Talk about flying high.
I mean, what a day. Aside from a Superbowl victory, the only thing that could possibly be sweeter than the Cowboys’ humiliating loss in the morning game is the impossible win by the Jets in the late game… and getting both… well, there are no words.
A great day for Brett Favre and all the hornheads up in Minnesota. Jerry Jones and the Cowboys were not merely beaten, they were really most sincerely beaten. Spanked. The Purple Gang outplayed them on offense, defense, special teams, coaching, every way one team can outplay another. Given the fact the the Vikes crushed my beloved Giants in their last regular season team, it was loverly to see them do the same to the Cowboys when it really, really counted. Maybe Minnesota really is that good.
And the Jets game… Keyshawn Johnson was the only one of the talking heads on ESPN who picked them, and so far as I know it was the same on the other networks. No one gave them a chance. Everyone already had the Chargers penciled in to face to Colts for the AFC crown.
Well, here’s what I say to that
The Jets/ Chargers game was supposed to be the weekend’s biggest blowout, and instead turned out to be the only close contest of the divisional game. Gang Green played some incredible defense, and had just as much offense as they needed. Yes, San Diego contributed mightily to their own demise. The battle-seasoned veteran QB threw twice as many picks as our rookie Mark Sanchez. The running back who stole LT’s nickname was a non-factor.
San Diego’s bone-headed penalties undermined them repeatedly on offense. The worst was that after-the-play head butt, though all those false starts didn’t help (it was their stadium, by rights the Jets should have been the ones false starting). The much-discussed kicking-the-challenge-flag penalty was boneheaded as well, but actually did not hurt much, since San Diego went on to get the touchdown anyway. The three missed field goals were huge.
And the coaching needs to get some of the blame. Norv Turner is already getting roundly criticized for the onsides kick, and justifiably. It was a bad call. But I also think his decision to try and kick a field goal at the end of the first half was a mistake. Kickers are known to be fragile, and Kaeding had already missed one field goal (much shorter)… which had to have awakened ghosts of the one he missed the last time the Jets played the Chargers in the playoffs, a miss that cost San Diego that game. So with time about to expire in the first half, Norv summons him back onto the field to attempt a 57–yarder… when 57 yards was his career long. Too much risk there, for too little reward. When Kaeding missed that one too, it had to have seriously messed with his head. Having missed the first two FGs, he was in no shape to kick the crucial third one near the end of the game… and, indeed, he missed it.
(Parris and I helped as well. Every time Kaeding lined up to attempt a FG, we made hex signs at the screen and yelled BOOGA-BOOGA-BOOGA as he made his approach. We also booga’d the Cowboys kicker in the morning game. Hey, we had a great day with our hexes).
Of course, none of this would have mattered if the Jets had not played so hard. The Chargers stuffed their run for the whole first half, but they never abandoned it. They just kept pounding, pounding, pounding, and finally San Diego cracked and Shonn Green burst through for the crucial touchdown run. Oh, that was sweet.
This is the kind of football I love. Hard-hitting defense, a running game, low score. I’ll take that any day over the glorified Madden Game contests like Green Bay/ Arizona.
And now the Jets return to Indianapolis to face the Colts again. Heehah. Talk about irony. Talk about poetic justice. Beware, Dr. Frankenstein. The monster you created is coming back. I hope all your guys are really well rested.
Everyone will pick against the Jets this week too. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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