It's a couple of days later and I'm still not really sure that game really happened.
This Jets team? The AFC Championship game? Sure. Why not?
It wasn't the prettiest game, by any means. The offense looked kind of bad in the first half. The defense didn't look perfect, and it seemed like it should have been more than 7-0.
But I'm sure I had the same thought as most Jets fans - hey, if we played that imperfectly in the first half and are only down 7? There's a chance.
And sure enough, the team came through in the second half. Big plays by the offense and the defense. Ballsy coaching from Rex Ryan.
A little bit of luck, too.
I've said this before here, but luck plays more of a factor in sports than we care to admit. Kickers missing easy kicks. Punts a fingertip away from being blocked. Balls bouncing one way vs another.
For so many years, though, it always seemed like the Jets were on the wrong side of that luck equation. Every time.
This year? They've been on the right side of it ever since week 16, when every team that they needed to lose lost and the Colts decided to pull their starters in the middle of a close game.
Was there some luck in this game? Sure. Revis' interception where the ball hit off the reciever's foot and landed in his lap was lucky. That punt the Chargers almost blocked in the second half, the fact that he missed by just a touch was lucky.
Does being on the right side of luck mean they didn't "earn" their success? Of course not. The Jets did a lot things well in this game, and they weren't handed a game by fate. They stopped the run. They confused Phillip Rivers. They only turned the ball over once on offense, and were able run effectively, especially as the game wore on.
This has been a fun playoff run, for sure. It's so much easier with our expectations lower. Again, there would have been no shame in losing to San Diego, as long as they didn't roll over and die (like, say, Dallas.) The Chargers are a really good team. The Jets are a new team, still figuring things out.
Same deal with the Colts. That team is really damn good, and has been for some time. At home, with relatively good health, they should beat the Jets. I don't think it'll be a blowout, but the Colts were 14-0 for a reason.
That said, is it possible? Sure. The way this team has been playing, the way Rex Ryan has them believing, the way the luck has been favoring them? If they keep things close, it's entirely possible to pull off yet another upset.
Another fun travel note - I'm going to be in Krakow, Poland on the day of the game. Obviously I made my January travel plans not expecting a Jets playoff run. Will I be able to find somewhere to watch the game there? I have no idea. If I can't, I'll have to use my phone (with unlimited data services internationally, thankfully) and hit refresh on Yahoo Sports.
No matter what happens on Sunday, though, it's nice to be this late in the season feeling this good about the Jets. It's been a long time since it's been this much fun to be a fan.
Now, please, don't get embarrassed by Peyton fucking Manning. Thanks.