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There's just something about the Jets that brings out the crunch time interceptions in Brett Favre.
The good news is that this time the amateur photography buff was playing against the Jets instead of for them. That meant Dwight Lowery's interception with 90 seconds to play sealed a 29-20 victory instead of one of the coffins Favre built for the Jets down the stretch of the 2008 season.
The pick ended an eventful night for Favre and for the ESPN crew covering the game. Favre threw three second half touchdowns to get his team back into the game, but he also turned the ball over three times and spent much of the night throwing passes that would get just about any other quarterback in the league benched for a good long time.
Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski would disagree with that assessment. They both bent over backward to make excuses for Favre's miserable first half and then turned into teenage girls at a Justin Bieber concert when he hit Randy Moss and Percy Harvin for long touchdowns to climb back into the game. When Favre threw the game-ending pick, the two of them seemed to ignore the fact that the Vikings lost in favor of genuflecting about Favre's magic.
It's true: He took a potential win and made it disappear once again. Two terrible throws and then an interception on the final drive. That's magical, although the good people of Minnesota -- who have had a miserable sports week -- would probably prefer something from David Copperfield.
Favre shouldn't have ever been in that kind of situation. Their defense completely smothered the Vikings in the first half and they moved the ball well for good chunks of the night on offense. Every time they got close to the end zone, however, passes were dropped or thrown poorly and the team had to settle for five Nick Folk field goals. Some blame can be put on the weather as it looked like an outtake from "The Day After Tomorrow" during the first half, but the Jets kept handing the Vikings chances and nearly paid the price for it.
That they didn't can be placed at Favre's feet, perhaps, but the Jets defense and running backs deserve some credit as well. The defense held tough through the stormy first half and then made the play when they absolutely had to make one at the end. Antonio Cromartie was great against Moss on all but one play and Adrian Peterson was mostly a non-factor. There were some serious breakdowns on both Harvin touchdowns and Darrelle Revis looks like he's still hurt, but this unit can play.
So can Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson. They combined for 151 yards and Greene scored the lone offensive touchdown in the fourth quarter on a pretty 23-yard run. Give credit to Brian Schottenheimer for their strong close to the game as he was very aggressive through the air in the early going, which meant the Vikings were thinking pass and got burned when Schotty went to the ground.
As ugly as it was, the win overshadows any negatives about the performance. This felt like a classic Jets loss filled with blown chances and capped by a late collapse, but the team held up long enough to leave the stadium with a fourth straight win. The ESPN crew was more interested in talking about Favre, but the Jets have kept themselves right at the top of the heap in the NFL through five weeks and there aren't many signs that they will relinquish that spot.