The New York Jets have created 3 turnovers all season, on track for recording the fewest amount of turnovers in the modern era (11). The play of Jaiquawn Jarrett will help the Jets avoid two records nobody wanted. The Jets should be able to create 5 more turnovers in their 6 remaining games to avoid the record. They also won't break the franchise record for consecutive losses, thanks to a 20-13 win that snapped an 8 game skid. The rumors about the job security of Rex Ryan and John Idzik were floating around the fan base before kick-off. Now it's very likely they'll both be given until the end of the year.
Jarrett, who was selected in the 2nd round by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011, recorded a sack, two interceptions and recovered a fumble. Put quite simply, he was in the right place at the right time, and he made the most of his opportunities. He was alert to the fumble when Muhammad WIlkerson forced Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown to lose grip of the ball after a completion. He was alert when teammate Marcus Williams tipped a ball in the air.
Following the game, Jarrett was the man everyone wanted to talk to. He was the man the players were patting on the back. In truth, it was a team effort, but this team needed someone to lead them to victory with their performance on the field; that man was Jarrett. It was his first career interception, and his second, it was also his first full career sack. We can't get too excited about a player who was starting only his 5th career game and first of the season. Maybe he doesn't do anything from here on out, or maybe this is the start of something special. Right now the answer to that question doesn't matter. What matters is the Jets got that winning feeling back heading into their bye week.
Rex said that the start for Jarrett was a reward. Rookie S Calvin Pryor said his demotion was down to the secondary coach and not Rex. In the end, it doesn't matter why he started. All that matters is his personal performance.
"We were trying to line up guys that we think deserve it," Ryan said. "Whether it's in the classroom, on the practice field, or in meetings, being on-time for meetings. The guy does a great job. He's dependable and has been playing well. Those are the reasons we do that. We thought we were going to play all of them, but it really never turned out [that way]. We just played the hot hand."
I would love to say that this was a diamond in the rough unearthed by John Idzik and his crack team, but it wasn't. Jarrett was one of the last signings by Mike Tannenbaum on December 31st 2012.
Jarrett was released by the Eagles just 18 months after being drafted out of Temple, the same college program we snapped Muhammad Wilkerson up from. Although Jarrett was a reach in the second round, he was put in very tough situations in Philadelphia and was beaten consistently to start his career. His inability to wrap up players saw him get cut with Andy Reid (then Eagles head coach) admitting it was a mistake to draft him, simply explaining, "I goofed". He cleared waivers and was snapped up by the Jets. He played in 16 games for the Jets last season, starting two, and he's played in all 10 games this season starting just the one, but that one will quickly become two when the Jets face the Buffalo Bills in two weeks.
As mentioned, who knows what this performance means? It's likely he over-performed in this game, but he does have a lot of talent. With only 5 career starts, it's impossible to completely evaluate his talent. However, for now he's our star safety and long may that continue.