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The Jets Have Turned the Impossible Into the Routine

Jets blow 16-point lead, but find a way to win one more time

By Josh Alper
|  Monday, Nov 22, 2010  |  Updated 2:11 PM EDT
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Is there anybody around here who loves this year's New York Jets more than cardiologists? 

Every week, the Jets play games that put their fans through ridiculous amounts of stress before shooting them full of adrenaline in the final seconds as they snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Throw in the normal Sunday diet of wings, pizza and beer for what can be best described as the exact reason why doctors choose cardiology as a specialty. 

Sunday's victory over the Texans was by far the best day for those who profit from the difficulties of those watching the game. The Jets held a 23-7 lead with 14 minutes to play and finally seemed to have turned the corner en route to the convincing victory that's eluded them for more than a month. And then, just as suddenly as their lighting strikes in Denver, Detroit and Cleveland, they appeared to be on their way to a collapse as epic as any in the long history of Jets collapses. 

The Texans scored 20 straight points as the Jets fell apart in every phase of the game. Shonn Greene had another big fumble, the offensive line stopped pass blocking, Mark Sanchez threw an interception and the defense basically folded up its tent and stopped doing anything correctly. For 13 minutes, the Jets ceased to exist and when the Texans kicked a field goal with 55 seconds to go to open up a 27-23 lead it seemed the Jets had finally rolled snake eyes. 

Cue Mark Sanchez, the NFL's answer to MacGyver. He's still got plenty of flaws, but Sanchez has made it known that folding under pressure is not among them. The last four victories for this team have all come on his shoulders, a situation that might make the Jets look like a very different team down the stretch of this season.

Two completions to LaDainian Tomlinson moved the ball into Houston territory and then Sanchez went for all the marbles deep down the sideline to Braylon Edwards. Edwards, as wide open as he was all day, hauled in the pass and the Jets scored on the next play when Sanchez floated a perfect fade ball to Santonio Holmes. Holmes spent the day with just as little defensive attention as Edwards, something that the Jets probably didn't exploit enough over the course of the contest. 

They exploited it when it counted, though, and escaped with a win that leaves them at 8-2 and still in the driver's seat in the AFC. Rex Ryan probably shouldn't belabor that point with his team, however. A team that is capable of playing such flawless, overwhelming football should not be finding itself in these positions every week and it might be time to treat a win like the loss that the Jets probably deserved on Sunday afternoon. 

But as Clint Eastwood once said, "deserve's got nothing to do with it." The Jets won again on Sunday and they don't have much time to worry about the hows and whys before taking the field against the Bengals on Thanksgiving night. 

Given how much we're likely to eat on Thursday, that's likely to be the best night yet for those cardiologists.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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