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Up by 8 Late? Lately, Jets Can’t Be Beat

Posted by Randy Lange on January 19, 2010 – 2:05 pm

The triumph in San Diego can be attributed to many things: a gritty defense that dug in its heels and got better and better as the game wore on, the heady play of the Jets’ two rookies on offense, the Chargers’ troubles with yellow flags and field goals.

But don’t overlook the Jets’ long-standing tendency to act like a pit bull with a bone when they get a decent lead.

This statistic first surfaced during the wild-card win at Cincinnati, and the amazing trend continued through Southern California:

The Jets have won their last 60 games when they’ve gotten a lead of eight or more points in the fourth quarter.

That’s the longest current streak, playoffs included, in the NFL. And the Green & White’s .984 winning percentage (61-1) in those games since the start of 1999 is the league’s best in the last 11 seasons.

What does it all mean? Well, it doesn’t mean the Jets can’t be beaten. The category doesn’t consider all leads, just those of a touchdown and a deuce or more. And what about the games in which the team never went ahead in the final 15 minutes? That’s for another chart on another day.

This trend is related, for example, to the Yankees’ documented excellence in winning games that they lead from the eighth inning on.

Similarly, the Jets have shown themselves to be the masters of avoiding the bad blown lead, of taking a solid edge and putting it in their W bag.

Who can we thank for this tendency? Well, the only player who goes back to even the 2000 season is Shaun Ellis, and surely he deserves a small helping of the credit. As for coaches, Bob Sutton was also here for the start of the millennium and also gets a piece of the pie; all the others have moved on.

But coaching in general has a lot to say about getting leads late and then holding them with expert four-minute offense, some acceptable and effective version of prevent defense (gasp!) and field position provided by the specialists. It’s equal parts player skill, coaching strategy and strength/conditioning work done all off-season and into the year in anticipation of the fourth quarters to come.

So let’s throw some kudos to the head coaches who helped build this mammoth monument to grabbing a late lead and then playing the best keepaway in pro football. Bill Parcells (5-0) started the streak with that ’99 team that began with an ER-full of injuries and finished as the proverbial team not in the playoffs that nobody wanted to face.

The run continued through Al Groh (5-0) in 2000, Herm Edwards (24-0) from ’01-05 and Eric Mangini (17-0) in ’06-08.

And it’s alive and flourishing under first-year man Rex Ryan, whose Jets have won nine games without losing an eight-point lead in the fourth frame, including the last four wins in a row in which they’ve held double-digit advantages down the stretch: at Indianapolis, home for Cincinnati, at Paul Brown Stadium and on Sunday "the Murph."

Here are the winning-percentage and current-streak leaders in games with an eight-point-plus lead in the fourth quarter from 1999 to present:

 Record   W-L    Pct   Current Win Streak Games
 1. JETS 61-1 .984  1. JETS  60
 2. Green Bay 82-2 .976  2. Baltimore 40
 3. Indianapolis 98-3 .970  3. Atlanta 37
 4. Atlanta 58-2 .967  4. Philadelphia 32
 5. Baltimore 85-3 .966  5. San Diego 27
 6. St. Louis 71-3 .959  6. Cincinnati 20


Two final notes on the Jets’ big 6-0. The streak began after the ’99 team flew to Oakland, took a 20-10 lead into the last quarter against the Raiders, then fell to a Rich Gannon-led comeback, 24-23.

And while the Jets hold the current lead, they aren’t the only NFL team doing well at putting wins away. In fact, the Indianapolis Colts had built a 77-game streak in this category from 1999 until 2007, when they took a 20-10 lead on New England in the RCA Dome, then lost to the Patriots, 24-20. The Colts’ response was to reel off another 19-game streak, which is current and which they’ll take into Sunday’s AFC Championship Game vs. the Jets.

If either team grabs a 21-13 lead in the final 15 minutes, it will be interesting to see what happens from there.

From 60 Straight to 5 Straight

Fans of the Chargers and, to a lesser extent, the Bengals have been heard to complain about how the kicking of Nate Kaeding and Shayne Graham led to the Jets "lucking out" in their playoff victories. Nice try but the Jets have been victims of some missed kicks in the past as well. Errant field goals count just as much as do errant passes, coaches’ calls and officials’ rulings. They’re all part of the game we love.

