Hard Knock New York Jets Go into Bye Week Leading the NFL in Wins
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Most Jets fans loved the team's appearance on Hard Knocks this past summer, as Rex Ryan and company introduced themselves to the rest of the country as a team to be feared.
The boastful Ryan oozes confidence and swagger at all times, and isn't shy when cameras are around. The boisterous Ryan, who famously signed an ESPN bus with the phrase "soon-to-be champs" a few months ago, made it known what he expected of his team in this classic clip from the beginning of training camp.
At 5-1, the Jets enter their Week 7 bye week leading the league in f---ing wins, just as Rex Ryan predicted. Obviously, there are 10 games remaining, but after six weeks of play there are only three teams in the entire league that have less than two losses already.
The Steelers, who just got star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger back from suspension, are at 4-1 after their win today. The Patriots are 4-1 as well after beating the Ravens, their only loss is to the Jets.
Both teams will have a chance to catch up next week, but for now the Jets are the only team in the NFL with five wins, not to mention a five-game winning streak. Not too bad for a team that started the season with a lackluster 10-9 loss in Week 1.
Lead the league in wins. Simple enough.
The Jets didn't play perfect on Sunday—far from it. It was ugly at times with the Jets committing three turnovers after having only one the first five weeks, including the first two interceptions of the year by Mark Sanchez.
But the Jets fought till the bitter end, and Sanchez made a huge play on 4th-and-6, throwing up a jump ball to Santonio Holmes that Holmes almost caught despite being mugged by the defensive back, drawing a huge pass interference penalty that gave the Jets a first and goal. LaDainian Tomlinson walked in for the game-winning touchdown on the next play.
With the Broncos prolific pass offense driving dangerously close to the red zone as time was running down, the Jets got a huge break as the Broncos got a terrible snap that Kyle Orton never came close to.
Dwight Lowery, who last week had the game clinching pick-six against the Vikings was there again to recover the fumble and close out the victory for the second time in six days. At this point, Lowery is the Jets' equivalent to Mariano Rivera, shutting the door on the opponent when the defense needs it the most.
The stats were ugly all the way around. Sanchez was only 17 of 30 for 198 yards, a touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards and the two interceptions. Even the Jets top-ranked running game was held to 4.3 yards per carry, as Tomlinson was the leading rusher with only 55 yards but two huge fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Yet, despite getting a tremendous effort by Josh McDaniels and his squad, the Jets walked away with a hard-fought victory. These are the games good teams win. The games where mediocre opponents step up, smelling an upset, only to be turned away.
The Jets cannot expect to win every game for the rest of the season and end up 18-1, but it's damn refreshing to see the resilience of a team that hasn't played its best football yet, but still finds a way to come out on top when the dust settles.
Rex Ryan said it best in his postgame press conference: "We don't care. We'll take it," Ryan said. "I'd like to apologize for that win. No, I wouldn't."
Now the Jets won't play again until they come back home to host the Green Bay Packers on Halloween. Until then, they get a well-earned week off next week so they can hammer out the mistakes they've made so far on the young season, and rest up their nagging injuries.
Buckle up, Jets fans, it's gonna be a wild ride.
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