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Greenberg: Good Jets, Beneficial Breaks

Posted Oct 21, 2013

Fortune at the end seals a priceless comeback.

Best Jet: Ivory, who ran for 104 yards, few of which came easily. He had two first-down runs in overtime.

Best Defensive Jet: Antonio Allen picked the great Tom Brady for six and battled Rob Gronkowski to a virtual draw over 70 physical minutes.

Best Line: “We thought about [5'8" Isaiah] Trufant, but maybe not,” said Rex Ryan about covering Gronk.

Most Reliable Jet: Nick Folk, still. Miss from 56 yards is wiped from the records, as it should be. He remains perfect for the season. A few of his 16 field goals might have been six inches from the exact middle between the posts, but we’re checking.

Second Most Reliable Jet: Jeremy Kerley is emerging as Geno Smith’s new security blanket. Every quarterback — see Tom Brady still yelling at receivers not named Wes Welker — needs one of those.

When Push Came to Shove: Jets, teetering on the brink of falling out of the game at halftime, fought back.

When Push Came to Shove II: Pats’ Chris Jones launched a teammate into long snapper Tanner Purdum, giving Folk his re-do.

Biggest Break: Jets had some serious pressure in the third quarter on two Pats possessions that followed Allen’s interception. Otherwise, Brady had time and didn’t do much with it (only 22-for-46, 1 INT, zero TDs). No insult intended, Rex, because the Jets’ secondary, returning rookie Dee Milliner included, had its best game of the season. Still, it's hard to remember ever seeing Brady this inaccurate.

Second Biggest Break: Danny Amendola, Brady’s favorite standing wideout, did not play.

Biggest Break of the Season: New rule against shoving teammates into defenseless snappers passed in the Nick of time to give Folk another shot. This is the winner by the narrowest of margins over that Tampa Bay hit out of bounds that enabled Folk to be the hero on opening day, too. Now just six more of these reprieves and the Jets will be in the playoffs almost for sure.

Best Reason for the Jets to Resent Any Suggestion They Got Lucky to Win (Even Though They Did): They had the ball 46 minutes to 23 for New England.

Good Geno I: Jets were 11-for-21 on third down, converting a mind-boggling 10 more times than Brady’s team.

Good Geno II: Even with the chains on the other sideline, he knew exactly how far he had to stretch for the big first down on the drive that put the Jets ahead by three.

Good Geno III: He gave Marquice Cole the ol’ outside-inside for the final yards on the quarterback’s 8-yard touchdown run. Heading into consecutive weeks against the Bengals and Saints, the Jets’ playoff hopes have legs because of the rookie QB’s legs.

Bad Geno: Logan Ryan jumped a route and took it 79 yards to the house.

Most Curious Decision: Marty Mornhinweg did not anticipate Ivory losing 2 yards on third down before Folk was sent out the first time. Still, no fear of a rookie quarterback throwing another interception is a rationale for making even a kicker as good as Folk try from beyond 55. Ryan had no good explanation for not trying to get closer.

Second Most Curious Decision: Needing 10 yards at most to give Folk a shot to extend the Jets' lead to six, Mornhinweg unsuccessfully went for consecutive bombs to Stephen Hill and Jeff Cumberland. The Jets punted and put the ball back into Brady’s hands with 2:10 to go, needing only a field goal to tie. Agreed, you have to take some shots, but not when burning clock is a priority. Kerley caught six first-down passes Sunday and could have caught a seventh.

Third Most Curious Decision: Once the penalty put Folk in range, why did the Jets run three plays and not allow for a re-do off a potential bad snap?

Easy-to-Forget Play That Shouldn’t Be Forgotten: Smith hit Kerley for 22 yards on third-and-21, leading to a second-quarter field goal.

Another Easy-to-Forget Play That Shouldn’t be Forgotten: Demario Davis stuffed Stevan Ridley on third-and-1, getting the defense off the field in just three plays following Allen’s touchdown.

Forgettable Sequence Best Left Forgotten: The Jets were at the Patriots 32 in the third quarter when they gave up consecutive sacks, the first to Chandler Jones, the second to Chris Jones, that took them out of field goal range.

Another Forgettable Sequence Best Left Forgotten: The Jets committed three penalties on the Patriots’ opening drive. Plus Brady saw they were not ready after a first-down snuff of Brandon Bolden at the goal line and quick-snapped to get Bolden in easily on the second try.

Biggest Reason to Think the Jets, Just One Game Behind the Patriots in the AFC East, Now Can Hang with Them into December: No Vince Wilfork, no Jerod Mayo, no Aqib Talib. And still no Welker.

Best Reason to Get Excited: Win over the Patriots, of course. Three years coming.

Best Reason to Remain Calm: “How do we respond to this?” asked Willie Colon when asked about the above. “Right now we are winning games and the next week coming out flat.”

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