Thursday Night Football has been getting a bad reputation for issuing horrible blowouts that have largely been over by halftime. For two straight weeks, that labeling couldn’t be further from the truth. Last night’s AFC East battle between the New England Patriots ad New York Jets was instead a hard fought battle that actually wasn’t decided until the final play of the game. The Pats ended up clamping down enough to hold New York to a potential 58-yard field goal, and blocked the kick as time expired to take a narrow 27-25 lead.

There’s more to last night’s game than just the score, though. Let’s break down the top takeaways from Thursday night’s NFL action:

End of the Road?

The Jets gave a valiant effort in front of the nation on Thursday night and really had some bad luck late. However, six straight losses is still six straight losses. Head coach Rex Ryan admitted earlier in the week that if the Jets couldn’t turn things around and make the playoffs, he’d probably be fired. Whether it comes nor or at the end of the season, that’s probably what’s going to happen.

Shane Vereen, Superstar

Stevan Ridley went down last week and some wondered if his absence would hurt the Patriots. Not so much. Instead, it thrust versatile weapon Shane Vereen into a much larger role and he did not disappoint. Vereen caught an impressive 46-yard touchdown on New England’s first drive of the game and ended the night with over 100 total yards and two total touchdowns. It’s just one game, but it’s possible the Patriots are more than a little okay at running back going forward.

2 Point Panic

New York drove right down the field and scored a touchdown to give themselves a shot at forcing overtime. All they needed was a two-point conversion. They didn’t get it, though, because Geno Smith quickly darted a rainbow shot too far out of reach for rookie tight end Jace Amaro. Three things were wrong with this play: the target was an inconsistent rookie, the play happened way too fast and the play happened at all.

A much better play call would be to fake a hand-off and have an athletic Smith roll out to either side. Not only could the fake have the defense bite that it’s a run, but Smith could then have two options – run or pass. More importantly, this would have kept the play alive and given the Jets a chance to bail themselves out in one of two ways. Instead, their two-point try took less than two seconds and was a failure. It ultimately cost them the game.

Geno the Hero

While Smith didn’t convert the two-point conversion and will probably continue to take heat for all the losing, he actually played a pretty darn good game. This is a top-ranked Patriots pass defense, yet Smith routinely found the open man, made the right scramble and led two clutch drives to end this game. The reason the Jets lost was due to a horrible two-point play call and a blocked field goal, not Geno Smith.

Related Articles
Leave Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *