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Jets Q&A: Eric Decker almost chases down Don Maynard's Jets record

New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87)

New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) looks back as he scores on a 74-yard touchdown reception during the second half of an NFL game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Photo Credit: AP / Lynne Sladky

Where was this Eric Decker all along?

Unfortunately for the Jets, nursing a hamstring injury much of the season. But his performance in yesterday's win over the Dolphins offered some much-needed optimism for 2015.

Decker finally looked like a No. 1 receiver, catching 10 passes for a career-high 221 yards and a touchdown. In addition to his 74-yard TD catch -- the longest reception of his career -- he caught passes of 50, 40 and 14 yards. He became the first Jet since Rich Caster in 1972 to have 200 receiving yards in a game and nearly broke Don Maynard's record of 228 against Oakland in 1968.

"The offensive line did a good job protecting, Geno [Smith] did a good job of moving around the pocket and just delivering some throws that could give me a couple of opportunities," Decker said. "And that's all I ask for: just a couple of chances on some balls.

"You know, once you get into a rhythm, make a few plays, you start feeling that connection, and we did a good job again, having some explosive plays. We can move the ball consistently and finally scored some touchdowns when we get in the red zone."

Unfortunately for the Jets (and coach Rex Ryan), the chemistry between Decker and Smith materialized about 16 weeks too late. Nevertheless, Decker remained upbeat about the future of the offense. "We just did a good job all around and being consistent throughout all four quarters," said the former Bronco, who signed a five-year, $36.25-million free-agent deal last offseason. "It shows the potential we have and now it's just a matter of time -- you know, obviously there will be a change next year -- and just keep dialing and getting better next year."Chris Owusu? Who?

It seemed the Jets were dealt a big blow with Percy Harvin inactive. But the little-known receiver showed he can be just as versatile on offense and special teams. His 36-yard catch helped to set up his own touchdown run in the first quarter, a 23-yard end-around that put the Jets up 7-3. But that wasn't all. Owusu had an 87-yard kick return to start the third quarter, though the Jets failed to capitalize on his big play as Chris Ivory was stuffed on fourth-and-1 from the 3.

Owusu was all smiles afterward. Asked about his score, he said: "It's a fun feeling when you see the safety one-on-one."

Is Sheldon Richardson OK?

The Jets suffered a scare when the defensive tackle was forced out with a head injury with 1:23 left in the first half after a helmet-to-helmet hit with Ryan Tannehill. Richardson, who had sacked Tannehill two plays earlier, was slow to get up and soon was taken to the locker room.

If his head was bothering him, he didn't show it. In the third quarter, he tweeted from the locker room: "Jets nation I'm fine thanks for your concern/support they won't let me back on the field to support my guys JET UP!!!!"

Who called the fake punt?

Ryan, of course. "It was a great deal," he said, beaming with pride. "Thomas [McGaughey, the special-teams coordinator] came up with it and then somebody had the guts to call it. I don't know who, but he's probably standing in front of you."

With 3:28 to go, punter Ryan Quigley completed a 38-yard pass to tight end Zach Sudfeld on fourth-and-12 from the Jets' 39. On the next play, Smith hit Jeff Cumberland with a 23-yard TD pass to put the Jets up 34-24.


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