Thursday Night Football (Dec 3 2009) was hardly the greatest advert for NFL football, but it did have at least one magic moment.
New York Jets running back Thomas Jones, who has been more ‘under the radar’ than a Russian sub in the Cold War, reached his fifth consecutive 1,000 yard rushing season.
Considering he was not seen as a fantasy stud at the start of the 2009 season, Jones has shown the skills that makes a running back quite special.
He has tremendous durability, and Thursday’s game was his 60th consecutive game in the backfield.
At present Jones is scheduled to rush for 1,424 yards, his best ever total in his 10 years of NFL football.
The Jets stand at 6-6 and have a shot at a Wild Card (just about) despite rookie QB Mark Sanchez doing his best to throw the ball to the other team. Jones has helped to stabilise the J-E-T-S with his great vision and gutsy running.
With Shonn Greene the rookie RB waiting in the wings Jones has been inspired to play some fantastic football, having only fumbled twice (and lost none) in 239 carries so far this season.
Jones is only 1,117 yards away from 10,000 rushing yards, putting him 30th in NFL history, having already surpassed legends such as Jim Taylor, Roger Craig, Priest Holmes and Larry Csonka in the all time regular season rushing charts.
I say give some respect to Jones. This is a player who played for the Chicago Bears in a Superbowl and finished with more rushing yards (112) than Walter Payton (61) did in his only Superbowl performance, and Jones has another feat over Payton in that he scored a Superbowl touchdown too.
I read that Jones’s mother worked night shifts in a coal mine, talk about being inspired from an early age.
Jones deserves another Pro Bowl appearance to go with his 2008 appearance (his only one in his career) but I suspect that he may be overlooked by the mind blowing season being had by Titans speedster Chris Johnson.
I hope for the sake of Jones and his family that the Jets win out and finish 10-6 but I suspect 8-8 will be where they will finish and Jones’s season will be lost amongst the annals of faceless NFL statistics.