The Jets didn’t get the easy, uneventful win they’d have liked yesterday, even though they enjoyed a 23–7 lead at the start of the fourth quarter. But technically, Rex Ryan’s preseason goal wasn’t to win every game in a rout; it was simply to lead the league in fucking wins. And improbably, after the Texans turned what had been a 23–7 deficit into a 27–23 lead with less than a minute to go, the Jets pulled it out. Again. And after Week 11, they’re still at least tied for the league lead in fucking wins.
For that, they can thank Mark Sanchez, whose perfect pass to Braylon Edwards picked up 42 yards and set up the game-winning touchdown to Santonio Holmes, who’s making a habit of these clutch late-game plays. The five-play, 72-yard drive made up for the Jets’ previous possession — one marked by a bonehead penalty on the return, a missed bomb to Edwards, and an interception with Sanchez under pressure, as he was far too often yesterday.
That interception sent plenty of Jets fans home — perhaps Rex Ryan should have specified that Jets fans not only arrive early but also stay until the end — but the defense that allowed the Texans to make their fourth-quarter comeback held Houston to a field goal and gave Sanchez and the offense a chance, albeit a slim one with no time-outs left. Needless to say, they made the best of it. Said Rex Ryan, perhaps still amped from watching the guy who ran onto the field get tackled by security: “I can already see the headlines: ‘Far From Great.’ Who cares. We won.”
This wasn’t the statement game that once and for all declared the Jets the team to beat, as opposed to one of the teams to beat. (And Peyton Manning’s third interception of the day allowed New England to hang on for a win, and thus remain tied with Jets in the AFC East.) But even by the Jets’ recent standards, it was an awfully thrilling victory. The Jets play again three days from now, on Thanksgiving night, against 2–8 Cincinnati. Maybe that game won’t need to be so dramatic.