But we will grant that it is a strange kicking drought that has helped the Jets reach the AFC Championship Game. With the Bengals’ Shayne Graham missing two kicks under 40 yards and the Chargers’ Nate Kaeding going 0-for-3, including a 36-yarder that snapped his streak of 69 successful tries under 40 yards, one might ask when the last time opponents were similarly off-target against the Jets.

The answer is that this is the first time opposing kickers have gone 0-for-5 or worse in two consecutive games in franchise history. There have been five other 0-for-5 stretches over three- or four-game spans. But since 1968, it’s happened only once before, in 1986 when Seattle’s Norm Johnson (0-for-1), Atlanta’s Mick Luckhurst (0-for-2) and Indianapolis’ Dean Biasucci (0-for-2) got the ankle collar from Games 9-11.

Different Football, Same Goal

Fans of the Jets and women’s soccer in the area can check out a story just posted today on some similarities between the Green & White and Sky Blue FC, the metro area’s franchise in Women’s Professional Soccer. The primary likeness: Sky Blue had a touch-and-go regular season but moved down the stretch from last place in the seven-team WPS to fourth and into the playoffs. Then they went on to win three games in 10 days to claim their first championship.

Congratulations to Sky Blue, whose rookie roster "asked the same question the Jets are asking: Why Not Us?"

Championship Week Begins

The Jets are gearing up for a big fan week before the team heads out to Indianapolis on Saturday. We’ll have a formal announcement of the schedule tonight or Wednesday, but here’s the first event of the week that we wanted you to know about today, because the appearance is tonight.

Wide receiver Wallace Wright and guard Rob Turner will be at the Jets Shop Store in Manhattan signing autographs from 6-8 p.m. tonight. The store is located at 437 Madison Ave. at 50th Street.

As a side benefit for fans at this event and through the week, those who use their MasterCard to purchase merchandise at the Jets Shop store or at jetsshop.com will receive 15 percent off their orders.

We’ll report on more Championship Week events soon on newyorkjets.com.

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Posted in Randy Lange | 43 Comments »

43 Responses to “Up by 8 Late? Lately, Jets Can’t Be Beat”

  1. By joe b on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    Charger Hospatality …http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJqd_5fC7ZI

  2. By Sue Tiffany on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    Not all JETS fans are in New York City, we all look forward to their return to Cortland .. as superbowl champs??!! Upstate NY BELIEVES in the JETS!!!!

  3. By Anonymous on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    this stat is useless.

  4. By Dave Reiner on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    I hope you didn’t just jinx us!!! I’ll be really skeered if we have an 8 point lead in the 4th quarter this weekend!

  5. By coat on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    francessa is the biggest blowhard I’ve ever heard in my life the ONLY oppinion of his I would value would what Itallion resteraunt gives you the most bang for your buck

  6. By jake on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    any events in long island?

  7. By Ira on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    Randy, You are in championship form with that chart. I would think nobody in your field or media could ever have known that. Plus the FG misses are strange too. That Raider game in Oak in 99 Mo Lewis i believe had Gannon but just couldn’t bring him down or hit him before he threw that TD pass.

  8. By scjoe on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    Stats aside, what the Jets have right now is special. It is the winning formula. When you can run the ball as they do, play defense like they do, and finish games the way they are doing, it is going to be difficult to beat them. But what is even better, win or lose this week, they will improve in multiple areas next season. The culture has changed, big time!

  9. By 36 year fan on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    You have to have confidence in your team, and you have to have confidence in yourself……..If you don’t have that ….. well than you can’t play Football. -Broadway Joe Namath

  10. By scjoe on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    I have to totally disagree with Francasa on his comments about Jet fans “jumping on the bandwagon” he can’t possibly be talking about “true Jet fans” especially those who have been there from the beginning, like yours truly, because “true” fans do not jump on and off bandwagons. Sure, there may be some casual fans jumping on now, but that, Mr Francesa is called human nature. Hopefully they stay.

  11. By Josh on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    Randy i looked at the early entrants today, and noticed how stacked the WR’s are and theyre just Juniors/Redshirts. Arrellious Benn(who i think is the best WR in college ball but had a horrible coach) Mike Williams (from Syracuse) Who will be a steal, Golden Tate, Demaryius Thomas, not to mention Seniors like Jordan Shipley, Lafell,. Williams from USC.

