With the Panthers season long over, John Fox locked in for one more year as Head Coach, and the decision on whether or not to keep Julius Peppers still lingering, I had nothing to do with my Sunday. So, I decided to relax and watch a game that I thought was locked down before play even began.
As a Bleacher Report Editorial Intern I've seen a lot of NFL predictions and the general consensus for this game was that the Chargers had it. Their offense was stronger, their defense was better, and most writers agreed that the Jets just did not have what it took to pull off a win.
And I admit, I agreed with them.
Rivers to Sanchez? Greene to Tomlinson? (By the way, check out Tomlinson's Electric Glide, it made my Wednesday a whole world better.) I like the Jets and think they have a lot of potential, but I didn't think they had it in this game.
As I explained it to my mom, a woman who is football illiterate but could rock your socks in Bingo, the Chargers had the B, the I, the N, and the G while the Jets only had the B and the I. They still had a shot but it didn't look good.
So my mom, the brilliant woman that she is, said to remember that sometimes the N and the G can come up quickly and to not count the Jets out. She said, "Sometimes the team with the most heart is the one the wins."
I liked her sentiment, and personally enjoy an underdog, so I wanted the Jets to pull off the win. But I shook my head, said the statistics just didn't look good, and the Chargers would win.
Lesson learned: Always listen to Mom.
As we watched the game, I sat in amazement. I expected this game to be similar to Saturday's Saints vs. Cardinals game—touchdown after touchdown with the Jets unable to do much about it. But the first quarter went by and nobody scored.
Then the second quarter went by and the Jets were still going strong. They're defense did a great job at stopping the Charger's running game. With the exception of the Charger's single touchdown, I felt like I was watching the same Chargers offense on repeat: Rivers got in the pocket, threw a beautiful throw to Tomlinson or Gates, and then, boom, the Jets take him down with the Charger's only gaining a couple of yards.
Halftime came and the score is only 7-0, Chargers.
So I think, Ok, yes the Jets are doing one heck of a job holding their own, yes the Chargers look like their getting frustrated, but still, it's only the half. The Chargers are winning, it's still anyone's game, and the Jets still haven't put any points up.
Until the third quarter came and they did.
The Jets continue to hold off the Chargers, Feely kicked a field goal bringing the score to 3-7, and Rivers then threw a pass that the Jets intercepted. As the game continued, The Chargers seemed to be losing their composure more and more while the Jets' confidence and abilities grew and grew.
By the time the fourth quarter came around, the Chargers received a penalty for unnecessary roughness, Keading attempted and missed his third field goal of the game, and the Jets made two touchdowns.
And when Rivers finally made a long 37 yard pass that was caught by Jackson, a catch that was justthisclose to being out of bounds, Jackson kicked the penalty flag right in front of the Ref and received a 15 yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
At this point there's about four minutes left in the game and my mom said, "Oh, the Jets have this."
Thinking I was much more knowledge in football than her, I said, "I wouldn't be too sure, a lot can happen in four minutes."
And it did. The Chargers made their second touchdown of the game with only two minutes to go and then decided to go for an onside kick to try and regain possession.
But, fortunately for the Jets, the Chargers hopes were dashed when Kerry Rhodes made the catch. The Jets played on and made it to 4th-and-1 with about a minute left. Unsure of what to do, Rex Ryan called timeout.
The Jets decided to go for it and fortunately the underdog proved victorious, as the Jets got the first down.
Seeing the win, my mom smiled then turned to me and said, "See, I told you the team with the most heart wins."
So congratulations Jets, you definitely earned it and absolutely deserve it.
And when you play the Colts next week, remember, take mom's advice, play with all the heart you have, and you might just pull off another surprise win.