Did the noise help create Ray Lucas’ fumble in the red zone? Did Fireman Ed’s mesmerizing chant help intimidate the refs to overturn the first Dolphin touchdown reception? There can no longer be any of this nonsense that the Meadowlands, alternately know as Giants Stadium, is not a Jet home field. When the green and white play their games there, there is no doubt.
It is constantly standing in your seat on third down conversions thinking that it will help assist the defense in making a big play. If statistics were kept for this category, the Jets would be doing better on stopping third and long if the stadium was quiet, kind of an intimidating and eerie feeling to psyche out the opposing offense. Maybe it’s the guy in section 107 with the cowbell that rings it every time that the Jets do something good. Something memorable. Something even Warner Wolf wouldn’t put in the video. It is all of the above that create a home field advantage. It is the chemistry and combination of a good football team, true believers, ardent fans and the chaotic environment that combine on any given Sunday afternoon or evening for three hours of home town madness that creates a home field advantage.
In retrospect, it was a beautiful night for a football game. In fact, it was a beautiful night for anything (except trying to park the car at the Meadowlands). Someday in our lifetime, someone over there in the swamp will learn how to move the traffic. If we every do get a Super Bowl, it is our guess that they will close certain lots near gate B on the day of the announcement proclaiming that they are already filled. But after so many years, we are now used to the stadium. It still is the best place in America to watch a game.
On Sunday night, the NY Jets made it clear to the Dolphins, using football-vernacular that they were in their house. The Jets solidified the feeling throughout the evening. There were moments of nervousness and lapses when the offense stalled by not showing any spunk and aggressiveness in the second half, until the last 84-yard drive lead by Pennington and Coles was capped off with a John Hall field goal at the 2:17 mark.
Other moments of, “Is this really our home field?” came when Larry Webster was called for an illegal use of hands, which nullified a Donnie Abraham interception. The crowd became quiet. Where was the noise? What happened to the hostility? Did we lose our home field advantage as the final fifteen minutes started ticking? We think not!! As the team, the crowd and the energy started to regroup, it was clear that the home field advantage was there, the new turf was right and John Hall had his moment.
It took many plays for it all to come together against the Dolphins. After watching our bend-but-not-break defense again give us palpitations, we did squish the fish. It appeared to us that in the third quarter, all of the momentum was swinging to Miami and like the horror show of Kansas City; we would give up a touchdown or at the best case a Mare field goal. But the team is a little more physical and is playing better on defense than earlier in the season. Some of our positive observations:
§ Our latest theory of why we are improving on defense as expressed recently by the COACH, is that the Jets were not in shape early on. Those hot Florida September Sundays wore them out in the Second Half. The hottest football game ever played in Buffalo was a contributor also.