Morning After Report: Sanchez ran on ‘Tone Time

A win is a win is a win.

If you’re not happy with the Jets performance against the Miami Dolphins or, better yet, the season-ending torn ACL Darrelle Revis suffered in the third quarter — keep saying that to yourself. Because, as ugly as it was, the Jets left SunLife Stadium with a gritty, come-from-behind victory on the road against a bitter division rival.

The New York Jets 2-1 (2-0 in AFC East) are alone atop the AFC East. Add to that the New England Patriots are 1-2, below .500 for the first time in 10 years, and there are a couple things to come away smiling from this game.

For starters, the emergence of Santonio Holmes (9 receptions,  147 yards) was essential in Mark Sanchez finding a rhythm late in the game. It was Holmes first 100 yard game since November 2010. Bilal Powell showed a few glimpses of hope as a runner/receiver out of the backfield. And, once again, Jeremy Kerley provided a big play to spark the offense.

The turning point of the game, however, came on special teams when Eric Smith was called for a roughing the kicker penalty late in the first half. The penalty gave the Dolphins new life in the first half, although they were still deep in their own territory. On the first play following Smith’s penalty, Dolphins running back Reggie Bush injured his left knee and did not return for the second half. Prior to the injury, Bush was averaging 6.1 yards per carry as the catalyst to Miami’s offense.

There are big concerns surrounding the Jets ground game — both offensively and defensively. The Jets were held to 88 yards rushing while giving up 188 yards on the ground. Not quite the resurgence of the ground and pound mentality.

PASSING OFFENSE: C+

  • Sanchez was inconsistent most of the day — and the turnover in the red zone was costly — but he made completions (mainly to Holmes) when they counted. Late in the game #6 was able to spread the wealth, ending the day completing at least two passes to seven receivers.
  • I can’t imagine there’s a high level of faith in Stephen Hill right now. His case of the drops cost the team six points early. He has a great skill set, but needs to get it figured out between the ears.
  • Kudos to the offensive line for their pass protection on Sanchez this week, who was sacked only once.
  • There has been a lack of players stepping up when the opportunity rises, but Konrad Rueland doesn’t seem to fit that label. He’s been an effective H-back in the absence of John Conner and has a good rapport with Sanchez (former HS teammates). He’s also stepped up in the receiving game with the loss of Dustin Keller.

Mark Sanchez, with Rex Ryan, overcame some early inefficiencies on offense for a win in Miami on Sunday. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

RUSHING OFFENSE: F

  • Rex Ryan and Tony Sparano should be embarrassed by their rushing performance thus far. The offensive line has yet to show their push off the line of scrimmage. Shonn Greene’s style is not suited to be a feature back in this league — and that’s becoming more and more clear every week he starts. Powell has shown promise, but hasn’t been able to (or have an opportunity) put together a complete performance. And Joe McKnight, in my eyes, is vastly under utilized in this offense.
  • I enjoy watching Sparano’s intricate running blocking schemes with the motion and pulling linemen. It generates modest-to-good gains, but I have to think it wears out the offensive line throughout the course of the game.
  • Goal line offense and short situations have been a huge problem for this team in the early going. Greene got stuffed twice from the 1-yard line before settling for a field goal. That has to be a bruise to Ryan’s tough guy ego.

PASSING DEFENSE: B-

  • Jets’ Defense WITH Revis: Opposing QB’s have 54% completion %. Jets’ Defense WITHOUT Revis: Opposing QB’s have 65.5% completion %. Jets’ Defense WITH Revis: 23 INTs. Jets’ Defense WITHOUT Revis: 0 INTs << ‘Nuff said.
  • After Revis’ injury, Ryan Tannehill targeted Kyle Wilson and Ellis Lankster consistently — this will be a huge challenge to the depth of the Jets’ secondary.
  • The Jets pass rush is there, they are getting the pressure. They just have yet to sack the quarterback or hit one with consistency. That’s a direct effect of Aaron Maybin and Quinton Coples — two speed guys who the team is depending on to get in the backfield quickly.
  • Once again, the Jets’ defense was the catalyst for a Jets victory. Half of the team’s 81 points scored this season have come from the offense. The rest? Thirty-four from the defense and seven from special teams.

RUSHING DEFENSE: D

  • 188 total rushing yards allowed by this Ryan-led defense. They should be thankful that Bush left the game at the half with a knee injury, otherwise it could’ve been a lot worse.
  • The interior rush defense has been pitiful this season, getting no push off the line of scrimmage. And when they were able to bunch up the middle, Dolphins running backs just bounced it outside for a couple big gains.
  • A tip of the cap is in order for David Harris & Muhammed Wilkerson — they both tallied nine tackles in the box for the Jets.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A

  • Kerley, when he can hold on to the ball, is quickly becoming one of the best punt return men in the league. He, along with Rob Malone, is a huge positional weapon for this team.
  • Nick Folk has had a perfect start to the season, reassuring the team made the right choice at the kicker position.
  • Impressed with Isaiah Trufant’s skills as a gunner. He always seems to be the first guy down on punts to down the ball or make the tackle.

COACHING: C+

  • I’m still not thrilled with the team’s use of juggling Tim Tebow and Sanchez. Tebow’s loss of five yards in the red zone on second down forced Sanchez’s hand on the interception. It’s irresponsible to ask a quarterback to come in following a big loss and throw a touchdown pass. Not to mention it makes it incredibly obvious to the defense that Sanchez is going to to pass towards the end zone. He was set up for failure.
  • I have yet to see a good ground game called by Sparano either. I know a lot of that falls on the execution of the players, but I’m still left scratching my head at why they refuse to use McKnight as an all purpose back in this offense.

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