FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — After seeing the New York “Cardiac Kids” steal a victory from the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night to open the season it might be smart for people who follow stocks to invest in Pepcid A/C. If last night was any indication of how the 2011 Jets season is going to be, then there are going to be many New York metro citizens stocking up antacid products.
It wasn’t as glamorous as, say, Mark Sanchez’s GQ photo spread and the Jets didn’t always look as confident as, say, Rex Ryan’s personality. But a win is a win is a win. And as legendary coach Bill Parcells said, you’re only as good as your record states — and right now the New York Jets are 1-0, no matter how you chalk it up.
To get this type of win it was going to take all 53 men on the active roster, and that’s exactly what Ryan got from his team — from former practice squad cornerback Isaiah Trufant to former Pro Bowler Plaxico Burress, everyone offered a contribution to this win. The moxie — no — the resolve of this team helps the grade of their overall grades, but their is still plenty to improve upon as they set their attention to their Week 2 opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
PASSING OFFENSE: A-
- Any questions of Mark Sanchez’s ability to lead this team were answered. His short-term memory loss regarding poor plays is something that is imperative in great QB play.His 335 yards passing were the 2nd-high of his career (336 yards @ DET 11/07/10). His 26 completions were one shy of career high (27 @ Cleveland 11/14/10), while his 44 attempts tied a career-best.
- The offensive line — which is regarded more for their run blocking than pass protection — gave up for sacks last night. Not too bad considering DeMarcus Ware was accounted for half of them. Luckily, they wouldn’t have to worry about him until the Super Bowl.
- Pass-to-rush ratio was roughly 2:1. Makes sense. Of receivers with 4+ receptions (Tomlinson, Burress, Holmes & Keller) not one averaged less than 11.5 yards per reception. That’s a lot of weapons at Sanchez’s disposal.
RUSHING OFFENSE: D+
- The offense that embodies the “ground and pound” mentality was pounded on the ground. On sixteen attempts the managed a mere 45 yards, equaling out to an average of 2.8 yards per carry.
- LaDanian Tomlinson, who I admittedly questioned during training camp, proved his naysayers wrong. He may not be the elusive back he once was (5 attempts, 16 yards), but he’s worth his weight in gold as a 3rd down back and a passing threat out of the backfield (6 receptions, 73 yards).
- I’m willing to give this rushing attack a pass going up against a Ryan run defense, even if it isn’t Rex. But going up against Jacksonville next week, the Jets should look to establish the run early on.
PASSING DEFENSE: B
- Tony Romo went away from Revis Island for 99% of the game. The remaining 1%? Well, it cost the Cowboys the game. Revis’s late pick help set-up a Jets win.
- The pass rush earned four sacks last night — an area that’s often criticized about the defense. Calvin Pace, whom Ryan thinks is capable of 10+ sacks this season, looks to be 100% recovered from a broken foot that hampered him for much of the 2010 season.
- Mike DeVito recorded his first solo sack of his career last night. The former Maine Black Bear couldn’t have picked a better time, either. It happened as Romo scrambled for the end zone and DeVito jarred the ball loose on the goal line early in the 4th quarter.
RUSHING DEFENSE: A
- Felix Jones, the Cowboys x-factor in my preview article for this game, amassed just 66 total yards. The team’s total rushing yardage was 64 yards working out to a 2.5 yards per attempt.
- The return of defensive tackle Sione Pouha help solidify the defensive line. As a defensive captain and anchor, his presence is felt by all.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A
- Special teams proved to be the difference in this game. Joe McKnight proved that he’s willing to do whatever is asked of him — return man, running back, defensive back and now punt block team — this man can do it all.
- And what a story for CB Isaiah Trufant. From cut by Seattle, signed by Jets, cut by Jets, re-signed to the practice squad then being brought up on 53-man roster and making an immediate impact returning punt for a TD.
- This marks the third game-winning kick Nick Folk has had since joining the Jets, and the fourth of his career — including the postseason. It is also his first game-winner of 50+ yards since he hit a 53-yarder for the Cowboys, beating Buffalo on Monday Night Football (10/08/07)
- Special teams coach Mike Westhoff continues to be the Jets ace in the hole. To say he’s a master of his craft is a huge understatement. Westhoff noticed a coverage flaw on the Cowboys punt unit where the upback was lined up three yards closer than he should have been. That left him too jammed up by his linemen and gave McKnight enough time to get his hand in on the ball. Genius.
- The Jets committed no penalties in the game, something they have done just five times in franchise history. The last time they accomplished the feat was in a 27-7 home win against the KC Chiefs (11/11/01).
- They erased a 14-point deficit in the 4th quarter finishing the game on a 17-0 run. The comeback marks the first time the club came back from down 14 points in the 4th quarter since the Monday Night Miracle game against the Miami Dolphins. It is the 3rd time in franchise history the Jets have overcome a deficit of 14+ points in the 4th quarter.
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