RB Leon Washington runs for a 60 yard TD in the second quarter of the Jets 28-24 win against Kansas City on Sunday. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
A sure thing? Not quite. The Jets 28-24 win was anything but pretty in front of 78,037 fans of Gang Green. The offense looked out of sync, the defense had a few good moments here and there and K Jay Feely looked like his days as a New York Giant were not that far behind him. He missed a 36-yard chip shot field goal in the first quarter. QB Brett Favre looked great on the first Jets drive going 6-for-7 68 Yds and 1 TD to RB Leon Washington off an 18 yard screen pass. But that was pretty much it after that. Favre threw three interceptions directly into the hands of Kansas City defensive backs and it was clear that Favre was either reading coverages wrong or was having an off day.
“I’m always concerned about it,” Brett Favre said of his interceptions. “They seem to follow me everywhere I go. I thought I left those behind,” he said with a laugh. “I’m probably overly concerned about everything.”
The bright spot on Gang Green’s Day: Leon Washington. Washington had his best run of the season in the second quarter when he ran a dive up the middle for a 60 yard score to put the Jets up seven with 1:57 to go in the first half. His counterpart, Thomas Jones, scored on a one yard touchdown with 00:48 seconds to go in the third quarter to cap off a 6:12 drive.
“Leon can play,” NT Kris Jenkins said. “He’s fast, he’s quick and he plays with a lot of heart.”
The other quarterback in this game with a #4 jersey Tyler Thigpen had a quarterback rating of 44.3 coming into Sunday’s game. Thigpen’s QB rating against the Jets: 110.9. The passing defense needed to step up today for Gang Green and it reneged on that expectation.
Toward the end of the second quarter on the Jets 11, Thigpen hit WR Mark Bradley for an 11 yard….incompletion. But only for two minutes. The officials called for a review and overturned it to make it 14-14 at the end of the first half.
“Just because a team is 1-5 doesn’t mean they’re going to lie down,” WR Chansi Stuckey said. “They’re here to win just like us.”
Well, he was right. The Chiefs came to play today which was evident in the performance of its young quarterback and the receiving core. Kansas City wideouts racked up 280 receiving yards on the day, with 102 yards going to WR Dwayne Bowe.
But the “fun” doesn’t stop there. With the Jets driving in the third quarter and on the Chiefs eight yard line, Favre dropped back and looked for Stuckey on a crossing pattern and threw right into the hands of CB Brandon Flowers who returned it for a 91 touchdown to put the Chiefs up 24-21.
“It’s a tough position to be in,” head coach Eric Mangini said. “Being able to come back, drive down the field and score when we did score, and finish the game; that’s going to be the key thing.”
The only positive that could be taken away from this game for the Jets is that Washington is a lot more valuable more than ever, since next Sunday, they go to Buffalo to face off with the Bills. If anything, he has to have another big game to give the Jets a chance to upset first place Bills.
With 2:01 left to play, Favre and Co. set up and executed a 15 yard fade route to WR Laveranues Coles in the left corner of the endzone for a TD to cap off the six play drive to put the Jets up 28-24.
“Brett trusted me, gave me a chance to get the ball and I was able to make a play,” Coles said.
The Chiefs did threaten with 0:53 seconds remaining and drove to the Jets 40. DE David Bowens sacked Thigpen to seal the game for Gang Green.
Grading Gang Green
That interception in the first quarter didn’t help the Jets at all. Neither did the other one in the second or third quarter. The running game was non-existent until RB Leon Washington’s 60 yard touchdown run and Jones had a nice TD but didn’t have that fire he had under him last week at Oakland. The Chiefs are dead last against the run and the Jets didn’t exploit it enough. On the plus side, the Jets finally got TE Dustin Keller “involved” who had four catches 38 yards.
Let’s see. A quarterback that has less than five games experience went 25-for-35 280Yds 2 TD. That’s not good when the Jets upcoming schedule is at Buffalo, vs. St. Louis, at New England and at Tennessee. So it’s safe to say that if the Jets play the way they did against Kansas City over the next four weeks then it’s panic time.
Gang Green Player of the Game: RB Leon Washington
Consistency at its Best
After today, Chiefs TE Tony Gonzalez has at least one reception in 122 consecutive games. He also passed former Broncos WR Rod Smith and Irving Fryar on the all-time receptions list.
Honoring the Past
Some old friends came by today to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Jets Super Bowl III Championship in Joe Namath, Winston Hill, Don Maynard, Larry Grantham and Randy Beverly. “It’s mindboggling to a degree,” Namath said when commenting on how it’s been 40 years since the Jets took home the Lombardi Trophy. “Time changes things but it doesn’t feel like its 40 years as players you know. A lot of us still keep that enthusiastic football mind going. Thank goodness for the fans.” One reporter replied, “It’s felt like 40 years to me,” with a laugh from the scrum of media. The memories of that season haven’t strayed too far from the former gridiron greats in attendance today. If anything, at least to them, it seems like it were only yesterday. “I just thought it was another big game, but I never thought it would’ve lasted 40 years,” Hill said. “When I think of my oldest child would be 10 years older than when I played this game so that brings this kind of into focus.” Don Maynard had other thoughts. “The greatest game I’ve ever played in was the AFL Championship game,” he said. “That’s the game you have to win to get to the Super Bowl. Grantham: “We had-em in a black hole all right,” he said of the Raiders game.
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