  12. By Alan on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    I also forgot Dez bryant, silly me

  13. By Brent on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    hey Randy I have a question. out of the four remaining teams left, it seems as though even though the jets are a “run first” team, they have the weakest receiving core. I know they’re still in it and i shouldn’t be worrying about the offseason. But do you think they should be looking for a “Percy Harvin” or “Wes Welker” to give them another weapon?

  14. By Randy Lange on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    Brent, I’m pretty sure every team would welcome a Welker- or Harvin-type wideout. I’ll let the Radar kick that one around.

  15. By dougmc on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    Francesca denies everything and never liked the Jets any year.He finally gave them credit 5 years ago when he gave them 2 minutes of his time in between Yankee rants and jinxed them into a 5-11 season.Keep hating and thinking we all have something against you Mike because your best predictions are the opposite of what you actually say.I don’t care if you have to eat your words or not. 41 year fan!

  16. By jetmando on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    The easiest path to the Super Bowl is to Knock Manning out of the game like Minnesota did Warner.
    Without him they stink.

  17. By 36 year fan on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    Got to JAM Dallas Clark off the line. Knock him down hard . Right from the start. Let him know what kind of day this is . Take him out of his route, Manning is a quick thrower.

  18. By 36 year fan on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    Got to shut down Adai and their running game . They become one dimensional , they will be in serious trouble.

  19. By Frankie on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    Francessa is a hater!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t know about you guys but every Jet fan i know has been a fan since I knew them…but if people want to start liking the Jets now that they are in the playoffs then so be it…means my Jets are on the rise… lets get it done Sanchez and company!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. By Joe G on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    hey randy do you know what time the pep rally starts in time square this thursday the 21st?

  21. By Ira on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    The Jets held Manning in check for almost 3 QTs last time they played before they took him out. He was 14-21 192yds and 1 TD. Nobody knows how that would’ve played out if he played the entire game. All that matters is that the Jets won. One major factor will be that the Colts played without Garcon and Collie gave Lito a tough time. On the other hand Strickland was out so that offset that.

  22. By Ira on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    I think Kerry has shown he has stepped up his game back to where we expected him to be playing. So i think he will be fine with Clark when he has him. Rex will mix up the looks and coverages and bltizes all day. The keys to this game is shutdown the run, hurry and hit Manning and continue to do on offense what they have done the last 3 games. No mistakes, cause TO’s and we will go to Miami. GO JETS!

  23. By Tom Spicer on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    Mark Sanchez, is only the 2nd rookie QB in the history of the NFL to win 2 playoff games.

  24. By Randy Lange on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    Joe G, the Times Square rally will kick off at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. We’ll have a story going up on the site in a few minutes detailing all the plans for Championship Week.

  25. By Dave Reiner on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    Shut down their running game? What running game? The Colts were 32nd in the NFL in rushing. The focus needs to be on knocking Manning down and blanketing their receivers. Just like with the Chargers.

  26. By harry-o on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    jets -D will show up and do what they do, the offense makes me nervous. last game I don’t recall the O getting inside the 35. Jets can’t rely on 55 yd TD runs and 48yrd FGs. What they do between the 30s only looks good for stat totals. Get into the red zone give yourselves a chance to score points. GO JETS !

  27. By Tom Spicer on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    Mark Sanchez & Rex Ryan are only the 2nd rookie QB & rookie head coach to make the conference championship game.

  28. By 36 year fan on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    Our offensive line is …..The Best in Football. We are going to have to show it again . I Heard Freeney mouthing off about getting to Sanchez again and again and again. IN YOUR DREAMS BUDDY !! good luck trying to get through our wall .

  29. By 36 year fan on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    History will be kind to The Jets , For we intend to write it .

  30. By Ira on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    Dave, The Colts running stats are skewed because they pass so much. Be careful with D. Brown this week. Since the color coded QB system has been put in Sanchez’s #’s besides the Atl game are 64=105 -3 TD’sand 1 INT. And the Jets are 6-0 when he attempts 20 passes or less. He will have to make some pass plays this week down the field. And then they can run the ball down their throats all day.

  31. By Frank on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    Spicer I didn’t respond to your previous posting let’s stop the Sanchez nonsense and cherish the moment for godsake. The other rookie S. Greene is the playoff MVP and without him we are not here today. Sanchez has managed not to lose any game and we better pray we don’t need him to win one going forward. I was impressed with Greene’s 53 yard run that won the game for us not Sanchez. TEAM effort!

