So this was the ground and pound attack we’ve been hearing about since the preseason. Facing one of the worst rush defenses in the league had a lot to do with it, but it was nice to see the Jets get back to their old running and not surprisingly, winning ways. Sanchez was returned to his more comfortable role as “game manager,” and the defense was dominant. It was a vintage Rex Ryan era victory – one we haven’t seen all year.
QB – Sanchez was efficient and smart, with no turnovers. Get this – this was the first game in the last 17 without one turnover for the Jets. That’s a stunning statistic. The Sanchise still missed a few easy throws, but overall he played solid football with two nice TD passes to the Hill brothers. More importantly for him, he probably bought himself at least 2 more starts. Tim Tebow also had an impact, picking up a key 1st down in the red zone, but I still don’t know why they don’t let him throw more or take an entire drive. Everyone in the stadium knows he’s running the ball when he’s under center.
RB – Shonn Greene had his best performance as a Jet – 32 carries (career high) for 161 yards and 3 TDs. He ran hard and fist, and showed off a sweet spin move on his second TD – something he’s never shown before. There was finally a Joe McKnight sighting as well as he took his first carry for 61 yards – thank you Tony – finally! Unfortunately for McKnight (and are you surprised by this?), he was injured on the run and his status for next week is questionable. Ditto for Bilal Powell as well. This team just can’t stay healthy. But for at least one week, Greene was the true no.1 RB that we hoped he would be and the Jets as a team went over 200 yards rushing for the first time in a looooong time. That said, don’t get too excited – the Colts run D is bad, real bad.
WRs – not much to say here as Sanchez only threw the ball 18 times. But it was nice to Stephen Hill making some nice plays, including one TD, and old friend Dustin Keller was back as well. This unit will be tested more next week in New England.
O-Line – their best performance of the year – they were beasts. They dominated the Colts in the trenches, opening up holes for Greene all day long and giving Sanchez ample time to pass. This unit has quietly been getting better as the year has gone on. Good thing too as they will need another stellar performance on the road in Foxborough next week.
Defense – This was a dominant performance in every aspect. The D-line was aggressive and mean. DE Muhammad Wilkerson had the best game of his young Jets career and was in the backfield all day long, forcing a fumble on Luck at the very end. Fellow 1st round pick, Quinton Coples also had a solid game – his first one as a starter. The secondary was solid, and despite a number of pass INT and holding calls, didn’t get burned for the big play. Cromartie was effective in shutting down Reggie Wayne and Landry and Bell were their usual beastly selves.
Special Teams – another week, another fake punt! This time Tebow took the snap and passed the ball to back-up LB Nick Ballore who looked like he was being chased by a dog for 25 yards. Great call and great execution. Punter Robert Malone continues to have an all-pro season – great find.
Coaching – kudos to Rex – he had this team fired up and ready to dominate. This has not been an easy few weeks for the Jets – to call them tumultuous would be an understatement. Injuries, QB controversy, an outspoken owner, etc. – lots of distractions. But Rex kept them focused and they were clearly prepared. Great job all around.
Rex Ryan Weight Watch – the watch is back on! Rex has clearly been putting in some late nights…see below.
This was a game that the Jets were predicted to win and simply had to have. A loss today would have put them at 2-4, with a road game next week against New England. No team comes back from 2-5 (no, I’m not predicting a victory next week). Instead, at 3-3, the Jets still find themselves exactly where most “experts” predicted they will be at this point. It’s amazing what a difference one week makes…
Next week the Jets go on the road to the sight of some of their most memorable victories, and lopsided losses – Foxborough, MA to face the evil empire. After a sluggish start, the Pats are back to their dominating form. This will not be an easy game for them and will be a huge test for their banged up defense. All I’m hoping for at this point is a close game. For now though, let’s savour this win.