The first half of the season is in the books — all right, the first 9/16ths — and as rookie QB Geno Smith said of what he'll be doing for the bye week, "It'll be all preparation for the Bills. Now is not the time to reflect on anything."
Well, maybe not for Geno, but we can reminisce just a bit on the highlights of a rousing first half of the schedule.
We've put together a list of 10 top "moments" at the midway point of the season — 10 plays plus the key developments and background that led to those plays, from the first nine games, as selected by us here at newyorkjets.com, accompanied by video to help us reflect just a little this week.
Not surprisingly, the 10 moments come from the five victories to date. We're counting them down for you, with Moments 10 through 6 today and Moments 5 through 1 plus honorable mentions Thursday at midday.
10. QUINTON COPLES' LATE 4TH-DOWN HEROICS vs. NEW ORLEANS
QB Drew Brees' fake handoff to his running back before giving the ball to TE Josh Hill on an end-around might have fooled many, but not LB Quinton Coples.
"I was thinking that he was going to put it away and throw the ball," Coples said, "but when he handed it off, my eyes just got big because I knew I was going to run right through him."
It wouldn't be Q's only fourth-quarter, fourth-down stop of the game, as you can see beginning 2:45 into the clip above. He also pressured Brees on fourth-and-19, forcing the incompletion that ended any prayer the Saints might have had of preventing the Jets' fifth win of the season by 26-20.
9. JEREMY KERLEY'S THIRD-DOWN PROWESS vs. NEW ENGLAND
We were without WR Jeremy Kerley for our Week 2 matchup in New England. To say we missed him would be an understatement as we managed just 10 points in a game in which a pair of touchdowns would've been enough to win.
But Kerley was back with a vengeance for our Week 7 rematch with the Patriots. The 5'9", 188-pound slot receiver converted three third downs on our opening drive alone, the last for a touchdown, and he ended up with six third-down conversions by the time our 30-27 overtime win was complete.
8. CHRIS IVORY'S THREE RUNS OF 25-PLUS YARDS vs. NEW ORLEANS
On April 26, New Orleans traded RB Chris Ivory to the Jets for a fourth-round pick. On Nov. 3, the Saints likely regretted that decision.
Ivory carried the ball 18 times for 139 yards and a touchdown vs. his former team, none bigger than a 52-yard burst down the right sideline when the Jets were backed up at their own 2. He became the first Jet since the 1970 merger to have three rushes of 25-plus yards in one game and was nominated for the FedEx Ground Player of the Week award for his performance.
7. MO WILKERSON LEADS WAY TO 8 SACKS vs. BUFFALO
What do you call six tackles, five QB hits, two sacks and one forced fumble? If you're DE Muhammad Wilkerson, the answer is just another day at the office.
No. 96 and his teammates combined for a first-half-of-the-season-high eight sacks against QB EJ Manuel and the Bills as the Green & White brought the pressure early and often in their 27-20 Game 3 division victory.
6. PATRIOTS PENALTY, FOLK'S GAMEWINNER vs. NEW ENGLAND
Three straight Tom Brady incompletions and a punt gave the Jets the ball in overtime needing just a field goal to win. Quite a few Ivory runs later, K Nick Folk lined up for a 56-yard try. The wind pushed it left, but Patriots rookie Chris Jones had a push of his own, of a teammate in the middle of the line.
The penalty flag was thrown, the Jets moved 15 yards closer and received a fresh set of downs, and a few plays later, Nick jogged back on the field for a second chance to be the "Folk Hero." The kick was good, and the Jets had slain the Patriots.