A few impressions of the game from down in Tampa:
Lots of Jet fans came to the game, many of the Bucs
fans I talked to weren't season ticket holders and got
their game tickets from season ticket holders. A few
thousand TB fans had a bag on and about the same
amount of TB fans wore their bags ON their heads.
The TB fans who were there were very quiet. I'd say
10,000 left at halftime, about the same started leaving
near the halfway point of the 3rd quarter and after the
Revis pick it was pretty much all Jet fans.
Clemens is gone in '10, the Jets will sign a veteran QB
to back up Sanchez (if he's healthy I'd love to see them
bring back Pennington).
They make a pretty good sausage & pepper sandwich
The Jets are STILL unbeaten in regular season road
games that I have attended <only road loss I've ever
seen in person is the "Mud Bowl" AFC Championship
game in Miami>. Other than that:
5-0 in Miami
3-0 in Buffalo <one was Jim Kelly's first NFL game>
2-0 in NE
2-0 in TB
2-0 in Giants Stadium <Jet road gaves vs. Giants>
1-0 in Washington <3-0 win>
1-0 in San Diego
1-0 in Denver
Almost as weird: 0-9 in Yankee games I've attended
vs. the Rays <0-2 @ Yankee Stadium, 0-7 in Tampa>
As for the game:
Lots of Jet fans, I'd say 10-15% of the crowd were Jet
fans. They were almost as loud when the Jets made a
big play as Buc fans were on the few occasions when a
TB player made a play.
Talk about depressing? I've never seen fans so down
on their team as Tampa is on the Bucs. Word here is
Morris isn't running anything close to a pro NFL team
down here. I heard Rich Gannon on the TB radio pre
game show say Morris ran a high school level practice
on Wed and Thurs.
Jets looked good, a little tentative in the 1st half. They
were dictating the flow of the game defensively but the
Jets were unable to salt the game away until that Revis
INT midway through the fourth quarter. They weren't
able to capitalize on the breaks the defense kept giving
Clemens looked shakey all day long though he should
have had a TD pass that a wide open Cotchery flat out
dropped. The Jet defense, which now leads the NFL in
fewest points allowed and in total defense, totally shut
down the Bucs so effectively that on the Buc post game
radio show the Tampa play by play guys replayed just
the first four 1st downs TB got, the onsides kick that TB
recovered, their lone FG and the Green fumble that the
Bucs recovered. That was their entire post game show,
lasting all of about a minute and a half.
The Jets were totally dominant, far more than the final
score indicated even though they seemed to be playing
at three-quarter speed through most of the game. The
Jets did what they had to do, very businessmen like.
I'd say the Jets now have a pretty good shot at running
the table but less than 50% shot of making the playoffs.
Atlanta is decimated with injuries & despite playing NO
close at home yesterday the loss virtually finishes any
hopes of making the playoffs due to the fact they lose
the tie breaker to all the teams ahead of them. Atlanta
tie breaker to GB based on conference W/L record.
Indy has wrapped up homefield and Colts #2 QB Jim
Sorgi, Mannings backup the past five years is now on
IR. After Manning takes a couple of snaps to keep his
consecutive games played streak alive the Colt QB will
be rookie QB Curtis Painter, whose next NFL pass will
be his first NFL pass.
With Manning, Freeney, Wayne and Addai seeing little
to no action and with Bob Sanders out the Jets defense
and ground game should be able to beat Indy.
The Jets close at home in Week 17 against Cincinnati
who must win @ SD this Sunday to have any hope of
securing a bye in the first round. If they lose they've
got nothing to play for either meaning they'll also rest
most of their big play starters. Because the Jets do two
things very well, run the ball and cover their opponents
WR's, I think they will beat Cincinnati playing all of their
big play starters anyway.
Even at 10-6 however the Jets need Miami, Baltimore
and Jacksonville to all lose one game or for Denver to
lose at least two games because the Jets don't own the
tie breaker against any of these teams.
Here's their remaining schedules:
Denver: OAKLAND, @ Philadelphia, KANSAS CITY
Denver will probably lose @ Philly but it's VERY hard
to see them losing to either Oakland or to Kansas City.
It's VERY possible Denver's absurd last second tipped
ball win over Cincy in Week 1 could help keep the Jets
out of the playoffs. 10-6, winning a Wild Card berth.
Miami: @Tennessee, HOUSTON, PITTSBURGH.
Miami could lose any or all three of these games and
could win any or all three of these games. I don't see
Miami running the table, the Titans probably being the
most difficult road block. However, if the Dolphins do
beat Tennessee they've got a good shot at being 10-6
and at being the Wildcard. 9-7, out of the playoffs.
Jags: INDIANAPOLIS, @New England, @ Cleveland
Jacksonville should be the first team to beat Indy this
year, and if they do the Colts have absolutely nothing
to play for. The Pats WILL have something to play for,
the righting of it's ship, and this is the game that most
likely will keep Jacksonville from getting to ten wins. I
can't see Cleveland, even with their beating Pittsburgh,
winning at Jacksonville. 9-7, out of the playoffs.
Baltimore: CHICAGO, @Pittsburgh, @Oakland.
Here is why I don't think any 9-7 team or a 10-6
Jets team will make the playoffs. I can't make a
strong case for any team remaining on the Ravens
schedule beating them. Chicago's season is over,
the Raiders are a huge mess and Pittsburgh can't
seem to beat anybody. Pittsburgh could end the
season for both Baltimore & Miami but is being a
spoiler enough motivation for the defending SB to
play hard the last two weeks of the season to finish
well? No. 10-6, winning the last Wild Card berth.
The Jets, being who and what they are sometimes,
if ever they did get a beat Cincinnati and you are in
the playoffs kind of scenario would probably go out
there and TIE one for the Gipper!
But seriously, if they did get to 10-6 and missed the
playoffs with a rookie QB & a rookie HC and in those
six losses were so many close and fixable losses you
would have to say all things considered that the Jets
were really pointed in the right direction.