Jets Emerging Football Power?

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[New York Sports]

The New York Jets’s dazzling 24-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans makes them undefeated for the season; which is the fourth time in their franchise history where they started at such a lofty 3-0 perch.

There are 13 games left to the season and the judgment of their destiny is as certain as their next win or loss.  Nonetheless, the Jets came out strong in their first drive, as rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez was certainly impressive, connecting with wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery on two consecutive passes for 35 yards, putting the Jets at striking distance at the 14 yard line.

A defining moment for the game and perhaps of Sanchez’s future career occurred early. Sanchez, under pressure from the Titans’ defensive unit, scrambled on third down and 10 and lunged into the end zone. He smacked into Titans safety Michael Griffin and the ball wiggled away and belly-flopped on the wet turf of the Meadowlands.  Instant replay confirmed that the ball in Sanchez’s hand broke the plane of the end zone before he fumbled, giving the Jets the lead on opening drive.

Call it skill. Call it luck. Call it courageous. Whatever it is called, it indicates anything can happen on any given Sunday.

“Yeah, maybe I could have slid or tried to get out of the way, but that’s the way I’ve been playing since I was little,” said Sanchez. “I don’t know if the coaches were thrilled about it, but there were no injuries or anything, so that was a good play.”

On the subsequent kick-off to the Titans, fortune went astray, as punt receiver Ryan Mouton was stripped of the ball by Jason Trusnick of the Jet’s special team, who recovered the ball, setting up Sanchez’s 14 yard pass to tight end Ben Hartsock for the 14-0 lead.

Easy win it appeared then; but the Tennessee Titans fought back.

“You get ahead and we’re trying to take time off the clock, but you have to give that team credit,” said Jets coach Rex Ryan about the Titans. “They have some good football players over there and they stayed after us.”

Although the Titans are armed with an explosive running back, Chris Johnson, sturdy receivers and a stingy defense that hindered the Jets’ running game to a total of 83 yards and total net yards of 229 for the day, the Titans are 0-3 for the season, losing their home opener to the Pittsburgh Steelers 13-10 and the Houston Texans 34-10.

Still, they are a formidable opponent.

“Honestly, we said it earlier this week that Tennessee is not a team to be taken lightly and the way they play is not what their record shows. It was just one of those situations where they came out and they refused to be beat. It was a hard game. They had some things that they did and they did some things with momentum,” said defensive tackle Kris Jenkins.

“But the thing that I love about this team is that regardless of what everybody says, regardless of what everybody thinks about us, regardless of whatever adversity we deal with, we know we have the support of our fans, we have the support of each other, and we just found a way to fight and win.”

After victories against some of the toughest teams in the league, they now face the undefeated, high scoring New Orleans Saints away next week. The number one defensive team in the league against the number one offensive team should be special.

“We will watch the film from this game, eliminate all of the mistakes so you don’t get complacent, and we look forward to New Orleans come Wednesday,” said linebacker, David Harris who is having a Pro Bowl season. “Today, we’ll enjoy the win, but it’s early in the season.”


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