The New York Jets were in desperate need of ending their three-game losing skid and they did exactly that with a 37-27 triumph over the Oakland Raiders Sunday. Quarterback Geno Smith rebounded in a big way completing 16-of-25 pass attempts for 245 yards including one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown. After being benched during last week’s 23-3 setback to the Miami Dolphins, Gang Green’s rookie signal-caller answered the bell in Week 13, much to the delight of head coach Rex Ryan.
“That’s the mark of this young man,” said Ryan of Smith. “He’s a resilient guy and has shown he can bounce back. It was an excellent performance on his part, and really the team’s in general. The way the offensive line protected, the receivers did a great job getting open and made some great catches for him. Overall, it was a bounce-back for us, especially offensively. That’s a football team.”
New York’s offense came to life against Oakland after failing to the score a touchdown the past two games. With wide receivers Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley back healthy, Smith spread the wealth finding six different receivers and averaging 13.7 yards per pass play.
“I think Jeremy, we were 0-4 without him, so I think it obviously makes a big difference the kind of slot receiver he is,” noted Ryan. “He can get open. He has great hands. He competes. He has great run after the catch (ability) and he’s a good route runner. Obviously when he’s healthy, it makes a big difference. You put on top of that, you get Santonio healthy, a guy that’s another proven playmaker, that’s a huge help also. And then Kellen, we altered his schedule a little bit and I thought Kellen played really well for us as well.”
The Jets’ 37 points was a season-high and the most they’ve scored since hanging up 48 points in Week 1 of last season against the Buffalo Bills. While still on the outside looking in, Gang Green is still very much in the playoff hunt, trailing Baltimore and Miami by one game in the standings. As Ryan and company prepare for a fearsome Carolina Panthers in Week 15, New York’s head man is pleased his group was able to get back on the winning side of things.
We needed that in the worst way to say the least. This is a big win for us after we lost three tough games. We always talk to our team about how sometimes, you’ll need to offense to pick up the defense, sometimes you’ll need the defense to pick up the offense, sometimes you need special teams to pick up both sides. That’s the mark of a team.