These aren't your father's Jets -- a new era of New York Jets Football is upon us.
We recently built a $1.6B stadium which we can finally call "home." Its outer exterior even changes colors to a sexy shade of green when we play, and that's pretty cool. We are now lead by personality-driven, 'players coach,' Rex Ryan. Both of our coordinators (Pettine and Schottenheimer) have done a stellar job and may receive head coaching offers in future years, and both are seriously underrated as far as what they do for this team. Special teams guru Mike Westhoff is still one of the best at what he does. GM Mike Tannenbaum acquired RB LaDainian Tomlinson and CB Antonio Cromartie for next-to-nothing, and continues to make solid draft choices to add young talent to our squad.
The Jets faced the following obstacles in Sunday's game, yet still snuck out a victory on the road, dispelling the "same ol' Jets" label which enshrouded this team in years past:
- The arduous task of coming off a short week into a tough stadium/atmosphere. Invesco Field and its thin atmosphere/high altitude is tough on teams and can wear on them late in games. The Jets had to play there while traveling near cross-country. Furthermore, they were coming off of a short week as they played on Monday Night Football earlier in the week in a game that lasted until 1 A.M.. Many were saying it was an automatic letdown spot, and on paper, maybe it was. The final score proved otherwise.
- An officiating crew that was against them for whatever reason, be it the Jets' physical nature or just plain old 'homefield advantage' calls. The "helmet-to-helmet" call on S Jim Leonhard was atrocious, as well as an offensive pass interference call which went against us. Denver found themselves bailed out often by the officials.
- Turnover issues (bound to happen sooner or later) - We spoke about a "correction" to the Jets +11 turnover ratio, and it was bound to come sooner or later. Before Sunday's game in Denver, Jets had only turned the football over one time all season. On Sunday, they turned it over thrice.
Regardless of said moments of adversity, the Jets found a way to win, and find themselves in a great position going into the bye week. The current AFC East division leader is 5-1, and, most importantly, 3-0 in the division.
I saw something in yesterday's game that I haven't seen from this team in over a decade: a team that doesn't fold under pressure, a team that believes they can win close games, and a team that found a way to "steal" a win in a game when many things didn't go their way.
Good teams find a way to win games, so nevermind the box score. This team is a legitimate Super Bowl contender, and as a fan, I'm happy to be along for the ride. J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!!!