AFTER ALL-OUT WIN AGAINST THE COLTS, THE JETS PASSED (OR RAN) WITH FLYING COLORS IN THIS WEEK’S GRADING.
[Removes foot from mouth].
One thing that can be said sure regarding the New York Jets through the first six weeks of the season: when at their best, they look damn good. On Sunday against the Colts they looked damn good in a three phases of the game.
Everything that had been wrong with the Jets — run-blocking, turnovers, communication on offense, the presence of a pass rush, the presence of a running game, red zone ineptitude, you name it — was cured for at least one afternoon. Highlighted by the career-performance by Shonn Greene, the Jets put a complete game together — the type of game that had not been seen since Week 1.
Hell, the Jets would’ve just been happy with a lead. They hadn’t held a lead in their three-game home stand in nine quarters, until Mark Sanchez found Stephen Hill for a five-yard touchdown a minute into the second quarter.
Greene (32 rush, 161 yards, 3 TDs) finally lived up to the bell cow label since becoming the veteran in the Jets backfield. According to ESPN New York, he gained 101 of 161 yards between the tackles on Sunday — a huge testament to the interior offensive play of Nick Mangold, Matt Slauson, Brandon Moore and Vlad Ducasse. Even Joe McKnight reaped the benefits of a prosperous offensive line, gaining 71 yards on three carries before leaving with an ankle injury.
Late last week, our Chris Nimbley asked where the pass rush was. It was easy to spot Sunday as first-round picks Quinton Coples (1.5 sacks) and Muhammed Wilkerson (5 tackles, 1 strip-sack) had multiple impact plays as did Aaron Maybin (1/2 sack, 2 QB hits). But credit Mike DeVito as an unsung facilitator for their success. Sliding over to the middle with injuries to Sione Po’uha and Kenrick Ellis, DeVito absorbed multiple blockers giving one-on-ones for the guys outside.
And then there is Antonio Cromartie. He doesn’t have to take a single snap on offense, to be one of the team’s best scoring weapons. His interception in the second quarter quickly turned into seven points for the offense. This season, the Jets have scored following eight of their takeaways, with seven touchdowns. Entering the game, their 71.4 touchdown percentage after a takeaway led the NFL. He nearly added 12 points of his own after questionable a personal foul penalty on Aaron Maybin and another on a pass interference call on himself.
As they showed on Sunday, the Jets can easily dispose of lesser teams. The question will be how they respond the remaining tough teams on their schedule — starting with New England this week. That aside, take the time to soak up the successes of a well-earned team victory against the Colts.
PASSING OFFENSE: A
- After completing 11-of-18 passes (61.1%) for 82 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a rating of 109.0, Sanchez posted his 14th game with a passer rating of 100+. The Jets have posted an 11-3 record in games in which Sanchez has a 100+ quarterback rating.
- Sanchez spread the wealth finding seven different receivers. Colts corner Jerraud Powers said they wanted the Jets to beat them with his arm, however Sanchez played mistake-free football with his limited attempts.
- OVER THE HILL: Stephen, back after missing two games with a hamstring injury, scored a 5-yard touchdown in his return, adding 2 other receptions for 18 yards. Jason, signed a week earlier, caught a 5-yard touchdown and made the most of his only opportunity on the afternoon.
RUSHING OFFENSE: A+
- Greene posted career highs with 161 yards rushing and 32 carries and matched his career best with three rushing touchdowns. The 161 yards rushing were the most by a Jet since Thomas Jones ran for 210 yards vs. BUF (10/18/09).
- With his 61-yard run in third quarter, McKnight registered the longest run of career, surpassing his previous long of 18 yards set vs. BUF (01/02/11). The play was also the longest run by the Jets since Jones ran 71 yards for a touchdown vs. BUF (10/18/09).
- The 252 yards rushing marked the eighth time under Rex Ryan that the Jets have rushed for 200+ yards in a game. The Jets are 7-1 in those contests.
PASSING DEFENSE: A
- Under Ryan, the Jets have now faced four rookie quarterbacks. In those games, the quarterbacks have combined to complete less than 50 percent of their passes, throwing six interceptions and just one touchdown with a quarterback rating below 50. The Jets have won all four games. Allowing under 300 total yards and under 50 rushing yards, the Jets defense forced four turnovers and registered four sacks, all set or matched season highs for the unit.
Name Date Result Att Cmp Pct Yds TD Int Sk Rate
Josh Freeman 12/13/09 L 33 14 42.4 93 0 3 3 12.1
Colt McCoy 11/14/10 L 31 18 58.1 205 1 0 3 88.8
Ryan Tannehill 09/23/12 L 36 16 44.4 196 0 1 0 50.2
Andrew Luck 10/14/12 L 44 22 50.0 280 0 2 4 51.3
Totals (0-4) 144 70 48.6 774 1 6 10 49.9
- Ellis Lankster registered the first interception of his career when he picked off a Luck pass intended for Donnie Avery in the end zone.
RUSH DEFENSE: N/A
- The Jets nearly righted all their wrongs Sunday — except for their rush defense. Using only 17 carries split between Vick Ballard, Mwelde Moore and Delone Carter is not an accurate test to earn a grade. Not a negative grade, just was not enough there to garner a grade.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A
- The special teams unit was highlighted during game introductions after their stellar play last week (highlighted by McKnight’s 100-yard kick return for TD) and kept it going on Sunday. Mike Westhoff’s unit continues to be a viable crutch for the Jets offense as they struggle to find consistency.
- Lining up in punt formation, Tim Tebow took the snap and passed 23 yards to Nick Bellore to convert on fourth-and-11. It was the third successful fake punt the Jets have run this season, the first by passing. The other two successful fake punts occurred at MIA (9/23/12) and vs. HOU (10/08/12).
- Players get credit when the coaches make good moves and the same goes the other way. The big thing I take from this game is that the Jets were finally able to get over the hump. The route by San Francisco aside, the Jets have been a few plays away from being 5-1. This week the Jets execution was on point. Perhaps the offense is finally grasping Tony Sparano’s system.
- The Jets were penalized 8 times for 110 yards. They proved to be harmless, but definitely an area where the coaching staff must keep an eye on with the youth infusion.
* Stats and information provided by the Jets media relations staff.
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