Is there anybody out there who in August wouldn’t have signed up for 8-8?
Best Call, Management Dept.: Woody Johnson’s and John Idzik’s to bring back Rex Ryan. No-brainer, as this practically was all along. If the owner didn’t strongly believe in this coach, then he wouldn’t have made Ryan’s retention for this year a condition for any GM accepting this job. As long as the Jets were playing hard, young players were improving, and Idzik and Ryan shared vision, all the belabored speculation merely filled cyberspace and airtime.
Best Call, Marty Mornhinweg Dept.: On second-and-10 from the Jets’ 45,
Best Offensive Jet: Powell made the above throw, took on the heavy lifting (21 carries for 76 yards) after
Best Offensive Play:
Best Defensive Jet:
Worst Defensive Play: Milliner had Wallace but nobody had Rishard Matthews on a 21-yarder from Ryan Tannehill to the Jets 9, setting up Miami’s touchdown.
Best Break(s): Milliner pushed the envelope with his two end zone breakups, both times getting his hands in Mike Wallace’s face while never turning around to play the ball.
Next Best Break: Nobody on the Jets defense was spying Tannehill when, on Miami’s first fourth-quarter possession, he pulled the ball down on a third-and-21 and would have made the first down had he not slid down about a foot short. That enabled the Jets, with a good push by
Best Run: On a third down at the Miami 7, Smith bounced off Powell — who had been pushed back into the quarterback — and was in the process of breaking the goal line tackle by Ellerbe when he got the shove from Powell.
Best Throw: By Smith, off his back foot, on a 24-yard sideline completion to
Next Best Throw: By Smith over the top to an almost-perfectly-covered (by Nolan Carroll) Nelson, who made the catch for a first down at the 2, setting up the go-ahead touchdown.
Worst Throw: Smith had Nelson open on the goal line in the third quarter and threw it a foot over his head.
Best Stat: No turnovers for the Jets. Almost always the biggest stat there is.
Best Thing to Take into 2014 from This Season’s First Two-Game Win Streak: Smith did not throw an interception in either game.
Biggest Anxiety to Take into 2014: Smith improved dramatically in the final four games by beginning to make things happen with his legs. That goal line leap that turned into a somersault and a hard landing at the 2 begs the question: Will he be able to stay healthy?
Best Jet in 2013: Muhammad Wilkerson.
Next Best Jet in 2013: Nick Folk.
Best Thing About Going 8-8: Wins over the Patriots and Saints.
Worst Thing About Going 8-8: Routs by the Titans and Bills. With the possible exception of the first Patriots game, it’s hard to find a loss that should have been that one more win that could have gotten the Jets into the playoffs. They pretty well got clobbered in their defeats.
Best John Idzik Pickup: Chris Ivory.
Second Best Idzik Pickup: Landry. The Jets need a dynamic presence at the other safety position, but Landry quietly had a solid season and, of all the short-term acquisitions, might be the one most worth bringing back. Perhaps
Most Believable Reasons That 8-8 Will Prove a Big Step Forward: The Jets’ front seven is close to the NFL’s best. And there is ample cap room for an impact player or two.