You know, going back into my AFC East and NFC East predictions published prior to the season in order to obtain the pictures of the helmet (fancy, I know), I could not help but think about just how wrong my predictions ended up being. At least, that is, as far as these two teams were concerned.
The Dallas Cowboys were almost a sure thing to win the NFC East, at least according to me. Following their very impressive 2014 season, when they finished 12-4, easily enough to win the division and to be one of the most impressive and dangerous teams in the NFC, it was hard to pick against Dallas repeating as division champions.
By contrast, following the miserable 4-12 season by the Jets last year, in which they were flirting with "earning" the first pick in the draft until the final month of regular season play, Gang Green seemed like a shoe in to repeat their feat of 2014 as cellar dwellers.
Goes to show how much I know, huh?
The Jets are 9-5, and looking very much like a playoff contender. Right now, in fact, I believe that they have an excellent chance of qualifying for the playoffs, and would not bet against them.
The Dallas Cowboys, in the meantime, have shown almost no ability to win without star quarterback Tony Romo, who was out for most of the season, and will be out for the rest of the season. It looks like they will need to figure something out in a hurry if they want to avoid the potential for a similarly disastrous collapse next season. They obviously need a quality back up. Also, they need to get a stronger running game, which really helped them to that impressive season last year.
In the game last night, the Dallas Cowboys fought hard and kept the Jets at bay for much of the game, and New York was playing from behind for much of the second half. But Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Jets on a solid drive, and found Eric Decker in the end zone for a three-yard touchdown drive that gave the Jets a 16-13 lead with a little under nine minutes left in the game.
Dallas fought back, and got a tying field goal inside of the two-minute warning.
Yet the Jets managed to find the answer, mounting an eight play drive to get a field goal attempt with seconds left in the fourth quarter. Jets placekicker Randy Bullock was able to split the uprights, giving New York a 19-16 lead, with very little time left. The Jets defense made it stand, and now, the team finds itself at 9-5, ahead of the Steelers and Chiefs for an AFC Wildcard berth (the AFC East title looks out of their reach, but the playoffs certainly are not).
What a solid victory for Gang Green. I could be mistaken, but it was the first victory that I have seen the Jets enjoy over the Cowboys in "Big D."