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Recent posts by Kevin Fishbain
Something clicked in the Jets' locker room at halftime of their Week Seven game against the Chargers.
Trailing San Diego 21-10 and facing a 3-4 start to the season, the Jets put together their best half of the season, coming back to win 27-21. They won it the Jets' way, by running the ball, putting Mark Sanchez in favorable situations and stepping up on defense.
We have seen glimpses of these Jets, but they have been few and far between this season. What we saw in the second half on Sunday is exactly why you cannot count Rex Ryan's crew out of a wild-card spot, and we know what kind of damage the Jets can do in the postseason.
The PFW Spin
Philip Rivers looked completely befuddled in the second half, culminating on a bizarre final drive in which he threw the ball out of bounds on fourth down, helping seal the win for the Jets.
The Jets' defense had a couple key sequences that shut down San Diego's attack in the second stanza. They forced two three-and-outs in the third quarter — one of which led to a Jets touchdown on their ensuing drive.
On a 3rd-and-10 from the Chargers' six-yard line, CBs Kyle Wilson and Donald Strickland blitzed Rivers. Wilson hit Rivers as the signalcaller floated a pass incomplete to a receiver covered by both Antonio Cromartie and Brodney Pool.
On the Chargers' next set of downs, DL Muhammad Wilkerson got his hands up and deflected a Rivers third-down pass to TE Antonio Gates, forcing a punt.
The Jets mixed up looks and confused Rivers throughout the second half, getting pressure on him without bringing the house. In typical Rex Ryan fashion, the Jets' surplus of defensive backs kept WR Vincent Jackson from beating them. He had only one catch for 15 yards despite being targeted eight times.
In the second half, the Chargers mustered 117 yards, five first downs and zero points. This wasn't an anomaly either. The Jets have yet to allow a passing touchdown in the fourth quarter this season while picking off four passes. Opposing quarterbacks have a passer rating of 43.7 against the Jets in the fourth quarter.
While the defense was returning to form, even without DE Mike DeVito, the run game got going in a big way. For the third consecutive game, Greene had at least 20 carries. He rushed for a season-high 112 yards and a 5.6-yard rushing average in the win. Greene averaged 39.2 rushing yards in the first four contests. In the last three, since the Jets returned to the "ground and pound," he is averaging 89.7 yards.
Greene's runs helped get the Jets into the red zone, where Sanchez found Plaxico Burress three times for three touchdowns. So much for all the talk about them not having chemistry.
Sanchez's accuracy wasn't great, and he threw a bad interception on an underthrown ball toward the endzone, but the effective run game and throws to Burress masked that.
The Jets needed this win. With both the Patriots and Bills, the AFC East leaders, on bye, the Jets were able to gain a half-game heading into their own bye week. It was crucial to win in the fashion that they did against a quality opponent like San Diego. If this is a sign of things to come, it's a reminder to not write off the Gang Green.