  32. By Tom Spicer on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    Mike Francesa is a Jet hater it kills him that we are doing better than the G Men. He has no idea what he is talking about when we lost to the Falcons & missed 3 field goals we were not good enough to get it done. When the Bolts miss 3 field goals 1 of which was 58 yards we got lucky. We didnt get lucky the Bolts were just not good enough!

  33. By scjoe on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    Frank is right, what Sanchez has done the last five or six weeks is ” to NOT LOSE games” and that is a good thing, but let’s be honest, he has not exactly lit it up during that time. I think this week he may need to do more, and I think Rex and Shotty know that as well. I think the real test for MS is how does he respond down 14-17 pts. We haven’t seen that yet.

  34. By scjoe on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    jetmando, you are correct in theory, I will be a little more discreet in saying that if the defense can “contain” Manning, and by contain, I mean holding him to under 250 yds. The Jets can win. Manning is not MVP of this league for nothing, he IS the Indy Colts, “contain” Manning and the chances of winning more then double. Forget their D and their running game, just contain Manning.

  35. By Mike Jet Vet on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    Let me explain to the highly paid & seemingly non informed experts again Jets don’t have shot to win? ,COLTS ARE ONE DIMENIONAL PEYTON MANNING that’s it take him out Colts are a sub 500 he stands tall they usually win ..Chargers took them out at least twice we took the chargers out What part of that logic don’t they understand ?.Take P-M out of the equation we’re in the super bowl– Logical

  36. By Tom Spicer on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    Frank, I have no problem dropping it & never bringing it up again but right after you say that a sentence later you take shots at him. Also Row still can not stop with his negative rants about it. It would help if you & Row can on the site & admitted you were wrong about him. I did it with Thomas Jones.

  37. By Tom Spicer on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    scjoe, I disagree on that 1 Mark has done what the coaches have told him to do he could have done more. In the playoff game vs the Bengals in 10 degree weather he was 12 for 15 over 75% with 2 TD’S & no picks. If Braylon did not drop a ball that hit him right in the chest with no on near him. Mark would have been 13 for 15 for 86% 225 yards 3 TD’S & no picks. You can not play a better game.

  38. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    scjoe, considering how much farther we’ve gone with MS this year than anyone could’ve predicted, it’s pretty ridiculous to be quibbling about him at this point of his 1st year. Of course, my brothers-in-green Frank and Row will keep doing that, Tom Spicer, but consider the sources. After all, Row still wants to see that idiotic reverse that Schotty’s been calling without success for three years.

  39. By scjoe on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    Jet fan since 64 & Tom Spicer. I am only stating the obvious, this run that the Jets have been on the past 5 or 6 weeks has been due mostly to the run game and the defense. Yes, Sanchez had one great game (Cincy) and a couple of good games, but that was my point, he is not losing games, and that is the difference between now and earlier in the season. That is not exactly getting down on the guy.

  40. By scjoe on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    cont… I like the progress he has made and is making, but I won’t back off my original statement that his true test will be how he responds down 14-17. Now, I sure hope that don’t happen this year, for obvious reasons. But have we witnessed that scenario yet with him? No, we haven’t. When and if he passes that test, I will become the believers you guys are now. But a hater I am not.

  41. By Row on Jan 20, 2010 | Reply

    Listen, I think it’s amazing Mark is not being as selfish as he was earlier in the season, but the guy is not amazing at the position. He almost got J-Co killed for a pivotal first down b/c he saw a pass rush. Players take unnecessary hits and cannot fall forward because of his high ball. Watch the tape. I’m glad we’re winning, but I call it how I see it. I could have thrown the 3 yd pass to DK.

  42. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Fair enough, scjoe, but having started watching New York sports with the Yanks-Giants World Series in ’62, part of my take is that we New Yorkers are too impatient. I wish I could describe to you the frustration that reigned at Shea on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons when Namath first played for us. But back then no one expected a QB to be “amazing at the position,” Row, for a few years.

  43. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    And by the way, Row, what’s this nonsense that you coulda thrown the TD to DK? That was a very smart and mature play for any rookie QB, rolling out at the goal line, calmly checking off receivers with so much at stake, finding a guy who’s not yet open and sticking with him, and then putting the ball through a very tight window for a TD. There’s a lot of vets who couldn’t have made that play!

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