Jets top Saints 26-20, continue win-lose-win trend

The New York Jets’ roller-coaster season has been predictably up

and down.

Win one week, lose the next.

It’s a trend that has been strange and inexplicable. So, when

the Jets pulled off a 26-20 victory over the New Orleans Saints on

Sunday, they were just sticking to the script. Anyone could have

seen this one coming, right?

”We embrace the challenges, this team,” tight end Konrad

Reuland said. ”We truly believe we can beat any team we line up

against.”

As long as it’s an odd-numbered week, of course. The Jets are

5-0 in those games, and 0-4 in even-numbered weeks.

Next up in Week 10 for the Jets: the bye week.

”This just in, we’ve been win one, lose one, win one, lose one

the whole season,” coach Rex Ryan said. ”We’re going to lose to

the bye week, there’s no question in my mind. I’ll tell you that

right now.

”Hopefully, we’ll get back around, but we’re going to lose that

game.”

All kidding aside, the Jets (5-4) have moved into the playoff

conversation despite alternating wins and losses. They tied the

2005 New England Patriots for the longest such string to begin a

season, according to STATS.

After losing 49-9 to Cincinnati a week ago, Chris Ivory ran for

139 yards and a touchdown against his former team, New York had

seven plays of at least 19 yards, and Ryan’s defense held Drew

Brees and the high-scoring Saints to six points in the second

half.

”I don’t want to take away from the Jets,” Saints linebacker

Jonathan Vilma said. ”They did a very good job and deserved to win

the game.”

Interceptions by Demario Davis and Antonio Cromartie and a

fourth-and-inches stop highlighted New York’s solid defensive

performance against the Saints (6-2). Nick Folk remained perfect

this season by kicking four field goals, and rookie quarterback

Geno Smith had no turnovers for just the second time.

”The way that we played last week, I don’t think that is

reflective of the type of team that we are,” Smith said.

Here are five things to know from the Jets’ stunner over the

Saints:

SLIGHT BREES: The Jets’ defense made it an uncommonly tough day

for Brees and the Saints.

Brees was 30 of 51 for 382 yards with two TDs to Jimmy Graham,

but was also intercepted by Demario Davis and Antonio Cromartie and

sacked twice. The Saints seemed out of sync for much of the game,

using all three first-half timeouts on offense in the opening

quarter.

It didn’t help that Marques Colston (knee) didn’t play, and

versatile running back Darren Sproles (concussion) left in the

first quarter.

”We hit on some good plays and put together some good drives

(early on), but overall, there were times we shot ourselves in the

foot,” Brees said. ”They would get good pressure or get us off

rhythm.”

STAND-INS: Who were those guys making plays for the Jets on

offense?

Santonio Holmes (hamstring), Jeff Cumberland (concussion) and

Kellen Winslow (suspension) were out, and Jeremy Kerley left in the

second quarter with a possibly serious left elbow injury. The

leading receivers were: Greg Salas (two catches for 57 yards), Zach

Sudfeld (2 for 46), Josh Cribbs (2 for 6) and David Nelson (1 for

19) – none of whom were on the roster as of a few weeks ago.

”Those guys stepped up to the plate,” Smith said, ”and did a

tremendous job for us.”

MOTIVATED IVORY: The Jets’ running back downplayed going against

his former team for the first time.

But he showed a little extra burst while plowing through the

Saints.

Ivory dealt with hamstring issues in the summer and earlier in

the season, and was surpassed by Bilal Powell as the No. 1 back.

After showing nice speed on three long runs, including a 52-yarder,

Ivory might have established himself as the Jets’ go-to guy.

”We know if he’s healthy, this young man has the ability to be

a punch-you-in-the-face type of back,” Ryan said.

SIBLING RIVALRY: With their father Buddy watching at MetLife

Stadium, the Ryan twins – Rex and Rob – went up against each

other.

And, Rex came out on top again.

”All right, I beat my brother again,” Ryan opened his news

conference. ”Just kidding.”

Well, Rob probably wasn’t laughing. The Saints’ defensive

coordinator fell to 3-7 against him and 0-3 since Rex took over as

coach of the Jets.

FOLK HERO: The Jets’ kicker improved to 23 for 23 on field-goal

attempts, moving him one away from Jay Feely’s team record for

consecutive makes.

Folk converted from 39, 21, 47 and 45 yards, the fifth time in

his career he has made four or more field goals, and third time

with the Jets.

”He’s been automatic for us,” Reuland said. ”That’s a huge

weapon to know every time he walks out on the field, we have three

points.”

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org