FLORHAM PARK, NJ -After a week filled with subplots featuring long overdue returns, family ties, and minor costume party, the Jets-Browns game, a.k.a the Ryan Bowl, lived up to the hype on Sunday. For the second straight week the Jets, lead by the big play connection of Mark Sanchez to Santonio Holmes, pulled out an overtime victory, this time with 44 seconds remaining in the game.
In what was a highly entertaining game for any type of football fan, the Jets played well on both sides of ball. They were able execute in the passing game while peppering in a pound and ground running style. On defense, they kept the bruising Peyton Hillis in check between the tackles as well as stopping Colt McCoy and the passing offense in the second half and overtime.
As the Jets continue to squeak out these close games in the waning seconds, it is slowly building their resume as a battled-tested team, that never fully considers themselves out of a game. And now, on to Week 10’s Official JetInsider.com Morning After Report.
- Sanchez (27-44, 299 yards, 3 totals TD) displayed a warrior-like demeanor on the field. Not only did he finish strong ( 9-13, 117 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), but he started off with poise (9-13, 83 yards, 1 TD) as he led the Jets to scores of three of their first four drives of the game. After sustaining an injury to this right calf, he showed off his wheels scrambling out of congestion, firing a first-down strike to Jerricho Cotchery. For the game, Sanchez was 5-8 for 72 yards, 1 TD and a passer rating of 131.3 on plays he was outside the pocket.
- His 37-yard, game-winning pass to Holmes (5 rec, 76 yards, 1 TD) in overtime was the fourth longest pass on the season. He upstaged Braylon Edwards’ return to Cleveland, who has the three longest plays on the season for the Jets. After having trouble adjusting to a new offense, Holmes seems to be gaining more and more confidence with Brian Schottenheimer’s schemes, being targeted eight times yesterday.
- The Cleveland Browns defensive front proved to be above average, registering six QB hits and two sacks on Sanchez, who had a large ice pack around that injured calf after the game.
- With his 44 attempts, the Jets are showing their confidence with Sanchez winning the game for them.
- Finally! An even game from Team Dash & Bash! Shonn Greene (20 att, 72 yards, 3.6 ypa) made his presence felt dispelling LaDanian Tomlinson (18 att, 57 yards, 3.2 ypa). The two combined for 204 of the team’s 456 total yards.
- Against an aggressive Browns front seven, it was clear the Jets wanted to pound the ball and establish the run. (They even frequented their Wildcat package with Brad Smith, gaining 39 yards on five attempts.)
- As mentioned early last week, expect Greene to get more carries as Tomlinson’s numbers continue to dip. Despite gaining 110 total yards, yesterday marked the fourth straight week Tomlinson has failed to gain more than 3.7 yards per attempt.
- Sanchez continues to get it done with his feet. His 1-yard touchdown rush to end the first half was the second rushing touchdown in as many weeks.
PASSING DEFENSE: B-
- The Jets defense allowed the rookie Colt McCoy drive down on the in the first half, going 8-12 for 112 yards. The Browns, with no apparent passing threat, were able to dink-and-dunk their way down the field in the first half.
- The second half, however, was a different story. They were able to get to the QB and disrupt his rhythm, as McCoy went 7-13, 73 yards, and 1 TD.
- CB Drew Coleman’s forced fumble on former Jet, Chansi Stuckey, in overtime saved the game for the Jets. All Stuckey had to do was get out of bounds, as he had put his team within the range of Phil Dawson. However, wanting to prove something to his former team, he fought for the extra yards and paid the price.
- I would say it was another great game for the tandem of Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis, but I didn’t even know the receivers they were covering. So…great job!
RUSHING DEFENSE: B
- For the second time all season, the Jets allowed a team to rush over 100 yards against them. Look no further than Peyton Hillis for the Browns’ success on the ground. He had 60 first-half yards and a touchdown.
- The Jets put the clamp on the Browns offense in the second half, holding Hillis to 22 yards on nine attempts. The defense as a whole held the browns to only 107 yards in the second half and overtime, after giving up 196 yards in the first half.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D
- The special teams unit gets a barely-passing grade only because the team won. However the overtime wouldn’t have been necessary if Folk hadn’t missed three field goals — from 48 yards (wide right), 24 yards (right upright), and 27 (wide right) . Normally automatic, Folk missed as many kicks yesterday as he had in the previous eight games.
- “You wish you could take some back but you can’t,” said Folk, adding, “It was a pretty sloppy day for me.”
- Speacial Teams coach Mike Westoff had to be breathing a side of relief to see Holmes trot in to the end zone, instead of sending out Folk for the win.
- In a match-up that featured two coaching staffs that are very familiar with each other, I’m sure Rex Ryan is happy he came out on top. In the Ryan Bowl Rex is 3-0 in the NFL, while Rob Ryan holds a 3-2 collegiate record against his brother.
- Perhaps it wasn’t what the Jets coaching did do, but what they didn’t do that allowed them to come out on top. Late in overtime, it seemed Eric Mangini looked indecisive on whether to play for the win or tie. After a three-and-out with 1:35 at the start of the drive, the Browns followed up an incomplete pass with a 2-yard Hillis run. Mangini called time out with 41 seconds remaining, leading you to believe they were playing for the tie. But a third down passing play that was broken up by a sack, which almost resulted in a safety, forces us to think Mangini wanted to make a run for the win.
- And Ryan capitalized on the Browns indecisiveness as his team drove down the field and scored.
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