The New York Jets did what they have all year this Sunday: followed a loss with a win. The Jets beat the (6-2) New Orleans Saints 26-20 to improve to (5-4) entering the bye week.
Rex Ryan defeated his brother Rob Ryan once again, making him 4-0 against Rob in his career. The Jets punched the Saints right in the mouth and got physical with New Orleans on both sides of the ball. Chris Ivory, against his former team, rushed for 139 yards and a touchdown.
Geno Smith managed the game well as he was not asked to do to much on Sunday. Smith’s most important play of the game was his go-ahead touchdown run late in the second half. Smith only completed 8 passes for 114 yards, but didn’t turn the ball over.
The Jets took advantage of a finesse Saints defense and controlled the ball all day. The Jets battled yet again on offense with a depleted wide receiving corps. Santonio Holmes and Jeff Cumberland didn’t play, while Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley combined for 1 catch and 1 yard. The Jets relied heavily on the running game and Chris Ivory came through in a big way.
The difference in the game was the New York Jets’ defense. The Jets beat up the Saints, pressuring and hitting Drew Brees all day. The Jets defense dominated the line of scrimmage, holding the Saints to 41 yards rushing. Brees was sacked only twice but had pressure in his face every time he dropped back to pass.
The Jets forced two interceptions that led to 10 points and had a huge stuff on 4th and inches. The Jets secondary rebounded in a big way and rookie Dee Milliner had his best game as a pro. Milliner had 4 tackles and a pass break-up, but more importantly wasn’t beat for any big plays down the field. The Jets’ front seven put the pressure on Brees easing the stress on the secondary, exactly the formula they need if they want to continue to win down the stretch.
This was a huge win for the Gang Green, moving to (5-4) before the bye with only one team with a winning record left on the schedule. The Jets will need to continue to be physical on both sides of the ball if they want to contend down the stretch. If the Jets keep getting those results from the ground game and not have to rely on Geno Smith to win football games, the Jets won’t be easy to beat.
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