Rookie S Rontez Miles, who was activated from the Jets practice squad (11/1/13), made his NFL debut when he played on the kickoff coverage unit.
WR Greg Salas made his Jets debut and registered two catches for a team-high 57 yards. He recorded his first reception of the season with a 13-yard catch and run late in the first half and added a career-long 44-yard reception on the opening drive of the second half that set up a field to increase the Jets advantage to 23-14.
With the win, Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan has now run his record to 5-0 against his twin brother, Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan, as NFL coaches. With the Jets, Rex has registered wins against Rob three times.
Ground & Pound:
The Jets offense churned out 198 yards rushing on 36 carries for a 5.5 average yards per carry. The Jets defense held the Saints to 41 yards on 13 carries for a 3.2 average yards per rush. The 13 carries and 41 yards by the Saints are both season lows for both the Saints offensively and the Jets defensively. This season, the Jets who entered the game leading the league in rushing yards allowed per game and opponent rushing average have allowed an average of 73.9 yards per game and 3.15 yards per carry.
QB Geno Smith:
Smith scored his third rushing touchdown of the season on a three-yard run with 0:37 left in the first half to put the Jets up 20-14. The rookie rushed six times for 18 yards and went eight-for-19 for 115 yards through the air.
Cromartie intercepted his first pass of the season on a Brees’ throw intended for WR Nick Toon at the Saints 39-yard line. The Jets offense converted the take-away into a five-play, 39-yard touchdown drive that gave the team a 20-14 lead. This was the 11th interception for Cromartie since joining the Jets in 2010, the most by any CB in the AFC.
With a nine-yard sack of Drew Brees in a third quarter, Wilkerson extended his streak of consecutive games with a sack to five. Through nine games, Wilkerson has a career-high eight sacks on the season to the lead the team as well as all NFL 3-4 defensive linemen. Wilkerson now has 11 sacks in his last 14 games.
Head Coach Rex Ryan:
“Looking at this game, we knew it was going to be tough. There’s no doubt it was going to be a tough game. We didn’t know how we’d win it and all that, but all I know is that I have a team that believes and will fight to the end and find a way. That’s really what we did. It was a great team effort. The pride of this Jet team….that’s why we won. We had to overcome some tough injuries to (Jeremy) Kerley, Antonio Allen, and Garrett McIntyre. Those are tough injuries, but we hung in there and found a way. We slipped in a coverage and it goes for 60 yards, and (Drew) Brees doesn’t need a whole lot of help. That one kind of hurt us and got us on our heels, but we hung in there. We overcame some big penalties against us, which we have to get cleaned up, but I was proud of it.”
On the secondary:
“Well it was outstanding, if you can say it was outstanding after a guy throws for 382 yards against you, ‘It was outstanding!’ (joking) Really, it was, we made some plays. By the way, you guys see what I am talking about with Dee Milliner? I think he was a little better today. Ok? The kid played his butt off. Like I said, he’s going to be there. He’s going to be there. But if you want to bet against me on a defensive player, go for it.”
On why this team has been able to overcome outside perceptions:
“Because the thing is, anybody that made those predictions about this team, did not know this team. The guys in the locker room, how much they care. I know one thing, we get everything they have from our players, period. I don’t know if it’s good enough or whatever, but I know what we get from our guys. They care about each other a great deal, they care about our fans. I think we’re the only team in the league that takes yellow buses around and all that kind of jazz. But you know what? That’s who we are. We’re not apologizing for it. We know we’re a better team than people thought, it’s because it’s about all of us. It’s not just about one guy, or this guy or that guy. We may have the best defensive player in the league right now, but it isn’t about him, it’s about us. That’s what this team bought in (to). We challenged our team in the offseason, we have to out prepare, out work everyone we play, and then we’ll worry about what we don’t have and all that stuff. We never think about that.”
Quarterback Geno Smith:
On how he thinks he played today:
“I think I did a pretty good job of managing situations, not trying to force the ball, knowing when to tuck the ball and run, knowing when to get the ball out of my hands versus the pressure look or even throw it away. I think not having so many negative plays and negative yardage, I think that’s something that really helped us today because many times we were able to flip field position with punts and it helped our defense out going up against a really good offense.”
How much easier it makes his job when the running game is working:
“It makes it tremendously easy. Not only are we (not) in third-and-long situations, putting ourselves in tough situations, but it’s wearing down the defensive line. Those guys have a ton of pass rushers. Those two guys they have on the edge are two of the best in the league at getting to the quarterback. The way we ran the ball, (we were) able to kind of neutralize that and it gave us some opportunities to take shots down the field and to do other things. But the way we ran the ball really, I think, carried the offense today.”
Cornerback Antonio Cromartie:
On whether he views the victory as a statement game:
“We’re not worried about making statements to anybody. Honestly, we’re worried about ourselves and what we can do as a team. We believe in every single guy that’s in here. We understand that if we play up to our standards and up to our abilities, we can go far with this team.”
On finding consistency the rest of the season:
“Honestly, just going out and playing fundamental football. You have to understand you’re going to have the ups and downs, but at the end of the day, it’s about going out and just playing fundamentally sound football and technique football. So, if everybody is going, doing their job and trusting in the next guy beside them that he’s going to do his job to the best of his ability, then that’s what it’s really all about.”
Making the interception after giving up a touchdown to Jimmy Graham:
“It was good, It was really just a point of going out and making a play. The touchdown I gave up, I should have stayed outside leverage, but he made a great catch on it. He attacked the ball. You just have to forget about those and get going.”
Defensive Lineman Muhammad Wilkerson
On the performance of the defense:
“We knew we had to bounce back from a tough loss that we had last week. Everybody was fundamentally sound, ready to get going for this game and everybody executed well (in) all three phases. Offense, defense and then special teams.”
On the interceptions:
“Great. First couple weeks we were having a hard time creating turnovers and we got some today, so that was good. That definitely helped out, giving the ball back to the offense.”
On the performance of the defense…
We knew we had to bounce back from a tough loss that we had last week. Everybody was fundamentally sound, ready to get going for this game and everybody executed well (in) all three phases. Offense, defense and then special teams.
On the team’s success of getting to Drew Brees:
“We knew he’s a short quarterback and we knew, obviously, he’s an elite quarterback and getting him off his mark would get him rattled. And I think we did that, getting pressure on him, hits, sacks and overthrows and batted balls. Credit to the whole defense (for) being disruptive.”