Led by a last minute drive courtesy of rookie Geno Smith and the boot of kicker Nick Folk, the New York Jets recorded an 18-17 win on Sunday against Tampa Bay. The win becomes the fourth opening day win for the Jets under the guidance of Rex Ryan, bringing his career record to 4-1.
Geno Smith had all the confidence in the world in his season debut. Despite throwing for three interceptions in his preseason start against the New York Giants, Smith played much better in the opening tilt. He capped the day 24-of-38 for 256 yards and a touchdown to Kellen Winslow. His only blemishes came in the form of a fumble that led to a Bucs touchdown and an interception. Receiver Santonio Holmes felt nothing but happiness for his new starter under center.
"I think the film will do itself justice on the assessment," said Holmes. "Let the coaches evaluate that. But other than that, I'm happy he got his first win as an NFL starter."
Holmes played in a limited role against the Bucs. He is coming off two surgeries and months of rehabilitation from a Lisfranc injury that kept him sidelined throughout the entire offseason. Holmes played 23 snaps in the first half alone. He was targeted three times by Smith and recorded one reception for 13 yards. Moreover, he was denied a pass by Darrelle Revis in his first game back from an ACL injury and in his first game for his new team. While Holmes was excited to be back on the field, he was even more thrilled to see how his team performed.
"The only thing that matter is the win today and the performance of our guys, how hard they played and relentlessly didn't give in towards the in," stated Holmes postgame.
With a 1-0 record under their belts, the Jets now have a shortened week before they take on a New England team under the bright lights at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots did not impress in their first game against the Bills. Their game also came down to a last second field goal by Stephen Gostkowski to ice the game for Tom Brady and company. The Jets will have to focus their attention on the trio of Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, and Shane Vereen who carried the Patriots offense for the majority of the game. Still, Holmes is not worried and is confident that Gang Green will be ready to go frustrate the future hall of fame quarterback.
"We look forward to the Pats come Thursday," said Holmes with a grin. "Go in and study the film, get ready for next week. That's the plan for right now."