This season it seems that as long as Geno Smith doesn’t throw interceptions, the New York Jets have a shot of beating anyone. That theory was proven correct once again as an awful game from the quarterback didn’t stop his team from beating the much better New Orleans Saints 26-20 as Drew Brees struggled through the very sound beating he took the entire game.
Geno Smith completed only 8-of-19 passes for 115 yards. However, that 0 under the interceptions column seems to be the most important number for the Jets this season. Even those 115 yards were mostly made by the receivers: His eight completions were thrown for a total distance of 7 yards downfield. Drew Brees, in comparison, completed 12 passes at least 7 yards downfield.
However, Brees threw two interceptions, was sacked twice and the Jets recorded six more big hits on him along the way. Only when he was targeting Jimmy Graham things seemed to go the Saints way, finding his tight end nine times for 116 yards and two touchdowns. The rest? Not that good. Brees himself was 30-of-51, while the running game got only 41 yards on 13 carries, as it seems that the Saints devotion to the blitz and to the passing game at times makes them a tad predictable, picking up their second loss of the season against an NFC East team.
So how did the Jets win if Geno Smith was that bad? Defense, and especially Calvin Pace with one sack and Quinton Coples, getting three big hits as well on Brees. And there was the running game, as Chris Ivory wanted to prove something to the Saints after they let him go this offseason. He ran for 139 yards and a touchdown, a season high for him. He gained over 107 yards before contact, showing just how good of a job the Jets were doing in run blocking, and how over eager the Saints are to sack the quarterback, leaving too much space for running backs to take advantage of.
At least Smith did have some positives to contribute to his team with a touchdown run. The Jets scored only two touchdowns in the game, all on the ground, while relying on Nick Folk with four field goals for the rest of the points. It isn’t very pretty, but the Jets are doing a lot better than anyone expected thanks to what might be the best rushing defense in the NFL and being able, sometimes, to keep their quarterback away from unnecessary mistakes.
We didn’t know how we’d win and all that, but we told our team, ‘All I know is we’ve got a team that believes and fights until the end and we find a way.’ And that’s really what we did. Yeah, there’s a little extra, but at the end of the day, now you realize that your bro just took a loss, so that’s the tough thing. I pull for them every single week except one.