The New York Jets: Every Party Has a Pooper...
When I was a very young kid we used to sing to the last kid to arrive at every party. The song was rather childish and inane and it went like this, "Every party has a pooper, that's why we invited you. You're a party pooper."
Today, the NFL playoffs got their last kid into the party and this time it was a rather unlikely entry. A team from Gotham whose own coach thought they had been eliminated in Week 15.
The Jets will be playing a Colts team that was on their way to eliminating them in Week 16 before removing their first team and literally handing them the win that allowed them entry into the playoffs. Unless you want to count the win Rex Ryan's renegades got the following week when the Bengals rested their starters at the end of the season.
Of course we all know how well that worked out for Bengals. The Jets used the Bengal's largess to knock Cincinnati out of the playoffs during Wild Card Weekend.
Then came this weekend's games.
As the weekend wore on, with each of the top seeds clubbing their foes into submission, leading fans to believe that the four top teams in the NFL would face off in a winner take all battle royal during the last two weeks of the season.
Not only would they be getting the NFL's best teams, they would be getting the top four quarterbacks as well. Peyton Manning's Indianapolis Colts, Brett Favre's Minnesota Vikings, and Drew Brees's New Orleans Saints would be joined by the hottest team in the NFL over the second half of the season. Philip Rivers' San Diego Chargers.
During the first half it looked like the Chargers-Jets game was going to form. The New Yorkers didn't even get a first down until well into the second quarter, while Rivers was consistently moving the Chargers up and down the field.
It was only a matter of time before either the Jets' rookie QB Mark Sanchez made a fatal mistake or Philip Rivers moved the Chargers down the field for the score that would put away the game.
Unfortunately for San Diego, a combination of Charger mistakes, a tough New York defense and two missed field goals by normally solid placekicker Nate Kaeding allowed the Jets to stay within a touchdown at the half.
There are plenty of articles that will tell you what happened after the half. The rookie quarterback made all the right plays, the Jets defense came up big, and Pro Bowler Kaeding missed again from 40 yards.
The question is, what does Rex Ryan know that the rest of us do not? Ryan told everyone who would listen that the Jets were the team to beat in this years' playoffs.
Of course everyone likes to mention that Ryan was the same coach who thought his team was eliminated after a lackluster home defeat to the Atlanta Falcons back in December. The same Rex Ryan whose father Buddy regularly talked out of his neck when he was a head coach in Philadelphia.
How could this man know something that all the commentators and experts do not?
Forty-one years ago Joe Namath guaranteed his New York Jets would knock off the big, bad Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. Most commentators at the time thought he was either being foolish or showing false bravado.
People are saying the same things about Ryan now.
Namath made his guarantee poolside in Miami. The same city that will host this year's big game in two weeks.
After four weeks of unlikely wins and lucky breaks it might be time to take Rex Ryan for his word.
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