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200 Miles From the Citi


December 19, 2010 9:47 PM

Playoff-Caliber

Smith_KO_Pitt.jpg

Let's get this out there right off the bat - That Jets win felt good.

First, there's the desperation factor - it had been a while.

The Jets needed a win. I needed a win.

Then there was the quality of the win - that was a really good win.

It felt good.

It felt like the playoffs.


What made this game especially sweet was how heart-breaking all previous visits to Pittsburgh by the Jets had been.

This one was just heart-stopping.

Even after Brad Smith set the tone with a game-opening kickoff return for a touchdown and a 7-0 Jets lead, and it seemed like the crowd was out of it and the Jets may be able to sneak out an easy win, they let the Steelers right into the game.

So much so that Pittsburgh had a 17-10 lead in the second half.

But just like the Jets team that went to the AFC Championship Game last year, these Jets seemed confident.  Mark Sanchez pulled a tremendous fake to go untouched into the end zone to tie the game.  This win was big for Sanchez because it looked like he regained some of his confidence.

Nick Folk nailed the go-ahead field goal in the fourth quarter - he was 2-for-2 in a difficult place to kick.  I'm sure this game did wonders for his confidence.

And the defense came up big.  They went to their typical bend-but-don't break approach in the final minutes of the game, but the important thing was that they didn't give up the lead.  They gave up a lot of yardage, but no points.  And that's huge for a defense that has been pretty maligned in recent weeks.

And so the Jets have 10 wins with two games remaining in the regular season.

It feels now like there will be more than just those final regular season games remaining in the Jets' season.  It feels like there will be a couple of playoff games at least.

It feels like the ship has been righted.

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