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What we all missed about these surprising Jets

Austin Seferian-Jenkins was getting dressed at his locker after the Jets’ 23-20 overtime win over the Jaguars on Sunday, when someone asked if he knew what the preseason over/under win total was for the Jets.

“Six?” Seferian-Jenkins asked.

Nope. He was then told it was 3 ½.

“Three and a half? Whoa,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “I hope someone put a lot of money on that we were going to go over.”

The Jets are halfway to making those who took the over happy. They won their second straight game Sunday and at 2-2, look like they will be much better than most people predicted.

So, what did the oddsmakers and experts miss when predicting this team to be 0-16, 1-15 or 2-14?

“These people, they make their predictions and all that. Most of the time they’re on, but sometimes they’re off,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “I think it comes down to the determination of the guys in the room and how hard do they want to play and how committed they are to each other. I think the cool thing about this team is that we are all really committed to each other — the coaches, the players. We’re playing for one another. We’re not playing for ourselves. I think that’s why we’ve been able to be successful.”

The Jets have gotten stronger play than expected from quarterback Josh McCown, who has completed over 70 percent of his passes. The offensive line has played much better than anyone anticipated, paving the way for 256 rushing yards Sunday. Rookie safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye look like seasoned veterans. The secondary has allowed one pass of 40 yards or more this season after allowing 13 last year.

But ask Jets players and coaches and they will echo what Seferian-Jenkins said. They believe the key to this team being better than outsiders expected is the togetherness it has.

“It’s really the chemistry the guys developed in the offseason and going into training camp,” Jets coach Todd Bowles said. “It’s just a credit to them to keep fighting and staying together and stay the course. In football, as with other sports, you can’t really listen to outside noise. You have to understand what you have. You have to build it from within and let everybody else talk and just play your game.”

The Jets could have easily folded Sunday after blowing a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter against the Jaguars. It felt like the game had slipped away, but they found a way to win in overtime.

“It’s probably one of the better places that I’ve been in 15 years,” McCown said. “It felt like we had a great environment in Chicago when I was there early on. It’s funny because we’re probably not as veteran a team as the groups I was with where I felt we had good chemistry. I feel like it reminds me of the chemistry we had on some of those teams in Chicago, some of the teams I was on in Carolina where you just had a strong connection with everyone and everyone was pulling in the same direction. I think it’s a credit to the coaches and management for putting this group together.”

Chemistry is something that does not show up when you are evaluating rosters in the preseason. Just ask the Giants across town or last year’s Jets.

Right now, these Jets head to Cleveland looking for a third straight win, hoping chemistry carries them.

“The way we are right now is just united,” defensive end Leonard Williams said. “That’s one thing that we’ve been harping on a lot this year is playing for each other and playing together. We’ve been coming together through adversity and hard times. We finished the game [Sunday] in overtime and we faced a lot of adversity in that game. Guys have been rallying together and playing for each other. I love seeing that.”

Revealing stat: The Jaguars went 4-for-15 on third down on Sunday. The Jets have vastly improved on third down in the past two weeks. Miami was 1-for-12 on third down. They are getting off the field, and that has been a key for them.

Surprising snap count: Rookie wide receivers ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen barely played again. Stewart played six snaps. Hansen played one. I understand the Jets like the Jermaine Kearse, Robby Anderson, Jeremy Kerley combination, but I am surprised the rookies don’t have a slightly bigger role.

Game ball: DE Kony Ealy was a beast. He knocked down four Blake Bortles passes and intercepted one, nearly getting to the end zone with it. Ealy played just days after the death of his sister, and looked like he was playing an inspired game. Picking up Ealy off waivers has paid big dividends for the Jets early in the season.

Source: http://nypost.com/2017/10/02/what-we-all-missed-about-these-surprising-jets/

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