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The Jets continued to confound their critics on Sunday, eventually pulling out a win over the Jaguars in overtime after having blown a 10-point fourth quarter lead. Big plays in the running game and effective pass coverage sparked the win, which was finished off by Chandler Catanzaro's game-winning field goal in the last minute of overtime.
Let's start this week by focusing on the offense:
Josh McCown had yet another game where he completed a high percentage of his passes, made a few downfield throws to keep the defense honest, and didn't take many risks. McCown's only interception was pure misfortune, because the intended receiver slipped as McCown was releasing the pass, although he did get lucky on another throw which could easily have been a pick-six.
Despite again posting efficient numbers, McCown also fumbled three times and now has six on the season. While he recovered four of the first five himself, the sixth proved costly, as his swing pass to Bilal Powell travelled laterally and was scooped up by Myles Jack, whose touchdown return made it a three-point game.
On the previous play, McCown had found Robby Anderson on his longest throw of the day as the Jets looked set to add to their 20-10 fourth quarter lead. But Powell didn't seem to be expecting the pass, which bounced off his pads and right to Jack. That made for a tense finish as the Jets narrowly avoided failing to win a game that they led by at least eight in the fourth quarter for the first time since 1999.
With Matt Forté out, the Jets needed Bilal Powell to step up and he did immediately, with a 75-yard touchdown run on his first carry. That was something of a freak play as Powell fell to the turf at the second level but got back to his feet and raced past a secondary that had stopped playing as he was ruled to have been untouched. However, even without that stroke of fortune, it was a big game for Powell, who racked up 190 total yards.
Rookie Elijah McGuire also stepped up with a big game. He added a touchdown run of his own on a 69-yard burst that saw him sidestep a defender at the second level to race to paydirt. In total, McGuire rushed for 93 yards on 10 carries and added 22 and 16-yard catches.
New signing Travaris Cadet also saw some action as the third back, but nearly all of his reps actually came at wide receiver. Cadet is a pass-catching specialist with less than 100 career rushing yards and over 100 receptions.
Despite the fact that he also played on defense, the Jets once again used Lawrence Thomas at fullback, and he again had some effective blocks, although he also missed one that led to a run-stuff late in the game.
Anderson led the Jets in receiving yards again, although he had been having a quiet game until McCown hit him with the deep pass in the fourth quarter -- and he also had a drop at the marker. All three of his catches went for first downs, though, which also led the team.
Jeremy Kerley added five more catches, including a nice toe-tapping sideline catch to convert a third down, plus one other first down. He's been targeted 13 times this season and has remarkably made the catch on all 13 of those targets, although he is only averaging seven yards per catch.
Jermaine Kearse had a quiet game this week, though, with just 17 yards on four catches. He also had a big catch and run in overtime that was negated by a penalty, and an end zone throw that went just off his fingertips as he tried to make a one-handed catch.
At tight end, Austin Seferian-Jenkins made some good contributions again with four catches, including a 27-yarder down the seam, and good blocks on each of the long touchdown runs. However, he also had a false start and a holding penalty. Eric Tomlinson made his return from an elbow injury to back up Seferian-Jenkins, and contributed some good run blocking.
Youngsters ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen, and Neal Sterling didn't play much and weren't targeted, although Stewart contributed a good run-block. Sterling got beaten off the edge in pass-protection on one third down play.
Despite the massive offensive output, the Jets were somewhat overmatched in the trenches, but managed to make enough big plays to keep the scoreboard moving. The Jaguars, who entered the game leading the league in sacks, racked up four in the first half, but the Jets got the ball out quicker after halftime and only gave up one more.
Left tackle Kelvin Beachum was badly beaten off the edge for two of the first half sacks but only got beaten around the edge one other time, although McCown also ate a hit from his man on a designed screen pass.
Brian Winters made his return at right guard and had key blocks on each of the long touchdown runs, but otherwise struggled in the running game. He also had some issues against the bull-rush in pass-protection and was called for a hold and a false start.
Wesley Johnson also had some issues at center, as Calais Campbell bowled him over for a big sack. He had some mixed results in the running game, with Powell's touchdown coming on a play where Johnson whiffed on his block at the second level.
Brandon Shell was replaced by Brent Qvale at right tackle due to his shoulder injury. He gave up a strip-sack, was bowled over another time in pass-protection and allowed a couple of runs to be stuffed by his man, but also made some positive contributions in the running game.
Finally, James Carpenter had some great run-blocks, but also made a few mistakes, including a false start.