STARS OF THE GAME:
Jets RB Curtis Martin was again super hero-like against Houston on Sunday. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
5. DT Dewayne Robertson - Robertson continues his improved sophomore season as he had 6 tackles including two for no gain. With the injury to John Abraham midway through the first half, the other three men on the Jets' fearsome DL was counted on to pick up its play. Robertson continued to draw double teams throughout the day and penetrating into the backfield as he and his linemates held Dominick Davis to 52 yards on 17 carries. Robertson's penetration right at QB David Carr also forced Carr to throw numerous balls over the heads of his receivers throughout the day in an effort to throw over DROB. One of the two interceptions were forced by DROB's penetration. DROB continues to show why he should get a long look during the Pro Bowl voting and continues to be one of the top performers on a stingy Jets defense.
4. QB Chad Pennington - The Jets' field general and emotional leader made his much anticipated not a game too soon. Pennington, who had been out the previous three weeks with a strained rotator cuff, played a typical Pennington game, gradually moving the chains with a high completion percentage and not making any killer mistakes. Pennington went 20 for 27 for 155 yards with 2 TD's and 1 INT. The Houston Texans played a lot of deep zone coverages to limit the deep pass and Pennington calmly took what the defense gave him as he, aided by tremendous field position all game long, calmly drove the Jets down the field on numerous occasion. Pennington has a certain aura about him, one that makes Jet Fans feel at ease when he is in the huddle.
3. FS Erik Coleman - Coleman spoke about wanting to get that big pick off, the kind of interceptions like he got in the beginning of the year when he was Septemberís Rookie of the Month. After dropping an easy interception last week, the exciting player out of Washington State stole a David Carr pass on an underthrow in the 3rd quarter. The play pretty much squashed all hopes of a Houston comeback. Forming an over-under bracket coverage with Reggie Tongue in the deep middle zone of the field on Andre Johnson, Coleman took advantage of one of Carr's several overthrows and ran it back into Houston territory. The interception led to a New York Touchdown. Coleman also dropped another would-be interception when he ran over and leaped in front of Andre Johnson on a deep route. Coleman continues to show great instincts and the knack for the big play which will hopefully make him a formidable safety for years to come.
2. CB David Barrett - The embattled free agent pickup from Arizona had his second great game in a row against arguably his toughest matchup. The 4th year CB out of Arkansas contained Johnson for the most part, allowing Johnson to make the short catches but clamping down on the deep throws. Down 7-6, following a Chad Pennington interception which gave Houston the ball in Jet territory, Barrett picked off a Carr pass intended for Johnson on a deep out route. Barrett showed great awareness and closing speed as he deftly jumped in front of Johnson on the sideline and picked off the pass. Barrett's interception stopped the Texans from getting points, and getting the momentum before halftime. Barrett also had five tackles on the day, not allowing the NFL's yards-after-catch leader to run by him. He also had a couple other pass break-ups. Barrett, had led a turnaround of the Jets secondary as a whole as the weakest link on defense, is slowly starting to become its strongest.
1. RB Curtis Martin - Just another day on the gridiron for Curtis Martin. Martin, who benefited greatly from the return of Pennington and the respect he demands from opposing defenses, ran through gaping holes all day en route to a 23 carry-134 yard- 1 TD day on the ground. Martin bounced more runs off-tackle than usual as he showed more explosiveness than usual as the Texans lost containment continually to the outside. Martin was also an assest in the passing game as he caught a swing pass from Chad Pennington, dodged a would-be tackler and walked into the endzone. Martin continues to be the focal point of the offense as he continues his career year and leads the Jets into the final quarter of the season.
GOOD TO SEE:
-This marks the 6th time the defense did not allow a single point in the second half of the game. This shows ability of DC Donnie Henderson to get in his players' faces and make adjustments, something Ted Cotrell was unable to do.
-Jerald Sowell being utilized in the passing game. Chad Pennington is skilled at using his underneath receivers to move the chains, unlike Quincy Carter, who locks on to WR's downfield thus becoming an easy target on sacks. Sowell is the best FB in the league and should be utilized to neutralize opposing pass rushes and open up the deep ball.
-LaMont Jordan continues to be the thunder to Curtis Martin's lightning as he ran for 60 yards on 11 carries, not including a 20+ yard run which was called back due to a penatly. Jordan continues to be a weapon on offense as he is used as a battering ram against fatigued oppsing defenses.
-The Offensive Line had a TERRIFIC day. Kevin Mawae dominated NT Seth Payne throughout the day as he and his linemates cleared the way for Curtis Martin and LaMont Jordan as the Jets had 200+ yards on the day. They OL also did not allow a sack.
-Nickelback Terrell Buckley continues to prove to be a nice pick-up by GM Terry Bradway as he was on the field for about 50% of the game to counter the Texans' base 3 WR formations. Buckley is excellent in man coverage and demands respect from opposing QB's because of his nose for the football.
-DT James "Tank" Reed had 3 tackles and 2 sacks. It seems he always makes a play when he is in.
-LB Mark Brown continues his good play in the place of injured OLB Victor Hobson as he racked up 4 tackles and made a great play in pass coverage over the middle.
-The Offense still is unable to hit the big play which will hurt the Jets when they are losing and are forced to comeback by airing it out.
-P Toby Gowin is an inadequate punter. I think it's time to bring in P Sean Landetta for a tryout.
PLAY OF THE GAME:
-During the 3rd quarter, the Texans were forced to punt from inside their own 10. Santana Moss fielded the ball at the 50 yard line, switched fields and faked like he was running out of bounds but spun back to the inside, leaving 2 Houston Texans sprawling on the ground. Moss then turned it up field and outran 2 other Houston Texans before he was forced out at the Houston four yard line. The 46 yard punt return sparked the Jets team as Curtis Martin ran in for a TD two plays later. After the electric punt return, the Jets outscored the Texans 23-0
STATS OF THE GAME:
1. 3rd Down Efficiency:
2. Rushing Yards:
MY TWO CENTS:
1. This is an outdated rant, but could TE Anthony Becht be anymore worthless? He dropped another pass today in the middle of the field, fearing to get laid out by a lighter safety. That makes about five drops on the season. Becht is a non-factor in the passing game. The Jets don't have a proven threat to go over the middle except 5'9 Wayne Chrebet who gets double-teamed on 3rd downs. Becht will not be back next year...and that is fine with nearly every Jet fan in the world.
2. It is imperative to the Jets' success that John Abraham's knee sprain doesnít keep him out very long because he is the best player on the Jets defense, able to change the course of the game single-handedly, and is arguably the Defensive Player of the Year. Abraham has 9.5 sacks this year. With Abraham's constant pressure on the QB, the defensive secondary, the Jet defense's weakest link for a while, does not have to cover as long, thus Abraham to an extent "covers up" the problem spot of the Jets defense. Abraham's energy lifts the whole defense and he keeps Offensive Coordinators up all night designing a gameplan on how to contain him. Who else could you say that about on the Jets defense, Vilma? Vilma is a great player, but is still young and requires protection up front to make plays as he is still learning to use his hands to shed blocks. Abraham is the driving force of the Jets' attacking, swarming defense and the Jets will be hurt in more ways than one if he is out for an extended period of time.