Ah, New York Jets football…nothing is ever as it appears to be.
After getting destroyed by the Patriots and demoralized by the Dolphins, Gang Green looked set to receive another pasting at the hands of the powerful Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. It appeared as though Rex Ryan’s crew would be lucky to escape Heinz Field in one piece. However, thanks in part to an inspirational speech by Ryan, the Jets managed to flip the script on just about everybody.
Mark Sanchez shrugged off a shoulder injury and executed a perfect bootleg for a 7 yard score to pace the Jets to a 22-17 victory over the heavily favored Steelers. Gang Green also rushed collectively for more than 100 yards while Braylon Edwards led all receivers with eight catches.
Versatile kick returner Brad Smith got things off on the right foot by returning the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. That event seemed to rock Pittsburgh’s confidence and they never fully recovered. Still, the victory wasn’t easy to secure. Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger led his team towards the end zone in the last two minutes of the game nearly connected with Emmanuel Sanders on a post route that was disrupted by a Jets defender grabbing the receiver’s jersey (no penalty was called).
The Jets continue their improbable run back to respectability by taking on the Chicago Bears this week. It will be another tough task for Rex Ryan’s crew.
Still, they have now shown that they can at least perform improbable feats, in any case.
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Written by Frank Mazzola