"I'm so excited about the future," Rex Ryan said on Dec. 31. That's because the recent past ended with such positive energy, not to mention electrifying videos, over the final seven games after our bye week.
Before we really move on — to the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, then to the offseason — here are our final five selections among the top 10 highlight videos from the second half of the season. Take a look at these five and then stop at the poll on the home page of newyorkjets.com to vote on which of those five was your favorite for the second half.
While you're at it, check out highlights Nos. 10-6 from the second half of the season and our top 5 from Weeks 1-9 as well.
5. ANTONIO ALLEN'S BLOCKED-PUNT-RECOVERY TD VS. OAKLAND
Blocked punts were nothing new for Allen, since he accomplished that feat in Week 5 at Atlanta. This time, however, he completed the special teams trifecta with a block, a recovery and a score to give the Green & White a 20-3 lead over the Oakland Raiders.
"It was weird," he said following our Week 14 matchup. "Man, they just let me loose. I was surprised. I thought the tackle was going to give me some kind of push, but he didn't even touch me, he just let me go right though. So it was big for us."
Allen became the first Jet to block two punts in one season since Donald Dykes in 1979.
4. SHELDON RICHARDSON'S FIRST TOUCHDOWN AT CAROLINA
No one knew it at the time, but the Jets actually selected two fullbacks in April's draft — Tommy Bohanon in the seventh round and Richardson in the first.
The 6'3", 294-pound Richardson, an NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate, lined up in the backfield for two of our touchdowns prior to our Week 15 matchup at Carolina, but this time he carried the rock himself, and on his second attempt he crossed into the end zone for the score.
He became the first D-lineman in franchise history to score on offense, and it was déjà vu all over again two weeks later when he scored his second TD during our season finale against the Dolphins.
3. GENO SMITH'S TD RUN, BILAL POWELL ASSISTING, AT MIAMI
Facing third-and-goal from the 7 and looking to take a seven-point lead into the second half of our Week 17 game, Smith received the shotgun snap and accelerated upfield on a designed QB run.
Bouncing off of Powell's back along the way, our third-year RB decided to return the favor several yards later with some excellent awareness and a celebrated display of friendly fire.
"Very smart on his behalf to get us in there," Smith said. "I was really struggling right there with that linebacker and he gave me an extra push."
And in a 20-7 win, it helped pushed the Dolphins out of the postseason.
2. DEE MILLINER'S DIVING INTERCEPTION AT MIAMI
Milliner wasn't exactly stuffing the stat sheet through our first 14 games. By the end of the season, though, it was clear why the Green & White front office and coaching staff had been so high on the first-round rookie cornerback.
Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill tried finding WR Mike Wallace on a comeback route near the right sideline, but a diving Milliner had other plans. He jumped the route and kept his arms between the football and the Sun Life Stadium grass for his first of two interceptions that day.
The Alabama product was later named the final AFC Defensive Rookie of the Week and AFC Defensive Player of the Month for the 2013 regular season.
1. CHRIS IVORY'S POWERFUL TD RUN VS. OAKLAND
Ivory must run on Energizer batteries, because on this one he just kept going and going and going.
The 6'0", 222-pound wrecking ball powered his way through five defenders for a 15-yard rushing touchdown to give the Jets a 37-20 fourth-quarter lead over Oakland during our Week 14 victory at MetLife Stadium.
"I just pride myself in making explosive plays," he said. "I just try to make plays when there's not really anything there. I think that's big, when you turn something out of nothing."
So big, in fact, that it earned our top spot for this season's second-half highlights.