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Greenberg: No Way Jets Can't Get Better

Posted Sep 23, 2013

A win is a win is a win, especially in a season when they were supposed to be few.

Best Logic: “The thing that makes me most happy is that I know we will get better,” said Rex Ryan (after 20 penalties). "No way we can’t.”

Potentially Worst Logic: Of, course, the caliber of competition could always get better, too, rendering the above wishful thinking. That said, look around the AFC and at the Jets schedule. Opportunity knocks.

OFFENSE

Best Play: Thanks, the Jets badly needed cornerback Justin Rogers’ failure to turn around for the ball on the perfectly timed 69-yard winning touchdown pass from Geno Smith to Santonio Holmes. New York had just blown a 20-6 lead into a 20-20 tie. But on a 40-yarder caught by Holmes in the third quarter to set up a field goal, he had to change the shoulder he was looking over twice. Now that’s concentration.

Worst Play: Yikes! Smith walked up to change the call and Nick Mangold snapped the ball. Bilal Powell fell on it, fortunately, for the Jets.

Ignorance Is Bliss: Lying underneath Kyle Williams, Smith never got to see Stephen Hill’s catch and touchdown run. Too bad. Smith said he didn’t see Williams coming free for as clear a clean shot as any quarterback ever is going to take. Not a bad thing.

Seeing Red: No, not Ryan about the 20 penalties, Santonio Holmes wore a set of his orange-tinted game contact lenses into the interview room that produce an infrared look we hadn’t seen since "Scars of Dracula." Ryan says Holmes is the best he ever saw for not giving away the imminent arrival of the ball to a defensive back, but jeepers creepers, if we’re Rogers, we’re not peering into those peepers, no sir.

Best Reason for Optimism: Hill caught a 51-yard touchdown pass, Holmes a 69-yarder. Weren’t the Jets supposedly doomed, given a rookie quarterback with no big-play threats?

Second-Best Reason for Optimism: Powell ran for 149 yards. Weren’t the Jets supposedly doomed to give a rookie quarterback no running game?

Worst Decision: The 20th and final penalty of the game, when Hill false-started on second down with the Bills down to one timeout and 1:37 to play. Since the Jets had no reason to put the ball in the air or give Buffalo any reason to believe they would, all Hill had to do was stand there.

DEFENSE

Best Player: Muhammad Wilkerson had two sacks, and the most havoc wreaked, even with his two penalties.

Second-Best Player: David Harris had three tackles for loss and didn’t commit a penalty. Sunday, that warranted a medal, but Antonio Cromartie had only a 6-yard pass caught on him all day and saved a touchdown on Fred Jackson’s 59-yard run.

Best break: Robert Woods carelessly stepped out of bounds as he turned upfield following a reception, costing himself another 20 yards on a 29-yard gain. The Bills, who would have been in field goal position, ended up having to punt.

Best Individual Play: On that same Buffalo possession, Sheldon Richardson shed a block to stop Fred Jackson on third-and-1.

Worst Individual Play: Richardson had his arms up celebrating Calvin Pace’s big stop on an earlier third-and-1 when, oops, Jackson broke free and ran right by the joyous rookie. Not the way they teach tackling at the University of Missouri.

Worst Decision: If anyone talking in Ryan’s ear suggested he make two unwinnable challenges within three plays, Rex should coach at Tennessee next Sunday without a headset. On the first, Powell disappeared into a pile near the first-down marker, so the chances of any conclusive evidence for an overturn were nil.

By next challenging a sideline call at midfield, the Jets lost their second timeout and forfeited their right to challenge a call they would have won — Jaiquawn Jarrett’s fumble recovery of EJ Manuel, who was incorrectly ruled down before losing the ball. The reprieved Bills drove for the tying touchdown.

Second-Worst Decision: To not get Kyle Wilson, who had just taken two penalties on one play, to the sideline for a hosedown before he could continue his snit with Stevie Johnson into a personal foul on the very next play. Has anyone in the history of football ever committed three penalties in two plays?

Worst Day at the Office: At least Wilson played well earlier. Vladimir Ducasse had four of the 20 penalties, two of them on consecutive plays.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Nick Folk is 6-for-6 to start the season, 3-for-3 from longer than 40.

Ellis Lankster batted Ryan Quigley’s punt out of the air back over the goal line to Isaiah Trufant, making the Bills start their Hail Mary series from their 1 with 21 seconds left. It takes a lot of penalties to go 99 yards in that time.

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