The Morning After Report
FLORHAM PARK, NJ – The New York Jets came together when they had to–late in the game–to comeback and defeat the Detroit Lions 23-20 on Sunday. It wasn’t pretty, in fact, for most of the game it looked down-right nauseating.
It was really a tale of two halves: in the first, the Jets extended their scoreless streak to five quarters while having trouble holding on to the ball (three first half fumbles). And in the second half, they were able to drive the field, work the 2-minute offense and keep the Lions defense from the end zone.
Yesterday’s Jets overtime victory marked only the third time the Jets had tied the game with 0:00 left in regulation, and then go on to win the game in overtime. It happened in 1991 in 23-20 Week 17 victory over Dan Marino and the Dolphins to decide who would go to the playoffs. The other was in 1986, again against the Dolphins, a 51-45 offensive showdown.
While it is easy to smile at the win, there are certainly things for the Jets to work on. After all, they did play against the Lions. (Granted, these aren’t my older brother’s Lions). So without further adieu, the Official JetsInsider.com’s Morning After Report.
- In a battle of 2006 top-5 draft picks, Mark Sanchez beat KO’d Matthew Stafford. While Stafford nursed his ailing right shoulder, Sanchez put the Jets on his as he threw for a career-high 339 yards. After the 74-yard bomb to Braylon Edwards on a go-route late in the first half, Sanchez’s confidence was noticeably high. He leaned on the check-down passes when he had to, but was most effective in the 2-minute offense.
- After I ripped Edwards for telling his fellow receivers how to catch the ball and stay modest, he came up with the first big play of the day while the rest of the receivers came up in timely ways as well. Sanchez found TE Dustin Keller with more frequency (five targets, four receptions, 59 yards). All of Keller’s catches either came on third-down or went for a first down.
- His three-drop performance against the Packers was followed up with two more drops by Jerricho Cotchery. He saw his starting position be taken over by Santonio Holmes (5 rec, 114 yards on 51 plays) as he was reduced to the number three role. “He has to play more even if it takes some snaps away from me,” said Cotchery. “I’m good with it.”
- The plan was to pound the ball against the the 27th ranked rush defense and chew up the clock as well as yardage. The ran the ball 30 times for 110 yards, an average of 3.7 yards per carry. But the Lions regularly had eight men in the box to stop the Jets aggressive rushing attack.
- The playing time between “Team Dash & Bash” was once again two-to-one in favor of LaDanian Tomlinson (13 rushes, 55 yards, 3.7 yards per carry). This marks the third straight week LT has had a yards per carry average below four. Perhaps the second-half of the season is catching up to him.
- Getting Shonn Greene (10 rushes, 46 yards, 4.6 yards per carry) the ball more could be the perfect remedy. Ideally in games, LT would wear down defenses with his speed and elusiveness in the first half and Greene would run them down in the second half. Maybe that should be the plan as Tomlinson looks to be slowing down a bit. With all the time off from his slow first half start, Greene could be a fresher look.
PASS DEFENSE: B-
- Well, I think it’s safe to say that after hurricane warnings closed Revis Island in the early months to visiting receivers, it is now open for the season. Revis shut-down Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, holding the All-Pro wideout to one reception for 13 yards getting only four targets the whole game. “Calvin Johnson is a beast of a receiver,” Revis said. “It’s a great matchup. He brought out the best out of me.”
- Antonio Cromartie also did an excellent job on opposing receiver, Bryant Johnson (one reception, seven yards). The trouble came from the nickel back position. Drew Coleman was torched by slot receiver Nate Burleson (7 receptions, 113 yards, 1 TD, 8 targets) all day long.
- The pass rush was effective, as they caused the injury-proned Stafford to leave the game. The defense recorded two sacks and three QB hits, one in which Bryan Thomas forced Stafford to leave after re-injuring his throwing shoulder.
RUSHING DEFENSE: A-
- The rushing defense, without Kris Jenkins in the middle, continues to be the best facet of the Jets game week-in and week-out. The allowed 78 rushing yards for an embarrassing yards per carry average of 2.8.
- The Lions tried to force the issue, rushing the ball 28 times, but saw little luck.
- The up-the-middle combination of Scott, Harris, Pouha, and DeVito combined for a total of 21 tackles, clogging up the middle lanes.
- Do you think if we sent out an anonymous letter telling opposing teams to just never run the ball on the Jets that anyone would listen?
SPECIAL TEAMS: C+
- It was an up and down day for Mike Westoff’s bunch. A costly roughing the kicker call on Trevor Pryce, which ended up turning a field goal into a touchdown, ended up not costing them the game but most certainly could have.
- The same goes for the fumble by Kyle Wilson on a punt return. Luckily for Wilson, who’s been reeling since the start of the season, the ball stayed with the Jets.
- The special teamer of the day, however, has to be Nick Folk. He went 3-for-3 on field goal tries, including a 36-yarder to tie the game with zero time left in regulation and a 30-yarder to win it in OT. That marked the first time in Folk’s career he attempted a game-winner in overtime.
- The coaching staff gets an above average grade simply because the Jets pulled the win out for them. However there were a few coaching miscues that could have lost them the game.
- Early in the fourth quarter Ryan used two timeouts on the defensive side of the ball, which was why the Jets had none when it came time to mount the comeback. With the Lions on the 2-yard line, the Jets had too many men on the field. Then, there was confusion on which personnel package was supposed to be the field.
- Ryan called the timeouts because he didn’t want to concede a touchdown. That, of course, is what happened, as Burleson beat Coleman for a 2-yard scoring catch. He put the blame on the coaches for that miscue, “I thought about firing a bunch of people in that situation,” Ryan said afterward.