Folk and the subsequent New York Jets victory. But the Jets definitely deserved to win this game as it seemed as though they were dominating in every facet of the game. Rookie quarterback Geno Smith battled all day despite relatively good pressure by the Patriots defense all day. An early pick six had the Jets thinking that this game was going to be another inconsistent performance for the young man, but Geno didn't come here to 'kiss Belichick's rings' either. He certainly gave everything he had, not only throwing for 233 and a score, but also running for an additional 32 yards en route to a rushing touchdown.
The confusion Rex Ryan's defenses seem to bring towards opposing quarterbacks was on full display this week, leading Tom Brady into his own pick six by Jets safety Antonio Allen at the beginning of the second half. A Rex Ryan defensive mantra is usually to confused quarterbacks and offensive lines with exotic blitz packages to generate pressure. He threw an unusual wrench into the mix by generally sending only three or four rushers at Brady, and dropping lots of defensive backs into zone coverage. This only works if the big boys upfront can generate a pass rush and that's exactly what they did. Mohammad Wilkerson, Calvin Pace, and Quinton Coples took turns abusing former first round tackle Nate Solder, generating 3.0 sacks between the three of them while also generating consistent hurries from the outside. Damon 'Snacks' Harrison added a sack via a split double team up the middle as well.
Composure has been an adjective to describe Geno Smith's mentality throughout the year, despite a roller coaster ride of a season thus far. It cannot be understated how short of a memory this guy has though, as an early pick six (and terrible decision/throw) would go on to haunt many rookie quarterbacks for the rest of the game. The fact that he is able to shrug it off without noticeable frustration and continue to fire away proves that he's not only a gamer, but displays leadership qualities that will keep teammates positive throughout the game.
While the running game wasn't overly dominating against a depleted Patriots defense, Mornhinweg showed his commitment to running the ball and controlling the clock so that he could put his team and his quarterback in position to win the game at the end. They dominated time of possession 46:13 to 23:40 and limited Brady's time on the field, in part to a stellar defensive performance. This win was especially important considering it entered the team into a three game stretch against not only New England, but the Bengals and the gunning New Orleans Saints in a three week stretch. If the Jets can steal one of the next two games, they will be in prime position to make a real playoff push after the bye week while looking at a much easier second half schedule.