The Jets On The Ropes

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Time was dwindling--1:42 left to the game and it was fourth down and six yards to go. The two teams faced each other, and the next snap of the ball would undoubtedly seal the fate of one team.

[Black Star Sports]

What started out as a promising season for the New York Jets could soon come crashing to end judging by the team’s hard luck in recent weeks.
Take the team’s last game for instance.

In the Jets' heartbreaking 10–7 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at the Meadowlands, rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez threw three interceptions; one to start the first drive of the Jet’s offense and another to end the game. But he’s not to blame for the loss.

“We thought we had a great chance to make it to the playoffs, but Atlanta found a way to win,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “When you miss three field goals – and I don’t think any of them were Jay’s Feely fault – that’s hard to take,” he said, adding, “We had some untimely penalties, three interceptions and Mark was just trying to make a play on the last one.”

The loss certainly brings down the Christmas spirits of Jets’ players, staff, fans and CBS executives, who were chopping at the bits to see a game of significance next week at Indianapolis. Like the snowballs that rain down from the stands during the final moments of the game, the chances of the Jets making the playoffs has hit the surface and splattered.

Still, it's an interesting team to watch. Under the helm of their defensive minded coach, Rex Ryan, the team's defense is ranked number one in the league. And their experienced offensive line had opened the gates for their running backs, more particularly, Thomas Jones who leads the lead in rushing which anoints them as the number one rushing team in the league.

But the Falcons did what few teams achieved in the league, which was to stop the Jets’ running game. Thomas Jones completed the day with 52 yards on 19 carries. Sanchez did enough to win this game with 18 completion and 32 attempts for 226 yards and one touchdown. But it was the Jets’ defense that carried them through out the game.

The Jets were clinging to a 7-3 lead with 1:53 left in the fourth quarter, second down and six yards to victory for the Falcons. Quarterback, Matt Ryan in the pocket, threw to wide receiver Roddy White but the ball was batted away by safety Jim Leonard. The next play, Ryan goes right, throws to future hall of-famer, tight end Tony Gonzales, but corner back Darrelle Revis swatted the ball.

Time was dwindling--1:42 left to the game and it was fourth down and six yards to go. The two teams faced each other, and the next snap of the ball would undoubtedly seal the fate of one team. The tension was gripping. Then a snowball landed in front of the players, and then another. The play began, Gonzales planted himself in the end zone....there it was!

“We were rushing three and figured we’d trap Gonzalez by putting a guy over top of him, a guy inside him and a guy outside him,” said head coach Ryan. “We just never executed it.”

The Jets knew that the ball would either go to White or Gonzales.

“They ran exactly what they were supposed to run,” said safety Leonard on the Falcons winning touchdown. “We didn’t get it done.”

Professional athletes are what they are; professionals. But when snowballs rain down from the stands during one of the most crucial moments of the game?


 

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