However, things seem to be changing on all highways for the better. Let's begin with our normal Sunday drive to the game. What a wonderful and relaxing Sunday afternoon at the Meadowlands. Even the parking was not as bizarre as it had been. The obtrusive "Security Guards" did not seem to be frisking as vigorous as usual, maybe because it is the Thanksgiving Holiday. We even got to our seats before the kick-off.
Sunday's performance against the Bills was a true all-around team effort. The engine was clicking on all cylinders as everything functioned like a high precision car. The offense lead by Curtis Martin and Chad Pennington, was not to be overshadowed by a defense that produced 3 turnovers (14 points) and a special teams effort that made starting field position an essential factor of the game. The fans were highly motivated and energized. Fireman Ed even lead his cheers from various sections, as he, like the Jets, spread the wealth around and truly made it an overall team performance.
As we have said in the recent weeks, "treat each game as if it were a playoff game and don't look beyond the next opponent". That is a part of the success in putting together four straight victories. It has worked very well thus far and there is no reason to think that it will not continue to help lift the Jets past the Dolphins and Patriots in the remaining five weeks of this uncanny and unpredictable season.
The reasons for the recent success and more specifically in this weeks 31-13 victory against the Bills are highlighted below. For the Jets to win this Monday night and repeat their regular season victory against the Raiders from last year, they have to be focused and play aggressively on both sides of the ball.
Within the last few weeks, we have seen the Jets function in all aspects of the game of football that back in July we had hoped to see every week this season. On Sunday it all came together in one game against a pretty good opponent. We have been critical of their defense every game, but on Sunday there were few errors. Yes, the opponent's tight end is still open over the middle on every play. Yes, the corners still cover soft. Yes, there really is not a great pass rush, but give the Bills offensive line some credit. They are BIG and very good. But all in all, it was a great effort by the defense on Sunday. Our biggest misgiving is to finally conclude that our first round pick Bryan Thomas is an unqualified bust. How can you not even dress a healthy Number One?
On offense it is nothing but Kudos!! Chad Pennington (15-24-0-178) is the 21st Century prototypical QB. Mobile (what a great fake on Eddie Robinson on Fourth Down), smart and a pretty decent arm. It was windy on the field and his passing was OK. Twice he threw poorly to Anthony Becht that should have been easy tosses, but he spread the ball around, Coles 7-78, Moss 2-30, Becht 2-25, Martin 1-18, and Chrebet 1-15. Only one pass to Richie Anderson on the famous one-yard pass that Hackett loves to call. By the way, after the comments that Chrebet made about Hackett, it is no wonder why he only threw his way once on Sunday. However, it may have been the play of the day converting on third and long. But from our perspective, Wayne was open on almost ever play. Chad really had his time to pick and choose his targets on Sunday and he spread it around very nicely. The Bills have two great corners as the strength of their defense, but after that it is a big fall-off.
It is nice to see the ol' Curtis Martin (21-120). He had some big holes following Mawae's blocks. (Did you notice Mawae never seems to hit anyone when he pulls?) With Martin running like he used to, it really helps the passing game and vice versa. With Dave Szott starting to play ne