All last week, every story about the New York Jets was focused on Brett Favre. How could the Jets win with such injudicious play at quarterback? Was Favre hurt? In a response worthy of an election year, the Jets ignored a negative story by creating a new message and staying on it.
They polished the old chestnut about defense winning football games. Kris Jenkins deserves the lion's share of the credit for that. Pre-Favre, Jenkins was this year's splashiest offseason acquisition. Somehow, though, his 350-pound frame became invisible amid the glaring spotlight that's bathed Favre since he first donned a Jets uniform. After Jenkins's performance against the Bills, however, it seems unlikely that will happen again.
Jenkins spearheaded an effort that held Buffalo to 30 yards rushing, including a crucial fourth down stop on the Jets 8 to end a second quarter drive. That's not surprising, Jenkins made his bones as a run stuffer, but he also played a key role in a fierce pass rush. Jenkins sacked Trent Edwards twice, and steamrolled him on the pass Abram Elam picked off and took 92 yards for a Jets touchdown. That made the score 13-7, and the Jets never trailed again.
Whether he's hurt or reckless or both, the Jets won't go anywhere by putting all the onus of winning and losing on Favre. He proved that in the fourth quarter with another intercepton borne of trying to do too much. For most of the game, the offensive game plan limited his risk and balanced the play calls to good effect. That meant it was the defense's job to go out and win the game. That's exactly what happened, and no player had a bigger role in that win than Jenkins.