EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ– Well, that was certainly much easier than anyone expected.
After a month of offensive struggles this preseason caused most of the football world to completely disregard the Jets offense (even many Jet fans had already abandoned ship, you know who you are), Mark Sanchez and his merry band of receivers came out and torched the Bills defense while Ryan Fitzpatrick, at times, looked like he was purposely trying to throw interceptions. If he was trying to throw picks, then he did a great job as he threw three on the day. Darrelle Revis, Kyle Wilson and Antonio Cromartie all got a pick and Cromartie took his back for six points as he somersaulted into the end zone.
The Jets elected to receive the opening kick and immediately started moving down field, then came what looked like disaster as Sanchez tossed out a ridiculously silly toss pass that made for an easy pick, by the Bills Bryan Scott, and you could literally feel the wind being sucked out of the stadium as the crowd grew silent with a dash of pure horror. But the defense stood strong as Fitzpatrick tried to test Revis early, but floated a pass in the air that allowed Revis to cut under Stevie Johnson for the easy pick. After that it was Sanchez’s turn to show his doubters just what type of quarterback he expects to be on a weekly basis.
“Yeah, it was just a forced play there, tried to do a little too much when I should of just tucked it and ran. But I kept my head up and it kind of goes as the quarterback goes, if you hang your head a little bit too low then guys will start to question.” Sanchez said, “If you keep your head up and stay focused, stay calm and stay into it then you comeback and get them on the next drive. Our defense bailed us out there and it’s nice, it’s nice to have a good defense.”
Aside from the first turnover Sanchez played an exceptional game as he finished 19-27 for 266 yards, three touchdowns, one pick and a QB rating of 123.4, but he had plenty of help and it wasn’t from Tim Tebow. Santonio Holmes (four catches for 68 yards), Jeremy Kerley (four catches for 45 yards and a touchdown) and rookie Stephen Hill (five catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns) took turns shredding the Bills secondary and oh yeah, on top of that Kerley also returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown.
“Kerley was the first player in team history to have a punt return for a touchdown and a TD catch for a touchdown in the same game and his 68 yard punt return is the second longest in team history, so really some impressive stats there.” Ryan said, “I think we did a great job, I thought the offensive line did a tremendous job protecting the quarterback, because certainly Buffalo has some serious pass rushers over there, obviously with Mario Williams. I thought Austin Howard played a tremendous game and maybe he made a name for himself today.”
The biggest question mark about the offense going into this game and season was the offensive line, particularly the young right tackle Austin Howard, but going against a Bills defensive line that many prognosticators were anointing the best defensive line in football the Jets shut the Bills out in the sack category and gave Sanchez plenty of time to find the open receivers down field.
While the defense looked great for the majority of the game, there were a few problems that will grab Ryan’s attention when he watches the film. The Bills lost running back Fred Jackson to an injury, but all that did was give C.J. Spiller a chance to make plays and that’s exactly what he did as he ran for 169 yards on only 14 carries and a touchdown (12.1 yards per carry). The defense had some sloppy tackling attempts on two different big runs by Spiller and the Bills were able to have some success in the air by attacking the middle of the field with their tight ends. It just wasn’t even close to enough to save face for the Bills.
LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell were brought in to solidify the secondary on the back end and make it harder for opposing teams to attack with their tight ends, but they were both a step to slow on a few different occasions, of course we’re just picking nits here as the Jets were never in any real danger of letting the Bills in this game and both Landry and Bell delivered a few body crushing hits.
According to most of the football world the Jets were supposed to struggle mightily on offense all season long, instead they set a new team record for most points in a home opener and ended the game as the highest scoring offense in the league as of 4:00 p.m. Yes, it’s just one game and they still have a long way to go, but whether they’ll admit it or not this type of performance has to feel extra sweet considering all the criticism they faced since last season.
So much for all that quarterback controversy talk, huh?
OVER 350 GAME PHOTOS! Be sure to check out Jets Insider.com’s exclusive Jets-Bills game photos CLICK HERE
Jets Fans Need To Be Patient With Mekhi Becton,Marty Mornhinweg Hired As New Offensive Cooridnator,Namath Pro Sanchez But Not Anti Tebow,New York Jets Have No Choice Air Out Sunday,Five Games To Focus On For 2012,Watch Hackenberg Critiques His First Performance,Early Practice Notes,Jets Gear Up For Two Headed Monster In Week Seven,Defensive Pressure Covers Up For Secondary,Schotty Out As Oc Dynamic Duo Coming To Replace Him