Sometimes, when we're particularly stressed about a team we cheer for, and they're facing an unusually vital game, we deal with the pressure of the situation in a unique way: We don't start watching until the third inning, or midway through the first half, you know, like, with the game about a fifth over. We likely haven't missed anything too vital, there's still plenty to see and it does help give some perspective on the matter at hand. Look, they're going ahead and playing without you watching; you were obliviously eating a sandwich while 20 percent of the game is going on. See? No big deal! The world keeps turning. It's one of those little tricks that can help a fan who's a bit too close to the situation. We find it helps.
Considering the importance of last night's Jets game against the winless Dolphins — a loss essentially ends the season — it would have been a good night to try the above trick, especially considering how poorly the Jets started the game. The Dolphins drove down the field and kicked a field goal and then, on the kickoff, the Jets fumbled, losing the ball deep in their own territory. This was the nightmare scenario: This was precisely what a team that had lost three in a row and had their season on the line did not need to happen. This would have been a good, mentally healthy stretch to miss.
And then Darrelle Revis intercepted a Matt Moore pass in his own end zone, ran it back 101 yards for a touchdown, and the Jets would never trail again. The Jets beat the Dolphins 24-6 last night, and it was ugly. But who cares, it's a win.
The defense took advantage of an inexperienced quarterback all game, and Revis's touchdown may go down as one of those season-savers. It certainly wasn't an offense saver: The Jets didn't get a first down until midway through the second quarter and notched as many first-half yards as Revis did on that interception return. It turned around in the second half, though; Mark Sanchez threw for a total of 201 yards and a touchdown. It wasn't the most efficient performance — 14-of-25 — but there were no interceptions, and if Sanchez avoids interceptions, the Jets will be able to beat teams a lot better than the Dolphins.
Mostly, though, this game was important just to settle everybody down: Three losses in a row make teams and their fans a little crazy. The players that were fighting are now making up, and the mounting losses have stopped. Last night was the easiest game the Jets will have in a month — they host San Diego on Sunday, with a bye the week afterward to prepare for key divisional games with Buffalo and New England — and they took advantage of it. Their season did not end. It's okay to look now.