Ugly win? Perhaps, but in the NFL a win is a win, and after dropping a heart-breaker to Oakland last week, the Jets could not have needed Sunday’s win over the Kansas Chiefs any more so than they did.
Perhaps Newsday’s Erik Boland said it best, referring to the Chiefs as the third best team in the state of Missouri, behind the St. Louis Rams and the Tigers from the University of Mizzou.
In any case, the Jets beat them, regardless of the margin. Forget Brett Favre’s three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Forget about giving up 24 points to a bottom feeder in the league standings, both offensively and defensively. That’s right Jets fans, a win is a win.
“We stepped up at the end,” DE Kenyon Coleman said. “We walked away with a win and that’s what you want to do in this league, but we can continue to get better, which is a good thing.”
Of course, there’s always room for improvement.
Take for instance the minus eight turnover margin. They certainly can do without self-inflicted wounds like that. How about the Jets’ secondary allowing Tyler Thigpen to throw for 280 passing yards and a 110.9 quarterback rating? Needs work.
Now as the Gang Green prepares to head upstate, it shifts its attention to the tied-for-first-place Buffalo Bills. A win at Orchard Park, and the Jets could find themselves in a two or three-way tie atop the AFC East standings halfway through the season, pending what New England does next week.
First place? That’s right, although it’s a definite maybe. But let’s not get ahead of anything.
“A lot of things could happen,” WR Chansi Stuckey said. “I’m just happy we’re getting some wins under our belt. We’re getting comfortable with winning. We’re going into each game expecting to win and building confidence as the season goes on.”
Confidence is definitely something the Jets can take with them to Buffalo, whether or not they are being labeled the underdog.
“No matter if you’re an underdog or if you’re favored, you still have to go in and play four quarters of really good football,” Stuckey said. “That is what we’re going to have to go do.”
Certainly it will take nothing less than four quarters of solid football to beat the Bills. Coming off a loss to the 3-4 Dolphins, Buffalo figures to be hungry in what is now a heated divisional race.
“On offense they have been doing well,” Coleman said. “They have a pretty good offensive line. They have a good running back [Marshawn Lynch] and their quarterback [Trent Edwards] has been playing well. It’s going to be a challenge.”
While some may be quick to say that if the Jets play Buffalo like they played Kansas City they will definitely lose, S Kerry Rhodes is not so sure, but he isn’t willing to hang his hat on that performance either.
“We don’t want to go into the game playing the way we played this game, no,” Rhodes said. “To say we can’t play that way and win, I don’t know. Anything can happen in this league and I don’t want to say that the way we played to beat Kansas City that we can’t beat other teams. I don’t want to demean them. But if we played that way against a lot of teams it may not be a good outcome.”
Chatman's short comeback
It was confirmed today that Jets RB Jesse Chatman injured his knee during a late kickoff return yesterday. Although the details of the injury are not known, sources verified that he'll miss the rest of the season. It's been that kind of year for Chatman, who after an excellent training camp was suspended for the first four games due to testing positive for a banned substance.
With Chatman gone, the Jets have just three running backs on the roster: Thomas Jones, Leon Washington and FB Tony Richardson. It's likely the Jets will sign another RB for depth this week. The Jets currently have one RB on their practice squad, Michigan State rookie Jehuu Caulcrick who could be elevated.
The coach also confirmed that Favre was not seriously injured when G Alan Faneca fell on his throwing arm yesterday.
"It's more of a general soreness," said the Coach. "He (Favre) probably just needs to be iced up for a little while."
LB David Harris is also nursing a sore leg which the severity should be updated by Wednesday.
Movin’ On Up
Once ranked 31st in the NFL in passing defense heading into the Cincinnati game on October 12, the Jets now rank 23rd. Gang Green’s defense has allowed 163 completions out of 247 passes for a completion percentage of 66. Not bad considering the top-ranked passing defense in the league—Pittsburgh—has allowed a completion percentage of 61.6.
What’s staggering is the 232.7-yard average allowed by the Jets’ secondary, almost 70 yards more than that of Pittsburgh—164.4.
Credit the rush defense for their 24 sacks, but shame on the secondary for only acquiring five interceptions through seven games.
“Teams do [certain] things with the ball and you can’t get it, but it’s something that we work on and it’s something that we try to do every week and it’s a big thing for us,” Rhodes said. “We have been turnoverless for a couple games so we’ll try to step it up.”
The Jets 420 total net yards against the Chiefs (135 rushing, 285 passing) are the most by the Jets since the 441 yards (178 rushing, 263 passing) the Jets gained at Green Bay on December 3, 2006.
The Jets, who gained 418 net yards last week at Oakland, recorded back-to-back games over 400 net offensive yards for the first time since 1998 (November 29 vs. Carolina–456 yards and December 6 at Seattle—488 yards).
Brett Favre started his 260th consecutive regular season game at quarterback. He now has 457 touchdown passes in his career.
The fourth-quarter comeback was the 41st of his career (second consecutive against Kansas City) and first as a New York Jet. His 18-yard touchdown pass to Leon Washington makes Washington the 50th player to catch a touchdown pass from Favre.
Leon Washington finished with three carries for 67 yards with one touchdown and three receptions for 34 yards and one touchdown.
His 18-yard catch-and-run in the first quarter was the first touchdown reception of his career. His 60-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was the longest run of his career. It was his second rushing touchdown of the season and the ninth of his career. He now has three multiple touchdown games in his career. He has 13 career touchdowns (nine rushing, three returns, one receiving).
Washington's 60-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was the longest run by a Jet since 2002 when LaMont Jordan ran 61 yards on November 3 against San Diego.