The Vintage Vinny

If you watched Vinny Testaverde last Sunday, you saw leadership, grit, and fierce determination. You also saw a performance that was virtually flawless, as he methodically drove the Jets down the field in Orchard Park. Buffalo was his first stop this season - will San Diego be his last?

The thirty-eight year old played with both cool calculation and burning passion, as he kept Gang Green in a game that never should have been close; a game that they won 37-31 in blessedly brief overtime.

Composure, assurance, willpower. The marks of a fifteen year veteran we have come to know, and sometimes love. But love him or hate him, the fact of the matter is that on a sweltering late-summer Sunday in Buffalo, he was money.

Those 210 yards in the air were vintage Vinny, and an 80% completion rate puts him at the top of the game after connecting on a glittering 24 of 30.

His 118.1 QB rating is fourth best in football, as he spent the afternoon creating momentum and developing the rhythm that is so essential in all sports.

Every quarterback needs weapons, and this years version of the N.Y. Jets could have a more potent offense than the one that led them to the AFC Championship game in 1998, a game which brought them to within 30 football minutes of going to the Super Bowl.

Laveranues Coles has flourished since being drafted three years ago, and is ready to step up to become a premier NFL wideout. Santana Moss has lightening speed and is destined to be a big play guy, while Wayne Chrebet is one of the pre-eminent third down receivers in the NFL.

Into the mix, throw Curtis Martin (simply one of the greatest running backs to ever play the game, period), and Anthony Becht, the 2000 first round draft pick, who showed signs of what he can do after a huge performance against the Bills, including a touchdown and a critical two-point conversion.

If a dedicated work ethic, fortitude and camaraderie are the traits upon which a winning team is built, then Vinny offers a solid foundation, indeed.

When Wayne Chrebet beat cornerback Nate Clements and caught an eighteen yard touchdown pass last Sunday, Testaverde pumped his fist with vigorous enthusiasm before the two met head-on in celebration. Two men with a single purpose. Two men with a single goal.

Work ethic. Fortitude. Camaraderie. If these intangibles can translate into numbers similar to what he accomplished in ‘98, when he posted a sterling 101.6 rating, the rest of the NFL had better watch out.

What we do know is that he has the aptitude, heart, and knowledge in him to lead this squad to the promised land.

Vintage Vinny!

Jet Notes....

-After normally having off on Mondays after a win, Herman Edwards ordered a practice after some poor play on Sunday nearly cost them the game.
-Curtis Martin had an x-ray on his left ankle after injuring it in the second quarter of the Bills game. It came back negative and he is listed as day to day, but looks probable for their game Sunday. The last game he missed was Oct. 11, 1998 -- his only missed game as a Jet.
-Marvin Jones leads the league with his 14 total tackles.
-Chad Morton was the first player in NFL history to return kickoffs for touchdowns in both regulation and overtime.

Writer Christopher Guy covers the Mets and is the football guru for NYFansOnly. E-mail him at

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