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Jets Insider.com Jets/Cardinals Game Review

By Nicholas Lecakes
Jets Insider.com Staff Correspondent
November 29th, 2004
The Jets defense did a great job corralling Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin on Sunday. (AP Photo)
The Jets defense did a great job corralling Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin on Sunday. (AP Photo)
STARS OF THE GAME:

5. RB Curtis Martin: Martin continues his brilliant season as he ran 24 times for 99 yards, keeping the Cardinals honest for most of the game. The Jets ran Martin right up the middle of Arizonaís defense, challenging them with the power running game. His solid performance in the first half drew Cardinals SS Adrian Wilson closer to the line of scrimmage to stop the run, leaving corners in man coverage, The Jets took advantage and burned them deep for a game-changing 69 yard Quincy Carter to Santana Moss TD pass. The Jets are the most determined team in the NFL to establish the run according to Cardinal Head Coach Denny Green. With Curtisí consistent play and a stingy defense, the Jets will be in most games, despite a less than stellar abysmal passing attack.

4. DE Shaun Ellis: Ellis had one of his most active games a day after it was announced heís about to sign a 7 year extension, compiling 3 tackles and a sack. Ellis was in QB Shaun Kingís face all day, pressuring him four times. With the Jets in the nickel defense for most of the day, the front four was relied on to get the pressure, which they did well. They also held the Cardinals to 71 yards on the ground. Ellis was called for two roughing the Passer penalties but since they did not hurt the Jets, it was good to see Ellis aggressively pursuing the QB.

3. CB David Barrett: Barrett, who has struggled at times this year had his best game, blanketing the taller, more physical WR Anquan Boldin throughout the day. Boldin was kept under 100 yards receiving even though he was the first progression of many of Kingís reads. Barrett forced Boldin to fumble from behind after he caught a slant route. Barrett also made an interception, his first of the season. Barrett finished with six tackles, continuing his solid work in run support. Conveniently for Barrett, his best game came against his former team. 2. MLB Jonathan Vilma: The first year player out of the University of Miami continues his campaign for rookie of the year as Vilma had eight tackles, showing improved ability to take on blocks in the running game as the Cardinals were unable to run the football up the middle and only manage 71 yards on the ground. Vilma also showed his knack for the big play as he recovered a fumble forced by David Barrett and intercepted an under-thrown pass from King intended for WR Larry Fitzgerald. Vilma showed good instincts on the play while in zone forcing King into a tough pass. Vilma continues his improved play is looking more and more comfortable as a starting NFL MLB every week.

1. WR Santana Moss: Santana Moss continued his consecutive string of 100 yard receiving days, as he had 5 catches for 109 yards and a TD. Moss was the Jetsí only weapon through the air as the offense struggled for itís third straight game under Carter. Moss hit the Cardís jugular as he beat Renaldo Hill on a fly pattern, caught a perfectly placed ball from Quincy Carter, and took it to the house for a 69 yard Touchdown pass. The catch proved to be the play of the game as the Cardinals did not have enough offense to come back from the deficit. If Moss can continue his good play, along with the emergence of Justin McCareins, the offense could explode with the return of Chad Pennington under center.

GOAT OF THE GAME:

Cardinalsí QB Shaun King: King was just awful. King went 14 for 26 for 119 yards and through 1 INT and was unable to move the Cardinals offense, failing to test the Jets defense downfield. King only completed two passes for more than 10 yards. Look for QB Josh McCown to regain the Cardsí offensive reigns next week as King goes back to the bench.

GOOD TO SEE:

WR Jonathan Carter getting involved in the offense with 2 catches for 18 yards. When Carter is on the field, defenses instantly take notice because of his speed. This regard for him as a deep threat could potentially open up some of the safer, underneath throws for the QB.

LB Mark Brown, the 2nd year player out of Auburn, held his own in his first NFL start in the place of Victor Hobson. Mark Brown pressured Kind a couple times on blitz and was very active when on the field.

CB Terrell Buckley quietly had an excellent game as he was on the field more than usual as the Jets used more nickel to match-up to against the Cardinal 3-WR sets. Buckley was matched up with both Fitzgerald and Boldin throughout the game, and shut them down for the most part, despite their obvious height advantage. Buckley also nabbed his 3rd INT of the season to end the game.

DT DeWayne Robertson continues his "active play" as he and his teammates held the Cardinals to 71 yards rushing. In particular, Robertson has shown good hustle as he chased down Cardsí RB Emmit Smith from behind on a screen and discipline, as stood his ground on a draw and shovel pass making the tackles on both plays instead of getting caught up field.

QB Brooks Bollinger made his NFL debut when Quincy Carter left the game injured for three series. Bollinger responded well, completing 5 of 9 passes for 60 yards including a pretty 24 yard strike to Wayne Chrebet as he calmly led the Jets and a few short drives. He didnít lead the Jets to any points but more importantly, didnít make any fatal mistakes. Bollinger showed good pocket presence and composure in limited time and must have made the Jets more comfortable with their QB situation when Quincy Carter leaves next off-season.

PROBLEM SPOTS:

The Jets offense is still inconsistent and benefited greatly from one big play. It is obvious Quincy Carter is struggling in this system and the Jets desperately need Pennington back for some tough opponents ahead.

Penaties have uncharacteristically haunted this team of late. The Jets are still committing too many penalties including yesterdayís three roughing the passer penalties.

PLAY OF THE GAME:

With the ball on their 31 yd line on 1st and 10 with 2:51 remaining in the 3rd quarter and up 6-3, The Jets caught the Cardinals sleeping (could you blame them?). Carter dropped back to pass and through a perfect ball over the top of Renaldo Hill which dropped right into Mossí hands. Moss, running a fly pattern, caught the ball and ran it the rest of the way for a 69 yard TD. The Jets had caught the Cardinals in a Cover 1 defense, Man-to-Man on the outside with Ifeanyi Ohalete the lone safety deep as SS Adrian Wilson was up near the line of scrimmage expecting the run. The deep strike sealed the defensive shootout.

STAT OF THE GAME:

TURNOVERS: Jets: 0, Cardinals: 4

MY TWO CENTS:

DE Shaun Ellis reportedly is about to sign a 7 year extension guaranteeing 14-15 million in bonus money. That is a lot of years and money committed to nothing more than a steady player. The Jets better have enough money for Abraham and Ferguson because they are the keys to the defensive line. If the Jets canít sign Abe to a long tem deal, the team will likely tag him as the franchise player. There will be a lot of teams looking for his services including the man who drafted him, Bill Parcells in Dallas. It will be interesting to see how the Jets work this out.

The Jets seem to have a team based on momentum. After Quincy Carterís 69 yd. Touchdown pass to Santana Moss, he settled down and looked more comfortable in the pocket. The defense, which was already playing well, forced four turnovers after the deep strike. This is one of the reasons why the Jets have success under Chad Pennington, because under Pennington, the Jets do a tremendous job of scoring on the opening drive, thus setting the tempo. It is good to see that when the Jets smelled blood, they put the game out of reach.

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