New York Post


Jets pummel Redskins in tune-up for Belichick & Co.

- By BRIAN COSTELLO brian.costello@nypost .com

To steal a line from Bill Belichick: The Jets are on to New England.

Gang Green overcame a sloppy first half Sunday to score 24 straight secondhalf points in a 3420 victory over the Redskins at MetLife Stadium.

The Jets improved to 41 with the win, setting up an AFC East showdown with the Patriots next week in Foxborough.

“The Patriots are still king, not only of our division but of the league. They’re the Super Bowl champs,” guard Willie Colon said. “Right now, it’s going to take all of us to be on deck and everybody ready to go. It’s going to be a hostile environmen­t. We’ve played against those guys enough to know what brand of football they play. If we’re not on our Ps and Qs we’re going to get embarrasse­d.”

The Jets had three firsthalf turnovers that led to 13 points for the Redskins. Trailing 1310 at halftime, coach Todd Bowles challenged his veterans to take over the game. They did with 24 straight points to open the second half.

“Every win’s not going to be pretty,” Bowles said. “We’re going to make some mistakes, but how we come back from it and how we grow as a team moving forward is what’s going to make us a decent team.”

The offense clicked on all cylinders, aside from the turnovers. Quarterbac­k Ryan Fitzpatric­k threw for two touchdowns and ran for another. Running back Chris Ivory had 146 rushing yards and 196 total yards from scrimmage. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall had his fourth straight 100yard game with 111 yards on seven catches and a score. Eric Decker scored his fourth touchdown of the season.

Marshall and Decker each had a fumble in the first half and Fitzpatric­k was picked off by cornerback Bashaud Breeland, who also recovered the two fumbles. But the Jets bounced back from the early mistakes.

“If you want to be a great team,” Marshall said, “you’ve got to be able to punch through adversity.”

The slow start was surprising against a Redskins team that was missing six starters, including wide receiver DeSean Jackson, left tackle Trent Williams and both starting cornerback­s. It was reminiscen­t of the Jets’ lone loss, which came against the Eagles last month.

For as poorly as they played in the first half, the Jets found themselves down only by three at halftime. After a field goal to tie the game at 13, Darrelle Revis made a momentumsw­inging intercepti­on of Redskins quarterbac­k Kirk Cousins.

“It turned the game around,” Colon said. “I think it started us with us getting the three. Revis getting that pick it was kind of the ignition turning.”

One play later, Fitzpatric­k scrambled 18 yards for a touchdown and a 2013 lead.

“It made me so happy,” Colon said of Fitzpatric­k’s run. “It just shows the type of nuts he has. He’s not afraid to just let it rip.”

Bowles is not as thrilled with Fitzpatric­k’s running, and has begged him to start sliding.

“Every time he crosses the line of scrimmage I get worried,” Bowles said. “He’s a tough competitor. He has a feel for it. Hopefully, he can learn how to slide. We’ll send him to a baseball school in the offseason.”

The onslaught continued for the Jets on their next series, with Fitzpatric­k throwing a pass behind Marshall that he came back for, caught off his shoelaces. He then raced 35 yards to the end zone to put the Jets up by two touchdowns.

The Jets outgained the Redskins 474225 yards in the game and 22134 on the ground. The Jets had nice balance between

the pass and the run with 253 yards passing. This is the best start the Jets have gotten off to since 2010, when they started 51. That was the last year they made the playoffs.

Critics will say the Jets have played a soft schedule, but now they get their toughest test. Tom Brady and Co. are on their Deflategat­e revenge tour. Can Bowles and the Jets stop them?

“They are the Super Bowl champions, so just leave it at that. Licking our chops,” said defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, who had three tackles and a half sack in his season debut.

The Jets know they won’t be able to spot the Patriots three turnovers like they did the Redskins.

“For us, we’ve got to be able to just play our game, be efficient, understand we can’t have the turnovers we had today,” Colon said. “We can’t have the mental errors. We’ve got to play legit football because they don’t beat themselves. When they smell blood, they kill.”

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