Severe thunderstorms pounded the artificial turf on New Meadowlands Stadium Monday night. The extreme weather conditions suspended the opening kickoff for practically forty minutes, yet as the downpour intensified in the second half so did the Vikings sluggish offense. QB Brett Favre was completely ineffective for the initial two quarters, completing merely 3 of 7 pass attempts for 31 yards. He was noticeably limited by tendonitis in his right elbow. WR Percy Harvin ascended in the fourth quarter with two touchdown receptions that reduced the point differential to 22-20. With 1:30 remaining, Minnesota’s comeback aspirations were dampened when CB Dwight Lowery bolstered the lead with an interception return for a touchdown. The Jets prevailed 29-20, furthermore elevating their league position with a premium 4-1 record.
The Jets economical offense was challenged by the aggravating Vikings defense the entire game. Time consuming, constructive drives were insufficient for the majority of the contest. Fortunately, K Nick Folk resolutely compensated their efforts by connecting on all five FG attempts from distances of 22, 25, 31, 34, and 53 yards. P Steve Weatherford lent vital support to the New York defense by steadily restricting the field for Minnesota. Four of his seven total punts confined the Vikings within their own 20-yard line (downed on the 11, 6, 9, and 16-yard lines).
The Jets defense, for all their sensational achievements this season, addressed a conspicuous vulnerability through the air. Injuries and penalties have decelerated a team with a proclivity for intimidating the quarterback. LB Calvin Pace mounted 1.5 sacks in his opportune arrival. DE Shaun Ellis, CB Drew Coleman, and LB Jason Taylor all supplied additional force, in particular Taylor’s forced fumble subsequently recovered by LB Bart Scott. Lucrative blitz packages are contingent on effective man-to-man outside coverage, and CB Antonio Cromartie suitably enveloped WR Randy Moss. The one notable exception was a 37-yard touchdown pass that seamlessly descended into Moss’s hands.
In case you were curious about how New Meadowlands Stadium is designed to contend with the complete saturation that occurred Monday night (and the previous Monday night game incidentally) here is a excerpt from an informative article about how water-saving initiatives influenced stadium construction from PMEngineer.com.
“In order to drain the field, roof-type drains were specified under the turf (located continuously along the sidelines) to collect water that filtered through the playing surface. The gravel sub-base layer acts as a reservoir and provides the necessary head pressure to maintain drainage flow.”
RB Shonn Greene (10 attempts for 57 yards) scored the Jets lone touchdown on a fierce 23-yard run in the fourth quarter. RB LaDainian Tomlinson (20 attempts for 94 yards, 5 receptions for 13 yards) was perpetually dependable. WRs Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery each collected five receptions for 70 and 46 yards respectively. WR Santonio Holmes (3 receptions for 41 yards) and TE Dustin Keller (2 receptions for 14 yards) were mildly productive. QB Mark Sanchez (21 completions in 44 attempts for 191 yards) averted any tarnish to his immaculate turnover ratio, but was inefficient at converting red-zone opportunities. Winning teams characteristically profit from exploiting the opposition’s mistakes while limiting their own; and with a triumph over the Vikings, the Jets once more established their reputation as a winning team, perhaps a Super Bowl team.
About the Author
Written by Evan Rosenberg
Evan is a graduate student at New York University and a competitive chess player. His local roots generated the unwavering support for the Jets he exhibits to this day.