A win? Yes, one of those. The New York Jets defeated the San Francisco 49ers 20-17 in OT. It might’ve been against one of the worst teams in the league, but it was impressive in certain aspects, nonetheless.
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December 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) celebrates after the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, the New York Jets have won another game! Within the first minute of the game, the sighs were already coming.
The disastrous season was shown in that minute, and to think that there was still 59 more left in the game, was quite a feeling. San Francisco, like every team that goes against a rookie quarterback, wanted to pressure Petty early and often. They did just that, racking up 6 sacks and 11 quarterback hits. The putrid offensive line can be to blame for this, but that kid DeForest Buckner is one special player. Kudos to him.
Now, as I was reading the comments on Facebook from my last post-game piece, I noticed what you all wanted. A grade lower than an F. Well, unfortunately, I don’t believe I can give one to anyone tonight. But, as a disclaimer, the letter “J” will be my equivalent of a grade lower than an F. Why? Well, “J” for “Jets,” and c’mon, being a Jet fan can, and usually does, feel worse than things should be.
Oh, Bryce. How he and the Jets love to play with us fans’ emotional states. The pick to begin the game was choreographed to perfection. Look at one receiver, come off a one-step-drop-back, and boom. Easy pickin’ (literally). But, that didn’t bring the Baylor product to a halt. Confidence still swarmed the field, and it was contagious throughout the offense. The offense played with swagger. They didn’t play like a 4-9 offense. They played like an offense with a huge chip on their shoulder.
Petty showed off his arm but wasn’t able to connect on long bombs to Robby Anderson. Anderson, by the way, has established himself as Petty’s clear-cut favorite. How could he not be? They’ve had a great share of second-team reps throughout the year. Anyway, Petty would make crucial throws and even got the tight end position working.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Brandon Bostick combined for 5 catches for 52 yards. The tight end position? Is this the same Jets we know? It was a very refreshing scene to see young guys prove their spots on the team, and come out with a win. Having a fired-up and young gunslinger in Petty helped bring this out. He went 23/35 for 257 yards, a pick, and a sick two-point conversion run.
December 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) scores the game-winning touchdown against San Francisco 49ers strong safety Antoine Bethea (41) during overtime at Levi
Now, if I could make a grade that surpasses an A, this is my attempt. After Matt Forte went down with a right knee injury, Powell made us forget about it. Many have said Powell should’ve been incorporated more into the offense this year, and I couldn’t agree more. I’ve always said he’s like a cannon shooting out of the backfield, and always makes a play. Powell is a game-changer and proved it against a beatable 49ers defense.
He was used in the passing game as a swing-man and for screens, as well as being an acceptable blocker. Reeling in 5 passes for 34 yards, Powell was the third leading receiver for New York. Most noticeably, though, was the damage Powell dealt on the ground. He sliced-and-diced his way to a career-high 145 yards on 29 carries. Also added, were two touchdowns, including the game-winner for 19 yards in overtime.
Anderson also contributed with a career day, notching six grabs for 99 yards on 11 total targets. There were a couple of instances where Anderson seemed unwilling to go up and get some passes, but that also lies on Petty and his eagerness. I believe it was the Jets’ fifth drive, where Anderson caught a ball, and instead of going for the first down, he went horizontally instead of vertically down the field. That’s me nitpicking, but it’s something that has to do with awareness, and recognizing where the first down marker is.
Anderson had a remarkable catch down the sidelines on a 3rd-and-18 over Antoine Bethea for 40 yards. This brought the Jets to the San Francisco 3 yard line, but the Jets’ inability to remain onside turned the promising touchdown drive into a field goal. All in all, Anderson, as mentioned before, is clearly Petty’s go-to. I wouldn’t be surprised to see these types of games from Anderson for the remainder of the season, as Petty is the starter for the rest of it.
Oct 30, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Jets won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Even though San Francisco doesn’t pose any kind of passing threat, Revis was basically unmentioned throughout the broadcast. The only time we heard his name, was when he broke up a pass intended for 49ers receiver Chris Harper.
Maybe this type of game can serve as a late-season wake-up call for Revis, although it’s clearly too late to have any impact on the season. It could certainly help him, though, as he’s been burned by some receivers I can’t name off the top of my head. Yeah, those kind of guys.
Regardless, it was refreshing to see Revis NOT getting burned by a lesser-known player this week. It would’ve been classic if Jeremy Kerley went off against him, though. Definitely, something I wouldn’t mind seeing for some entertainment.
December 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets outside linebacker Darron Lee (50) and defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) celebrate after a defensive stop during overtime against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi
The Defensive Line: C
The good: They kept Colin Kaepernick in the backfield for the most part, and created some pressure in the pocket.
The bad: Stopping the run. Giving up 193 yards on 17 carries to Carlos Hyde? With that diminished San Fran offensive line? This should’ve been a feast for the Jets’ front seven.
We finally got some production from the line, with help from the secondary. Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Williams had half a sack each, and Marcus Williams would add one as well. They were motivated, despite giving up a whopping 248 yards on the ground.
This hasn’t been the line that those around the NFL, and those on the team especially, thought it’d be. But, they came out and played with some grit. You could see it on the big 4th-and-2 stop in overtime, in which the Jets would capitalize off of.
Definitely, something we haven’t seen the team do this year. Smiles were on their faces, and Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson finally looked like they were competing and having fun.
December 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles celebrates after the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi
It was a battle of bad teams in San Francisco, and the Jets proved to be the better of the two. Early on, it looked like this would be another nightmare we are too used to, but the team woke up. People stepped up and made plays. They looked MOTIVATED. Something we haven’t seen much all year.
Seeing the young guys come out and play, gave fans a glimpse of what the future could be like. Definitely hoping for some more Powell. Begging for more improvement in Petty. More explosiveness and consistency from the receiving corps and guys on the defensive side of the ball. Jordan Jenkins played superbly, as well as Darron Lee, who looked better in coverage. Deon Simon and Freddie Bishop forced a fumble.
There isn’t much to look forward to this season, as many were pleading for a 3-13 season and a top draft-pick. But there are things to look forward to. Seeing the future of the franchise play. Not being tangled in the season anymore, because playoffs (playoffs??) are out of the picture.
I find myself analyzing the game more, as I try to find little things I want to see improvement in, especially in the guys that are still getting comfortable with the league. And hey, wouldn’t it be funny to say that this subpar 2016 Jets team beat Rex Ryan TWICE? Let’s hope. I’ve been waiting for some payback all season.