Toppling the Beast

When the New York Jets woke up Friday morning after beating the Patriots in overtime the night before, they probably thought for a moment or two.

“Wait a minute, I went to bed really excited, what was th- Oh yeah!”

You know that feeling, when you wake up and know you have something to be excited about, but since it’s not something physical, you forget for a minute.

That was Kerrry Rhodes Friday morning, and Sean Ellis. Brett Favre had to be feeling good, but it’s a little different for the guys that have been tormented by the Pats for so long.

Yeah, their breakfast probably tasted pretty nice that morning, whether they’re the same old Jets or not, they finally got a giant monkey off their backs, much bigger than Rhodes’ first pick, which came against St. Louis, much bigger than Calvin Pace’s first touchdown, also registered against the lowly Rams.

Coming into this one, it was trendy to doubt New York. Having just beaten the 2-7 Rams, Gang Green was definitely clicking, having won three straight and five of their last six, but as ever, people were still uneasy about New York’s second fiddle.

Whatever doubt was looming over Jets fans had to be at least close to erased when they took the first drive of the game downfield in 10 plays, setting up a 7-yard touchdown pass from Favre to Leon Washington, who was superb as a dual threat. Thomas Jones reached 100 yards, but only because of the extra period. He certainly did it silently, as most of the third-down conversions were made when Favre did what they brought him in to do.

Oh yeah, there was a lot of talk about that too. How this game was the reason Woody Johnson opened up his wallet to the tune of $140 million, or 160, whatever, a big spending spree regardless. Any way you look at it, it paid off as the Jets won despite nearly squandering a 24-6 second-quarter lead.

Matt Cassell did his best Brady impersonation, and it worked when Randy Moss managed to keep his feet inbounds and catch the game-tying touchdown, but in the NFL-and it’s a damn shame-as the overtime coin flip goes so goes the game more often than not.

Favre moved the ball downfield, hitting Laveranues Coles and Dustin Keller en route to Jay Feely’s game-winning 34-yard field goal. Keller was huge, making a big catch on 3rd-and-15 on that very drive, and racking up 87 yards on five catches and a touchdown. Favre has said Keller doesn’t know how good he can be, and I believe him. Keller has been big lately and is going to continue to grow.

Kris Jenkins registered one of the defense’s three sacks. CJ Mosley got another, and the third was shared between Sione Pouha and David Bowens. Okay, so the defense wasn’t huge, but it didn’t have to be. I knew coming into this one that the last team to have possession was going to win. It could be said that New England didn’t lose, they just ran out of time, anybody complain?

Of course they are complaining up in Massachusetts. Who wouldn’t be? The Patriots are suffering from a slew of injuries. The Bill Belichick “plug ‘em in and keep going” winning machine is suffering the kind of setbacks that would adversely affect any team-even these proud Patriots.

Could this be the end of a dynasty? That remains to be seen, but things are certainly changing in the AFC, especially the East division.

My dad-a Jets fan-was saying even after the New England game how he didn’t expect to see the Jets in the Super Bowl. I was quick to point out that he probably wasn’t predicting the Jets to be 7-3 at this point, with sole possession of first place. He laughed and said, “Yeah, they should be 8-2.” It’s what my dad does when I make a good point in sports discussions. Covers it up with a fact, but something that is what it is.

Yeah, that Oakland game… Seems like a while since then, eh?

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