by Eddie Mayrose

Football Gods Still Smiling On New York Jets

Shonn Greene had just crossed the goal line at the end of a bruising fifty-one yard run that had given the Jets a stunning cheap_seats_3_17-7 lead over San Diego with seven minutes left in their Divisional Round playoff game on Sunday.  As Greene was being mobbed by his teammates and my sons and I were jumping all over the living room, the phone rang.  It was my dad, a well-meaning yet naive Giant fan, calling to congratulate us on a big win.  I picked up the phone, horrified, and said, “Are you crazy?  You can’t call me now.  Do you have any idea how much disaster the Jets can pack into seven minutes?”  And, sure enough, Rex Ryan immediately suffered his only brain cramp of the day; electing to squib the kickoff and hand the ball to the Chargers on the New York side of the field.  There wasn’t a fan over thirty that didn’t believe we were about to be treated to another Jet horror show.

It was then, however, that Gang Green entered the Bizarro World, one where the opponent melts down and the good guys triumph.  Instead of Mark Gastineau roughing the passer, it was Vincent Jackson kicking the challenge flag.  While he may have looked like Doug Brien, it was actually Nate Kaeding, the league’s best kicker, who doomed the Chargers with two missed field goals.  And, finally, Norv Turner’s tragic decision to on-side kick with two minutes remaining was right out of Joe Walton’s coaching manual.  As Jets fans, we’d seen each of these gaffes before but, always, they were committed by our side.  Had the football gods decided we’d finally had enough?  Maybe.  But it’s very possible that the smash mouth brand of football being played by the Jets is exactly the Jets vs. Chargersstyle that brings about such good fortune.  Whatever it is, you have to admit they rate somewhat more of a puncher’s chance against Peyton Manning and Co. this week.

There’s no arguing that, since a Week 15 loss to the Falcons, Lady Luck has been wearing green.  The ton of help necessary to make the playoffs was provided by a multitude of teams.  The first round matchup with the Bengals was the best they could’ve drawn, as was San Diego in the second round.  Their cause has been aided immensely by five missed field goals over the first two games and, much like their matchup with the Chargers, they’ll face a team in Indianapolis with an inferior running game.  Could it be that the stars have finally aligned in their favor?   I don’t know.  But, as long as they continue to dominate their opponent with the league’s best ground attack and the NFL‘s top defensive unit forces the Colts off their game plan, their Super Bowl trip to Miami will have nothing to do with luck.  Though, just in case, I’ll be wearing the same clothes I wore the last two weeks.

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One Response to “The View from the Cheap Seats”

  1. As a wise man once said, “What you think you know on Thanksgiving is never true in January.”

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