There aren't many teams in the National Football League that needed a win more than the New York Jets. Today Gang Green got that win, surprising the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-13 at the Meadowlands to stop their eight game losing streak. The Jets are now 2-8. It is probably too little, too late, but this team at least heads into its bye on a positive note. Join me below as we recap the action.
Jaiquawn Jarrett: Jarrett provided the playmaking the Jets have sorely lacked at the safety position this season. Entering this game the Jets had forced three turnovers all year. Jarrett had three in this game. He had a pair of interceptions. He had a fumble recovery. He had a sack on the blitz. He had ten tackles in total. Props to the Jets for making things competitiony, and benching Calvin Pryor for Jarrett. It's easy to keep the first round pick out there, but there's nothing wrong with making him earn his playing time. If Jarrett is the better player, he should play.
The Pass Rush: They only had two sacks, but it seemed like the New York pass rush rattled Ben Roethlisberger, no easy task given how comfortable the quarterback is at breaking tackles and extending plays. Pittsburgh seemed to have real problems identifying the blitzes the Jets were throwing at them. It was a well called game by the Jets.
Michael Vick: I don't want to act like Vick is playing like an elite quarterback. I also don't want to act like Vick is the franchise quarterback the Jets have been waiting to find. It's just a big difference to finally have a guy out there who can play competent ball. Vick can rip the ball into windows and make plays with a runner. His play early helped the Jets take control. His play in the second half like most of the offense wasn't effective, but the Jets were in control at that point. I view the end of this season as an audition for Vick. Can he show enough to earn a spot next year as either a backup or a stopgap starter? We will know more in the six games, but after two the answer seems to be yes.
Play Calling Early: Marty Mornhinweg gets a lot of grief, but the way he set up the Steelers in the first quarter was terrific. The Jets had a more than 2-1 run-pass ratio on their first drive. Then on the first play of the second drive, he took a shot deep off play action. The Steelers played run all the way after being set up on the first drive, and the safety help vacated the middle of the field for T.J. Graham.
T.J. Graham: With that said, Graham still did have to beat his man and catch the ball for the 67 yard touchdown.
Jace Amaro: I want to see more of this big target in the red zone. His size made the difference on Vick's second touchdown. He also had a nice catch and run negated by an unnecessary Jeff Cumberland penalty.
Percy Harvin: Five of his nine touches on offense resulted in a first down.
Marcus Williams: I'm skeptical he can hold up without a top notch pass rush to protect him, but he did what he needed to do today for the Jets. He also tipped one of Jarrett's interceptions.
Sean C: GGN's own Sean C. led the J-E-T-S chant at the stadium today. He did us proud in difficult circumstances. The Jets have a 1.000 winning percentage when Sean leads the cheer. Coincidence? I think not.
Phillip Adams: In an otherwise strong day for the pass defense, Adams had a rough one. He was outfought for a ball. He got beaten after the catch on a move by Antonio Brown. He got burned late for a touchdown.
Willie Colon: Multiple penalties today for the right guard.
Jeff Cumberland: Your first job is to do no harm. Cumberland wiped out a 21 yard Amaro gain by taking a penalty. The penalty probably did not impact the play.
Chris Johnson: He was back to being a slow runner who didn't finish his runs.
I'm not going to tell you how to feel. I learned a long time ago there is no right or wrong way to be a fan. If you want to be upset that this win means the Jets will lose Draft position or that some people might not be let go, feel free. All I can do is tell you how I feel. I'm glad the Jets are back in the win column.