JETS OFFENSE KICKS IT INTO HIGH GEAR AS DEFENSE STIFLES SCHOTTY’S RAMS OFFENSE.
The Jets managed to put aside the gigantic off-the-field distraction of yet another anonymous player bashing teammates for a convincing win in St. Louis Sunday. Further more, they left their three-game losing streak in the review; riding a trio of running backs and a smothering defense on their difficult path to the playoffs.
All this against former offensive coordinator and scapegoat, Brian Schottenheimer.
Mark Sanchez (15/20, 178 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT) was efficient — sharp, even — shaking off two previous shaky performances where the offense scored once in nine quarters. The offense on Sunday didn’t fail to do anything wrong, balancing a solid passing game off a reliable rushing attack that led to winning two key statistical categories: time of possession (33:03 – 26:57) and first downs (17 – 15).
What’s truly noteworthy was the zero turnovers by the Jets offense — an area that’s proven to be a costly thorn in their side.
Defensively, the Jets welcomed Schottenheimer’s sputtering Rams offense with open arms — particularly the open arms of DE Muhammad Wilkerson. His strip of Sam Bradford in the second quarter marked his second-straight week with turnover-turned-touchdown — with the strip leading to a 25-yard touchdown by Sanchez to WR Chaz Schilens three plays later and the strip/sack fumble return touchdown last week.
The Jets defense forced three turnovers and continually confused Schottenheimer’s offense. After a Rams’ first drive that went 13 plays, 86 yards and resulted in a touchdown they were stymied Ryan’s defense gaining only 57 yards on 16 plays in their following five drives.
The bigger picture still has the Jets on the outside looking in from the 10th spot in the AFC. A win on Thursday at home against the AFC East leading New England will be another step in the right direction.
PASSING OFFENSE: B+
- Not explosive enough for an A grade, but Sanchez played within himself and made big plays when he had to. He registered a 123.2 passer rating in the first half after completing nine-of-13 pass attempts with one touchdown and no interceptions. Sanchez finished the game 15-of-20 with a touchdown, no interceptions and 178 yards for a passer rating of 118.3 — finding nine different receivers, four at least twice.
- Three first half sacs allowed by the offensive line is forgivable given they cleaned up their mistakes in the second half. All-in-all a great overall performance by the o-line. Two of the three sacks were given up by RBs Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell — with a possible miscue in slide protection by Austin Howard in the first quarter when Chris Long got off the line untouched and Howard double-teaming Kendall Langford on the inside.
- Schilens hauled in a 25-yard pass from Sanchez to give New York a 10-7 lead over St. Louis with 4:37 left to play in the second quarter. It is the second touchdown reception by Schilens in the past three games, he caught his first as a Jet vs. MIA (10/28). WR Jeremy Kerley averaged 19.8 yards a reception on the road in 2012. In the second quarter, Kerley caught a 32-yard pass to the Rams 40-yard line at the two-minute warning. The reception setup a second K Nick Folk 51-yard field goal and extended the Jets lead to 13-7.
RUSHING OFFENSE: A-
- Greene carried the load for the offense by setting the tone early to the tune of 32 yards on seven carries over their first three drives. He finished the afternoon with a hard-earned 64 yards on 18 carries. His downhill running set-up the shifty styles of Powell and Joe McKnight.
- With 14:16 remaining in the fourth quarter Powell carried the ball five-yards for his first career touchdown. The score capped a 12-play, 63-yard, 6:58 drive. He recorded the second touchdown of his career later in the quarter when he carried the ball 11-yards to give the Jets a 27-7 lead.
- McKnight’s 74 total yards on six touches exemplifies his explosiveness when he touches the ball.
- The offensive, which has struggled in run protection throughout the season, had a great interior attack largely due to linemen Nick Mangold, Matt Slauson, Brandon Moore and Vlad Ducasse.
PASSING DEFENSE: A
- Think Ryan had an idea of how to attack Schotty’s offense? On multiple plays Ryan sent DB blitzes from the corner trying to jump the snap. Additionally the never allowed a ball to get behind the secondary — speaking to the play from safeties Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry.
- Prior to Sunday’s game, Wilkerson had registered 33 tackles, one sack, three passes defensed, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery returned 21-yards for a touchdown in his last four games.
- CB Ellis Lankster was a solid play in the nickel for the Jets defense. Lankster assumed the nickel duties after the Jets lost Isaiah Trufant to the season-ending IR list. He had two passes defended on the afternoon.
- Landry’s eight solo tackles and two forced fumbles was easily the defensive performance of the day.
RUSHING DEFENSE: C
- Schottenheimer was hell-bent at establishing Stephen Jackson early in the game. And for the most part, it was effective. The problem was Bradford couldn’t generate anything off the deep pass to spread out the Jets defense. Jackson gained 81 yards and averaged 6.1 yards per carry. Back-up RB Darryl Richardson averaged 4.3 yards per carry on six attempts but had a costly fumble late.
- David Harris picked up his play Sunday and with a healthy Sione Po’uha back healthy the Jets front seven seems to be heading in the right direction … for now.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D
- This is the second time in three weeks Mike Westhoff has seen a blocked special teams play and the second time he’s seen a blocked field goal this season. Rookie CB Janoris Jenkins got a free release on Folk’s 26-yard attempt in the second quarter. D’Brickashaw Ferguson was the outside blocker on the play. He has double duty — assigned to blocking the inside man but must also, at the very least, get a hand on Jenkins to slow his pursuit to the kicker. Ferguson got locked inside, leaving Jenkins a free angle to the ball.
- Folk connected on two 51-yard field goals in the first half. He is the second kicker in Jets history to register two 50+ yard kicks in the same game; Pat Leahy (53, 52) was the first to do it at NE (10/20/85). For his career, Folk has connected on 13 kicks of more than 50 yards, eight as a member of the Jets.
Date Opp. Yds.
10/11/10 vs. MIN 53
10/17/10 at DEN 56
09/11/11 vs.DAL 50
11/06/11 at BUF 50
12/04/11 at WAS 51
10/21/12 at NE 54
11/18/12 at StL 51
11/18/12 at StL 51
- An all-around complete game for the Jets. They managed the Wildcat package well [translation: they used it sparingly]. The Tebow package brings confusion to the personnel, momentum to a halt, offers little production and takes Sanchez out of the rhythm. They were more in tune to the flow of the game than they were the last two games.
- Credit Tony Sparano for adjusting the offensive line scheme in the second half. After allowing three sacks in the first half, he shifted the pocket a couple of times after the snap to ensure better protection on Sanchez roll outs.
- Time management was right on time Sunday — another area of concern for the coaching staff to this point.