Muscle Sport Magazine

Jets Ousting Bengals is Far From an Upset; Could Chargers Be Next?

The talk had been taking up much of the sports radio, television and Internet outlets. C’mon, you know that the majority of you were nodding in agreement as all of the so-called ‘experts’ were saying that the New York Jets did not deserve to make the postseason and the only reason why they “backed” in was because their last two regular season opponents were merely going through the motions and getting their back-ups some reps.

Sorry, pal. I’ve got some harsh news for you. This is football and you get paid to play the games on your schedule, regardless of what the other head coach decides to do with his personnel. Sure, if Peyton Manning didn’t get pulled in Week 16, we may not be having this conversation right now. But it wasn’t as if the Jets were getting their asses handed to them when the just-named 2009 NFL MVP went to the bench in favor of an overwhelmed Lance Painter.


Rex Ryan’s crew was only trailing by five points when Manning took off his helmet and replaced with a baseball cap and ultimately a frown that was caught by all the cameras. He was seeing the Colts’ undefeated season go up in smoke, but could have he been thinking ahead and that he wanted no part of seeing a hot team with a swarming defense coming back at them in the playoffs?

If The Colts would have put the Jets away, their home loss the week before to Atlanta would have been their legacy. But instead, their pulse was getting better and they had their sights set on a Cincinnati Bengals team who had the opportunity to not only end the Jets’ season, but clinch the third seed in the AFC because of the Patriots’ loss earlier in the day on the final Sunday.


Outside of running back Cedric Benson, the Bengals played their starters into the third quarter and were getting their clocks cleaned. Quarterback Carson Palmer went 1-for-11 for zero yards and the team had 72 yards total offense. Say whatever you want to try to justify that and it is impossible to do. The Jets made the playoffs as the AFC’s fifth seed courtesy of their 37-0 whitewashing on Sunday Night Football.

Momentum at this time of the year can go a long way and by basically shutting it down, both the Bengals and Colts made critical mistakes. We all know that it carried over to Saturday’s AFC Wild Card game, when the Jets ousted Cincinnati by a score of 24-14. Even when the Bengals were up 7-0, the game was being controlled by the Jets. Palmer’s accuracy was horrendous and he overthrew his receivers regularly. If it weren’t for Benson’s performance and a drop in the end zone by Braylon Edwards, the difference would have been even wider.


Now the Jets must travel to San Diego to face the red-hot Chargers, winners of 11 straight. This match-up was the result of the Baltimore Ravens knocking off the higher-seeded Patriots in New England.

It’s been a wild ride for the Jets, but all they need to do is keep playing a tight defense and effectively grind it out on the ground. Rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez has been efficient and has stayed away from throwing the interceptions that were killing him just a few short weeks ago.

Can the Jets beat a team like the Chargers? Well, we didn’t think they would even still be around so let’s not sell them short just yet. Yes, the Bolts do have a very potent offense but their defense leaves a lot to be desired and could be exposed by some shrewd play calling. We already know that the Jets can run the ball, so if they are able to opne things up a bit with not only Sanchez but also Brad Smith (in the Jets formation of the Wildcat, called the “Tiger”), this game may be a close one

If the underdogs prevail again in the AFC this upcoming weekend, the Jets will actually host the conference championship versus Baltimore Рperhaps the most unlikely scenario of all.

Photo by William J. Hauser


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