Ryan Fitzpatrick up, special teams down in Jets' thrilling win

Fitzpatrick receives game ball for comeback (1:46)

The Jets' game ball goes to QB Ryan Fitzpatrick for overcoming adversity, and the Giants' game ball is handed to DE Robert Ayes for the added pressure he put on Fitzpatrick. (1:46)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A look at the New York Jets players who were “up” and those who were “down” in Sunday's 23-20 overtime victory over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium:


Ryan Fitzpatrick, quarterback: He delivered one of the Jets' best passing performances in recent memory, throwing for 390 yards and two touchdowns. Some perspective: It was the most passing yards by a Jets quarterback since Vinny Testaverde's 481 yards in the final game of the 2000 season. In the process, Fitzpatrick debunked the perception that he's incapable of leading a come-from-behind victory, rallying the Jets from a 10-point deficit. He caught fire late in the game, completing 18 of 27 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter/overtime. He was under duress at times (three sacks/nine QB hits), but managed to avoid a single turnover. There's a word for this sort of thing: clutch.

Brandon Marshall, wide receiver: Another week, another monster game. Marshall ravaged the Giants' secondary, finishing with 12 catches for 131 yards. His biggest play was a 9-yard touchdown reception with 27 seconds left in regulation. He became the first Jets receiver since Jerricho Cotchery in 2007 to reach the 1,000-yard receiving mark. Afterward, Marshall used a LeBron James-Dwyane Wade comparison for him and Fitzpatrick. On this day, they were virtually unstoppable -- 13 targets, 12 receptions.

Eric Decker, wide receiver: After a quiet first half, Decker came up huge in the fourth quarter/overtime, making five of his eight catches. He caught four balls on one drive, leading to a field goal and sparking the comeback. The Jets finally figured out how to spring Decker in the middle of the field. The Giants had no answers for him or Marshall. The Giants, of course, are used to this sort of thing. They began the day as the 32nd-ranked pass defense. This won't help their standing.

Bilal Powell, running back: He was the unsung hero. The Jets needed a way to slow down the Giants' pass rush, so they decided to make use of Powell out of the backfield. Time after time, he caught screen passes, finishing with eight catches for 91 yards and a touchdown. The strategy not only neutralized the pass rush, saving wear and tear on Fitzpatrick, but it resulted in big plays. The biggest was a middle screen in which Powell ran for a 25-yard touchdown, with the help of downfield blocks by Nick Mangold and James Carpenter.

Rontez Miles, safety: The former practice-squad player was pressed into action in the third quarter when Calvin Pryor (stinger) was sidelined. Miles almost was one of the goats, jumping offside on a punt that extended a Giants drive, but he responded by making the defensive play of the game. On a fourth down from the 4, with Tom Coughlin inexplicably going for a touchdown instead of an easy field goal, Miles made his first career interception. It was the turning point.


Bobby April and the special-teams units: Come on, fellas, you have to be better than this. The Jets allowed their second punt-return touchdown of the season, an 80-yarder by Dwayne Harris. He almost broke a kickoff in overtime, a 43-yard return that gave great field position to the Giants. There was the Miles penalty and a couple of hiccups by punt returner Jeremy Kerley. This was another bad day in a bad season for the Jets' special teams. One of these days it will cost them a game.

Muhammad Wilkerson, defensive: He was benched for the first quarter. Todd Bowles called it a "coach's decision," but a source confirmed a CBS report that Wilkerson was late for a team meeting. It was uncharacteristic for Wilkerson, but he now plays for a coach who holds players accountable.