Many assumed the New York Jets would get dismantled by a 4-0 Houston Texans team on Monday Night Football. With major players hurt and coming off a 34-0 blowout at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers, there was little room for hope.
Although the Jets eventually lost, 24-17, New York fans seem OK with the way their team performed against the best the AFC -- if not the whole league -- has to offer. Scott Salmon of Gang Green Nation said that the squad "showed some serious heart" in his immediate post-game reaction, and felt just as good about the effort -- and even the team's play thus far this season -- in his recap:
After last week, we could have gone on national TV and gotten our teeth kicked in. Heck, most people expected us to. And yet, that was a close, gutty game. A lot of us had this penciled in as a loss even before or as the season began, and we're only 2-3 through our toughest stretch of the season.
Salmon was especially impressed with the team's aggressive playcalling, including a fourth-down conversion on a fake punt and an onside kick that slipped through the hands of leaping wide receiver Chaz Schilens.
The biggest talk surrounding the Jets involves how to use backup quarterback Tim Tebow, whose only pass of the night could have been a long completion had newcomer Jason Hill not dropped it. Although Mark Sanchez didn't have his best effort -- 14-for-31, with a touchdown and two interceptions, lowering his league-worst completion percentage even further -- Salmon didn't call for his quarterback's head after the game.
He has entirely way too many swatted balls, but this week it's hard to blame him because of the unreal way J.J. Watt is playing. He proved that he deserves to be the starting QB for at least another few weeks. This is a top defense in the league. All things considered, I'm not unhappy with Sanchez this week.
Despite the team's well-documented struggles this year, New York is only a game behind the New England Patriots in the AFC East.