Ryan Fitzpatrick plays with a torn ligament in his non-throwing hand but guides the Jets to a win over the Jaguars on Sunday afternoon.
What we learned
The Jets played down to the level their competition. Todd Bowles’ team let the lowly Jaguars hang around for much of the game when this should have been a laugher. It was as unimpressive of a victory in a long time.
Thirty-five-year old Calvin Pace. The oldest player on the team made the biggest play of the day by drilling Blake Bortles, creating a fumble and recovering it with a little more than five minutes to go. The Jets scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive, which proved critical since Jacksonville found the endzone with a little more than two minutes to go to get within one score. Marcus Williams’ second interception with 43 seconds left sealed the win.
What this means
The 5-3 Jets ended their two-game losing streak and remain one of the handful of legitimate wild card contenders along with the Steelers, Raiders and Bills. Bowles’ team will have to play much better in the second half if they want to break their four-year playoff drought.
Ryan Fitzpatrick’s “special glove” apparently worked. The veteran, who showed no ill effects from the torn ligament he suffered in his left thumb last week, threw a pair of touchdowns and didn’t commit a turnover. He wore the padded glove for protection.
Good sign II
Eric Decker’s rapport with Fitzpatrick is one of the most important elements to the Jets’ success that rarely gets discussed. The pair connected for key plays to help build a 14-10 halftime lead. Fitzpatrick’s perfectly thrown back-shoulder pass for Decker for 25 yards set up Decker’s 7-yard touchdown for the Jets’ first score. The quarterback and receiver hooked up for a 15-yard gain on fourth down later in the first quarter to help set up Chris Ivory’s 1-yard score.
The Jets’ curious decision to try to run out the clock starting a drive from their 15-yard line with 1:30 left in the first half despite having all three timeouts was a head scratcher. Bowles’ team went three-and-out. The Jaguars needed just two plays and 12 seconds to cut the Jets lead to 14-10 at intermission.
Bad Sign II
Antonio Cromartie was beat by Allen Hurns on back-to-back plays on that Jacksonville scoring drive. Hurns’ 20-yard reception set up his 30-yard touchdown. Cromartie has given up six touchdowns this season, including three in the past two weeks.
Bad Sign III
Kicker Nick Folk’s right quad injury suffered at some point before kickoff prevented him from kicking PATs, FGs and kickoffs. Ryan Quigley filled in. The Jets don’t have much time to hope that Folk during this short week. Expect the Jets to sign a kicker for the Thursday night game against the Bills.
Nick Mangold and his sore neck lasted only four drives. The Pro Bowl center was replaced by Wesley Johnson in the second quarter. His availability against Buffalo is unknown.
Rex Ryan rolls into town for a Thursday night showdown that he has likely been looking forward to the minute the NFL schedule was released. Ryan has taken plenty of not-so-subtle shots at former general manager John Idzik, but has steered clear of any critical remarks about Woody Johnson, who was exceedingly patient with him before finally cutting the cord after the four consecutive years without making the playoffs.
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