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Jets Q&A: Sore ribs didn’t harm McCown’s performance

Josh McCown of the Jets runs off the

Josh McCown of the Jets runs off the field after defeating the Jaguars at MetLife Stadium on Oct. 1, 2017. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

How are Josh McCown’s ribs?

Not tasty. The Jets quarterback suffered sore ribs in last week’s win over the Dolphins. He was listed on the injury report but was a full participant in practice. In Sunday’s 23-20 win over the Jaguars, McCown was knocked down several times which didn’t appear to help the ribs heal.

“It’s part of it,” he said. “They will probably be sore. I feel pretty good right now and for the most part sometimes when you get hit or take some hits, but take them the right way, you can avoid the bad ones. So I feel pretty good right now.”

The sore ribs didn’t affect McCown’s game, too much. He completed 22 of 31 passes for 224 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. McCown won consecutive games as a starter for the first time since 2014 when he played for Arizona. Last week, McCown ended a nine-game losing streak as a starter when the Jets defeated the Dolphins.

So just how good was Kony Ealy?

For a man who only practiced once this week (Friday) because he left the team after the death of his sister, Latoya Brown, the defensive end had a strong game. Ealy had just one tackle but had an interception and four pass breakups. His interception came with 2:11 to play in the third quarter when Blake Bortles rolled to his left and tried to loft a pass that Ealy snagged. His 9-yard return set up Chandler Catanzaro’s 26-yard field goal which pushed the Jets lead to 20-10 with :38 seconds left in the quarter.

“We needed a turnover, period,” Ealy said. “We always want to play up, that’s our mentality on defense and I just had an opportunity to make a play on the ball.”

Ealy will leave the team early this week to help with funeral arrangements.

What happened on the fake punt?

Jets special teams coach Brant Boyer had his team practicing the fake punt during practices this week. When the opportunity presents itself, Boyer notifies coach Todd Bowles to try it. With :22 seconds left in the first half, the Jets were faced with a fourth-and-21 from their own 47-yard line. Punter Lachlan Edwards threw a sharp pass toward the Jets sideline that was caught cleanly by gunner Marcus Williams. He raced down the field before going out of bounds for a 31-yard gain. The Jets, now at the Jags’ 22, were in perfect position to go for a field goal with 12 seconds left. Bowles elected not to run a play and went for the kick, which would have been from 40 yards. The Jets were called for a delay of game that pushed them back 5 yards. Chandler Catanzaro missed the 45-yarder wide left, so instead of going up by three points at halftime, the Jets remained tied at 10.

“It happens,” Bowles said of the sequence. “You don’t want to miss it. You get a big play and then you lose a big play. We had to regroup because it was only halftime, so you can’t let it get you down. You have to keep swinging.” Catanzaro said he thought he kicked the ball well but it hooked left, something he said surprised him.

How happy was Catanzaro?

The Jets kicker missed that 45-yarder and was hoping for another chance. He got one in overtime when he nailed a 41-yarder with 28 seconds left to give the Jets a three-point victory.

“That was a big one for me,” Catanzaro said. “I missed one earlier in the game, unfortunately . . . that kind of haunted us in the end there. As a kicker, you’re dying for that opportunity, redemption; [I’m] thankful I got another opportunity.”

He said the kick was downwind on the game-winner. Catanzaro told the coaches he could have made a 55-yarder going into that direction.

“Wind changed a bit, as it does in this stadium,” he said. “As time goes on, that was downwind when I kicked the game-winner and my range is pretty good that way.”

Who was injured?

Jets CB Darryl Roberts (hamstring) and LB Dylan Donahue (right elbow). The Jets were minus three starters: RB Matt Forte (turf toe), RT Brandon Shell (shoulder) and OLB Josh Martin (ankle). The Jets used Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire at running back and the pair gained a season-high 256 yards by themselves. Martin was replaced by David Bass, who finished with six tackles and one sack. Shell was replaced by Brent Qvale.

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