After a dramatic finish to the Jets firs game of the regular season, there is a lot to take away from the game, good and bad. Although the run defense was phenomenal and Geno Smith played surprisingly decent, there was by far one player who outshined all others and played a huge role in the New York Jets victory: Kellen Winslow.
Winslow, who the Jets invited to camp and then signed soon after back in July, has been impressing all the coaches at training camp and preseason. The former 6th overall pick of the draft by way of Cleveland has had a shaky career, disappointing Cleveland and Tampa Bay while failing to even play more than 5 snaps for the next two teams that signed him (Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots). However, that is all in the past now.
Kellen Winslow has clearly developed a bond on the field with Geno Smith, and chemistry is something that is invaluable and yet can’t be taught to a quarterback and tight end. Kellen Winslow finished the day with 7 receptions for 79 yards and touchdown, and without his production it may have been impossible for the Jets to win, especially after TE Jeff Cumberland went down with a head injury. The veteran tight end stepped up and played excellently. Also, when Geno Smith needed to pass to someone he could count on, his target was always Kellen Winslow. Down by 9 points and inside the 10 yard line? Smith passed to Winslow for a 7 yard touchdown. Clock winding down in the fourth quarter and down by two points? Geno Smith passed to Winslow for a 26 yard gain, making the game winning field goal possible.
Even more inspiring was that Winslow performed this exceptionally against his former team who had given up on him. In the battle of returning players, the 30 year old “bust” tight end defeated the Pro Bowl, All-Pro, and ‘all great’ cornerback Darrelle Revis.
This is what I’ve been envisioning for so long. I’ve got to look at my old teammates in the face and view them as my enemy now. It was emotional for me, but at the same time, it’s just football.”
Now that Winsl0w has helped the New York Jets achieve the first win of the season, he will need to play a huge role on Thursday night if the Jets want to upset Tom Brady and the New England Patriots (also his former team). Especially now that Cumberland is questionable, Kerley concussed, and Holmes still not at %100, Kellen Winslow will be the target of several passes from Geno Smith and will have to come through for Geno Smith and the Jets if Gang Green hopes to pull out a victory on Thursday night.