NY Football Teams Have Week 9 to Remember • Latino Sports

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NY Football Teams Have Week 9 to Remember

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NEW YORK – The New York Jets lost three straight road games and were left for dead after only five games in the 2011 football season.

It wasn’t so much that they lost those games after starting the year 2-0. It was the way they lost them. They lose by 10, traveling across the country to face the Oakland Raiders in the Black Hole.

The following Sunday night they get abused back east by the Baltimore Ravens. The final was 34-17, but the game was never that close. They had a chance to right the ship when they faced hated division rival New England. They only trailed by three at halftime but could not stop Tom Brady and company in the second half as the Pats amassed 446 total yards by game’s end. Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis trampled over Rex Ryan’s defense for 136 rushing yards.

Then the infighting began with veteran wide receiver Santonio Holmes calling out the offensive line and their failure to protect quarterback Mark Sanchez.

When veteran wide receivers Derrick Mason, Plaxico Burress and Holmes complained to Ryan about the offensive play calling, Mason gets traded to Houston. Although Ryan and General Manager Mike Tannenbaum denied it, many in and out of the organization felt Mason was used as a scapegoat.

Then, the Jets were in an early season crossroad when they faced the winless Miami Dolphins. Although they came away with the victory, Miami gave them a run for their money. The more talented San Diego Chargers came into MetLife Stadium before the Jets were scheduled for their bye week. Sanchez throws three touchdown passes to Burress and Shonn Greene rushed for 112 yards. The defense forced two Phillip Rivers interceptions and shutout the Chargers in the second half. After the bye, their next two games would be against the Buffalo Bills and a rematch against New England. A chance to distance themselves and put themselves in the position to win the division.

One down, one to go.

In what may have been their best defensive performance, the Jets shook off a first half of offensive mistakes and buffaloed the Bills, 27-11. How dominant were they defensively? They only allowed 14 first downs for the entire game, while picking off two Ryan Fitzpatrick’s passes. Buffalo did not score in the first half. They kicked a field goal early in the third quarter and did not score again until the game was totally out of reach. Fitzpatrick had averaged 234 yards per game. He ended up with 191. The running game, led by Fred Jackson, came into the game averaging 135 yards. The Jets stuffed them, giving up only 96 yards. If not for a first quarter Sanchez red zone interception, a fumble and a Nick Folk missed field goal, the game would have been a complete laugher.

The Jets had been 0-2 under Rex Ryan coming off the bye week. He reminded the team of that stat and it must have caught their attention. Now he’s hoping they can keep the momentum going when Wonder Boy Tom Brady comes to town Sunday night.

A win would at least give them a tie, depending on what Buffalo does when they travel to Dallas Sunday afternoon.

Know one thing: The Jets will be looking at the tapes from the New York Giants, Patriots game to see what Big Blue did on both sides of the ball to come away with a 24-20 victory Sunday. It was the first time the two teams met since the Giants blew up New England’s quest to run the table in the 2007-08 season winning the Super Bowl in Arizona. Although the game Sunday did not have that kind of significance, it showed the Giants could overcome injuries at key positions against a quality team. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw was out with broken bone in his right foot. Starting wide receiver Hakim Nicks’ hamstring prevented him from playing. Still, Eli Manning showed why he is becoming one of the elite quarterback’s in the league. Twice, with his team trailing, he drove them down field to take the lead.

First, down three (13-10) with a little more than seven minutes to go, Manning directs an eight play, 85-yard drive, connecting on a 10-yard touchdown pass to Mario Manningham.

Brady gets the ball with three minutes to go and good field position as Manningham was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. Nine plays later, the Patriots took their last lead of the day when Brady finds tight end Rob Gronkowski for a 14-yard touchdown pass. With 1:36 left in regulation, a field goal would have sent the game into overtime. Manning wanted it all.

Starting at their own 20, Manning completes passes to wide receiver Victor Cruz (19 yards) and tight end Jake Ballard (28 yards). Looking down field on his next pass attempt, Manning steps up in the pocket and scrambles for 12 yards. On the next play with Cruz streaking towards the end zone, Manning heaves the pass as Cruz gets bumped by free safety Sergio Brown, who is called for pass interference. It sets up the game-winning, 1-yard touchdown pass to Ballard.

Both the Jets and Giants set themselves up with big wins to dictate how their season will go from this point on. After losing three in a row, many were ready to throw dirt on the Jets. They can put some room between them and New England with a win Sunday night. The Giants travel to San Francisco to play the surprising (7-1) 49ers. It only gets more interesting after that as they face the Eagles, New Orleans and still unbeaten Green Bay. Hopefully, they can get both Bradshaw and Hicks back. They’re going to need them.

About Bobby Ciafardini