"GROUND AND POUND!" "GROUND AND POUND!"
This should be the New York Jets new mantra. A slogan to play by, to live by, TO WIN BY.
The author of this article had a funny feeling about this game. In fact, the only prediction that was WAY OFF was the final score.
Jets 35, Colts 9
I did, in fact, anticipate a blowout. I also assumed (incorrectly, it seems) that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck would summon his inner Peyton Manning and do his absolute damnedest to, if not win, at least do enough to make the final score respectable.
Sometimes you get lucky. Sometimes you're good.
Today, the New York Jets were both. In spite of how completely one sided this game was, knowledge can be gained.
FIVE THINGS WE ALL LEARNED FROM TODAY'S GAME:
1. Jets running back Shonn Greene is good. VERY GOOD.
Should he have more games like today, and should he make a long-term habit of having games like today, he may even become GREAT. Thirty-two carries for 161 yards. THREE TOUCHDOWNS. So far this season, Greene has carried the ball 108 times, equalling his carry total in 2009, when he had the same number through 14 games. He runs with purpose, and when he does, the Jets win.
2. Andrew Luck needs to share the wealth.
Today, Luck's overall numbers didn't look half bad. Well, for a "common rookie". 22 of 44 passing completions for 280 yards? Meh, not TOO bad. TWO INTERCEPTIONS.
In this case, it is a matter of the defense pretty much knowing who Luck is going to throw to. His favorite receiver, long time veteran Reggie Wayne, and his "security blanket", current as well as former college team mate, tight end Coby Fleener. If you do what New York did today, and take those two targets out of the equation, Luck is ineffective.
3. ESPN's Skip Bayless' "complete objectivity" about the Jets Tim Tebow, is going to go through the roof.
I recently read an article Mr. Bayless wrote on ESPN.com, in which he laid out, quite reasonably and at length, an argument against those who call him the equivalent of "President of the Tim Tebow Fan Club". I was convinced that yes, he has been rather objective about the man who defeated his beloved Oklahoma Sooners. Now that the inclusion of Tebow in the Jets' game plan today has worked, he can go forth and staple shut the lips of his critics, by reminding them that TIM TEBOW JUST WINS.
4. "The old, brash talking Rex Ryan" hasn't gone anywhere. He's just grown up.
Maybe Ryan finally realized that the folks who yell at the top of their lungs about how awesome they are, eventually just get tuned out. People can only tolerate loudmouths for so long. Especially in the "What have you done for me lately?" culture of the NFL, boasting about Super Bowls gets old quickly.
Perhaps that's the reason behind the "loss of control" last season of the locker room. Perhaps it was the undue and "way too soon" pressure the players felt. Now that he has settled down (well, by Rex Ryan standards of settling down), maybe he can use this win as a steeping stool upward.
5. Losses are sometimes more valuable and better for a young player's growth than wins.
Of course it is exhilarating to come from behind and lead your team to a home victory over a heavily favored, highly skilled team like the Green Bay Packers. But you must be careful with the euphoria of such a win, because a game like this "sobers you up" real quick. With so many rookies in starting roles, of course the Colts are going to lose games (no offense, rookies, but come on, you know I'm right).