From the opening kick-off until the last tick on the clock at 4:06 PM pacific time, it was the best produced game of the year. The few remaining fans in Qualcomm Stadium stood and cheered as time expired. It was a wonderful sight to see all these green jerseys, you would have thought you were in the Meadowlands as the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets chant echoed in the stadium. The thoughts of a possible second visit to this wonderful city now almost seemed possible and certainly within reach and only a few episodes away.
At 3-5, the Jets still have their work cut out for them, but if they can continue to play the way they did on Sunday, they still have a chance for the playoffs. Let's hope that the Packers put away the Dolphins on Monday night to set up a real showdown next Sunday night in the Meadowlands.
We have done many road trips in the past, but leaving on Saturday morning and not returning until late Sunday always present it's challenges and quirks. This can even be more problematic when point A is JFK and point B is LAX. If there are no delays at the airports and you have the opportunity to partake in the LA tradition of a double/double Animal style at In-N-Out Burger (people on the East Coast have no idea what they are missing!!) it could be a fun and productive weekend. The trip has further potential by getting psyched up for the game while walking along Melrose in West Hollywood, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and the Santa Monica Pier in the picturesque southern California weather. However, what makes any road trip and weekend get-away a real winner in the ratings race and worth the investment of "48 Hours" of our time is when the team from Hempstead puts on an outstanding performance like they did against the Chargers in the 44-13 pummeling of their Western Conference foes. The weather was picture-perfect southern California style, the food and fun was just great and of course, the Jets made it all worthwhile, including the flight home… the infamous red-eye.
The red-eye is always an uncomfortable flight but a necessity, though Sunday's night flight was a very pleasant experience. FINALLY… it all came together in Qualcomm Stadium on a beautifully warm San Diego afternoon.
We saw what we were looking for all season. Some of the positives included:
- Stopping an opposing team on third down regularly (only 1 of 9)
- No turnovers (plus two for Jets)
- Only a few missed tackles by the defense and some solid hard hits.
- Great special teams, even though the opponent was one of the poorest ranked team in this department. What a weapon Santana Moss is!! (52-yard punt return for a TD)
- Protection for the quarterback and a quarterback who stepped up in the pocket, not backwards or sideways. (Chad's two runs included an 9-yard TD)
- Excellent utilization and production from the tight end (Anthony Becht with 4 receptions)
- Some pressure on the quarterback (including a fabulous sack by Ray Mickens)
The coaching deserves a lot of credit. Paul Hackett finally abandoned his very conservative game plan and really mixed it up. Instead of dogmatically trying to establish the run at all costs, he threw first and THEN set up the run. Ok, Curtis did not have a great game running the ball but Lamont Jordan certainly did. We are going to have to use him more as the season progresses. The game plan was letter perfect, just like the weather.
Of course, we can always find fault. But those two personal foul penalties all but gave them their first touchdown. When J.P. Machado had a holding penalty in the second half, Herm quickly pulled him. Jonathon Goodwin really helped especially in the Jordan 61-yard scamper right through his left guard position. Let us permanently banish Machado to the bench.
The pass coverage did not hurt us. Share on Twitter