Nice wins by both the Jets and Giants yesterday left me feeling jolly by night's end. (And believe me, I could use it. I still can't shed the last dregs of the crud I got on the way back from Australia, the Irish trip is bearing down like a freight train, and for whatever reason I am sleeping very poorly of late).
The Jets beat Buffalo pretty much every way one team can beat another. Offense, defense, throwing, passing, you name it. Well, okay, it was only the Bills, and they look pretty woeful this season... but this is the sort of game that the Same Old Jets of years past would have blown, coming off their emotional, hard-fought victory over Miami the week before. The Jets of old were infamous for losing games they should have won. Sanchez is showing real signs of improvement, the D was solid, and the running game showed up big time. Congrat to LaDainion Tomlinson, who ran like a mother and seems to have found the fountain of youth. Shonn Green got 100 yards as well, and we even had a Joe McKnight sighting (though I still miss little Leon). And next week we get Santonio Holmes back! That should make the O even more formidable.
The Giants game was much closer. I love good defense and I got plenty of it in this night game between two of the NFL's most storied old-time franchises, the G-Men and the unbeaten (previously) Chicago Bears. Ten sacks, and there could easily have been more. Both Jay Cutler and his backup Todd Collins knocked out of the game, leaving someone named "Caleb Hainie" as QB of the Bears. "Caleb Hainie" sounds like a character out of PETTICOAT JUNCTION, but actually he outplayed both Cutler and Collins in his brief stint. Even so, the game was in doubt well into the fourth quarter. The Bears D, while not as sack-happy as the NY D, was equally stout, and Eli and the boys could not seem to get anything going. All those three-and-outs were especially galling since out new punter really sucks (where have you gone, Jeff Feagles? Manhattan turns its lonely eyes toward you!), so every exchange worsened our field position.
For most of the game the G-Men clung by their fingernails to a 3-0 lead, knowing that one good Bears play was all it would take to put them behind. But finally in the last quarter, to my relief, Eli and Ahmed and Hakeem Nicks made some plays, and the G-Men survived a couple of bad fumbles, scored a pair of touchdowns, and put this one away. Whew.
The Jets have the Vikings next week. The G-Men have to face the red-hot Houston Texans. Uh-oh. We better come to play for that one. Meanwhile, I have a week to savor these wins.