What else can you say about Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes and the New York Jets? They blew a 16-point fourth-quarter lead and looked to be headed to another heartbreaking loss at home, but the Texans gave the Green & White 55 seconds and that was 10 seconds too much as Sanchez led a five-play, 72-yard drive that culminated on the game-winning 6-yard fade to Santonio Holmes.
“Certain players kind of have that mystique, something about them that they make plays when it’s really time to make plays,” RB LaDainian Tomlinson, who caught seven passes for 71 yards — none more important than a 19-yard gain on the final march — said of Holmes. “Go back to the Super Bowl. When Pittsburgh needed a play, they went to him. When we need a play, he’s coming through. He just has that knack.”
This entire team has a knack for the amazing. How ’bout that for a followup after becoming the first team in NFL history to win back-to-back road overtime games? At 8-2, they are off to the second-best start after 10 games in franchise history and they’ve proved to be gamers in every sense of the word.
“We’re still learning how to win these games. We haven’t been in these situations before,” said Tomlinson, who is searching for his first championship ring and also climbed past Curtis Martin into seventh place on the NFL’s all-time yards from scrimmage list today. “No matter who we’re playing, I don’t care who it is — Detroit, Cleveland, Houston — you have to learn how to win games like this.”
Sanchez, who has reached the 300-yard mark in two of the past three games (he had 299 in Cleveland), impressed Tomlinson the most with his deep throw down the right sideline to Braylon Edwards that moved the ball from the plus-48 to the plus-6-yard line.
“I think that throw down there to Braylon was an incredible throw because you have the safety coming over top and he fit that ball into a tight window, and he threw that ball like something I’ve never seen before,” he said.
If you’re a fan of this ballclub, you’ve got to check your ticker each week. They don’t mind the close contests as each of their last five victories — vs. Minnesota, at Denver, Detroit and Cleveland, and today vs. Houston — have come down to the final seconds.
“I want to apologize to all the Jets fans for affecting the heart a little bit, but we’ll take the win,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “I understand we have some issues finishing games — some blown assignments, some dropped coverages and all that kind of stuff — but we’ll get it fixed. And we’re 8-2 and we’ll get it fixed, so I’ll take it.”
Jets Nation can be thankful this week that they have one of the best young passers in all of football. It’s amazing to think where we were back in Week 1 when the Jets lost a 10-9 home decision to the Baltimore Ravens. When the Jets started their final possession in need of a field goal and just 1:37 on the clock, it seemed like an impossible task against B-More. And while neither the Texans nor the Lions nor the Browns has a defense that rivals the Ravens, the kid has grown up so much more than just a couple of months on the calendar.
“Phenomenal. Mark is doing an excellent job,” said LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson. “He’s made it a lot easier because he’s helped us get out of some tough spots. He’s real poised — everybody can see the poise that he as well as the offense have in difficult times. I think this is going to be really big for us the later the season goes when we face tough opponents. It’s good that when it’s tough like that, you can still win and come out on top.”
In the joyful locker room afterward, Sanchez told Jets play-by-play man Bob Wischusen an interesting story that took place before kickoff with him and No. 10.
“I saw his Super Bowl ring before the game. He had it right here and was like, ‘Oops, I dropped it,’ and I was like, ‘Man, that’s what we’re playing for.’ That’s kind of our attitude at the end of games — we have to win this thing, we have to fight, whatever it takes, and guys really complement each other,” said Sanchez.
So the Jets have a short week and then it’s the 2-8 Bengals on Thanksgiving. Tough loss avoided and another great win in the books. Something special is happening here.
“It’s good for the character, but we’re striving not to make these wins so difficult on us,” Ferguson said. “We’re looking for ways to perform and not always put ourselves in a hole. But at the end of the day, a win is a win, we’re excited and we have a quick turnaround, so we’re going to prepare for our next opponent and do what we need to win that game as well.”
Tags: Houston Texans, LaDainian Tomlinson, Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan, Santonio Holmes
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