For the New York Jets It was not a pretty victory by any means.
The game was filled with penalties, a bobbled snap, two turnovers, missed opportunities but it was a win nonetheless as the Jets now head to Lambeau Field with a motivated Green Bay Packers team who lost their opener.
But a win, as they say, is a win and Jets fans will take it.
The first blunder happened as Geno aired a textbook pass over the defending corner to wideout Greg Salas, however Salas was unable to haul it in and was noticeably frustrated after the play.
On Geno Smith’s first drive he went 5-6, 44 yds, and would have been a perfect starting drive had Greg Salas stretched for the ball and made the touchdown.
The Jets were forced instead to go for a 35 yard fieldgoal, which Mr.automatic, Nick Folk hit, but it’s called back because of a penalty, luckily Folk took it in stride and hit the 45 harder dead on.
In the first quarter, Geno Smith fumbled a snap which led to a sack. On the play, TE-Jace Amaro comes across the middle (behind the line) and actually moves out of the way of the very defender who goes on to sack Smith.
Shortly thereafter Amaro has a beauty thrown to him in the clear, but he, like Salas, couldn’t pull it in.
Geno Smith then fumbles on the two yard line ending the drive as Oakland recovers the ball.
Geno bounced back from his mistakes in the game. Taking off with the ball 10 times for 38 yards on the ground and did not throw another interception in the game.
On Geno running with the ball Oakland’s head coach Dennis Allen said;
“I think that was the biggest factor in the first half of the football game, because he was able to keep some plays alive and create some things and get out of the pocket, convert some first downs, It allowed them to maintain possession of the ball a little bit longer in the first half than we would have liked.”
Rex Ryan, speaking to the flaws of the game said;
“The 11 penalties is definitely bothersome. We have to take care of the football better. We fumbled twice and never had any takeaways. We dropped some balls. That’s still a work in progress and it has to get better for us to do what we want to do, Red-zone penalties absolutely kill you. This should have been a ‘rat-kill’ and it wasn’t,”
Rex Ryan praised Geno Smith for the day but said he made two costly mistakes.
“Know the down and distance. We’re in field goal range, just take a sack or throw it away. He tried to make something happen and we took a big loss, (fumble) That’s avoidable, but I’m proud of Geno. He bounced back. The kid can throw it. We have to protect for him. When the protection holds up, this kid can make all the throws.”
Calvin Pryor had an interception, well almost had an interception. He dropped it as he was thinking of running it in for a pick 6 way before he even secured the ball. The ball slipped out of his grasp.
“Ah man I don’t even wanna … I had seen the endzone before I caught the ball, I guess you can say I popped my cherry on that one, it won’t happen no more, I’ll make sure I get the next one”
A record set, well tied anyway;
Chris Ivory broke one open, Ivory who had 10 carries for 102 yards on the day, broke open the game’s biggest play, running for 71 yards for a touchdown, making Jets history. The run tied for the second longest in Jets team history. The longest for the team since 2009 when Thomas Jones did it on the road against the Buffalo Bills.
Upon learning the facts Ivory said:
“Just a great run. I was able to break one or two (tackles), I saw a cutback lane and took it, and after that, just try to see who’s the fastest to the end zone. I got caught but hey, a touchdown’s a touchdown.”
Chris Johnson, who was famous for criticizing the ofensive line of his last team was impressed by the job the Jets O-Line did;
“What were were the stats? Like 200 or something like (that). 212 (as a team), yeah. That tells the story right there,” adding, “The offensive line did a great job pushing those guys back, giving us an opportunity to be one-on-one with safety and make plays.”
Eric Decker said he ws a little nervous when asked about playing for the first time with the Jets;
“I think what added to it was, new team, new experience. It was good though. That first drive got them out of me, I’ve got to tell you, I love playing with these guys. This is a fun group and I look forward to doing big things with these guys.”
Mike Vick had some gadget plays as the Jets almost got a touchdown as Chris Johnson lined up in the wildcat formation, passed it off to a waiting Mike Vick who threw it in the endzone for Eric Decker who was unable to corral it.
The Vick gadget plays didn’t work. Should they continue?
The Jets offensive line was much improved over 2013, giving Geno the time he needed. A great performance sans the penalties.
The Jets defense was also outstanding, stuffing the run, getting pressure, sacks and a near interception. Look for them to only improve as the backfield gels.
It’s fair to mention that the Raiders first score was “allowed” by the referee, who was standing at the goal line waiting to make the touchdown call as the Jets defensive player was clearly held, in plain sight. Not only was the penalty not called, but even the media announcers advised mentioning it.
When the Jets get a handle on the penalties and play to their full potential, they will indeed be tough to beat.