By Richard Forestano
Jets Staff Writer
September 28th, 2008
Jets LB Bryan Thomas collects his fourth sack of the season as he puts Cardinals QB Kurt Warner into the turf during the Jets 56-35 win. (Jets Photo)
Jets LB Bryan Thomas collects his fourth sack of the season as he puts Cardinals QB Kurt Warner into the turf during the Jets 56-35 win. (Jets Photo)
Follow the bouncing ball. That was the running theme to start out Gang Green’s 56-35 romping of the Arizona Cardinals, 34 of those points coming in the second quarter alone. At first, things looked like nothing else could possibly go wrong for Gang Green. They had two chances to go up early after costly mishaps by the Cardinals offense, one caused by a sack of DE Shaun Ellis on QB Kurt Warner, only to be recovered RB Edgerrin James, the other an Anquan Boldin fumble which was returned by recently re-signed Hank Poteat for 14 yards. The Boldin fumble ended in a Brett Favre interception three plays later.

After that, the “skies” opened up for the Jets, and QB Brett Favre started to look like the Favre of old. Favre, (24-34 289 Yds 6 TD, INT), connected with WR Laveranues Coles for three scores, all in the second quarter. Favre would’ve had seven TD’s if it wasn’t for a holding penalty on C Nick Mangold in the second quarter. Coles and Favre looked as if they’re finally putting together the chemistry that has been long awaited by Jets fans.

“I think LC [Coles] is a hell of a player,” Brett Favre said. “I think our receiving core in general is very good. He’s quietly kind of snuck up the ladder with me because he was injured and I didn’t get a lot of time with him at first.”

Coles (8 catches 105 Yds, 3 TD) had his best game of the season and his career. Coles feels that getting more involved in the offense will create more opportunities for this team to grow and win more games.

“I think it’s a little bit of me being a brat,” Coles said jokingly about his involvement in the offense. “Sometimes you want to be involved a little bit more. Not in a selfish way but if I’m given an opportunity to help this team win some ball games then I want to. I voiced that to the coaches and they heard that and they gave me a chance to make some plays.”

The making and outcome of this game showcased what this offense can do if it is given the chance to make some big plays. WR Jerricho Cotchery agrees.

“We can make plays if we make the right decisions,” he said. “I was glad to have gotten involved today with those two touchdowns. And our defense was pretty good too.”

The defense set out to do what they needed to do and put QB Kurt Warner on his back and out of the picture for most of the first half, sacking him (stats) times and picking him off twice, with one of them going back for a Darrelle Revis touchdown.

But that trend didn’t last for long. The Cardinals, down 34-0 going into the third quarter, scored 21 unanswered points on three run scores. Warner was sacked three times in the first half and twice in the second half. Gang Greens’ defense looked sluggish and the Cardinals offense looked as if they had started to gain some considerable ground.

“They picked it up in the third [quarter] and had us reeling but we pulled through it pretty well,” Safety Kerry Rhodes said. “We endured and came out on top. Our defense had five sacks today and three interceptions.”

The Jets defense made Kurt Warner look like his old self with happy feet and uneasy in the pocket while holding onto the ball way too long. Even though he completed 40 passes with 472 yards, he looked rattled out there. “Our goal was to rush the QB,” NT Kris Jenkins said. “I think we accomplished that.”


Record Setting Day

The Jets scored 56, the most they’ve scored since 1985. It marked the fourth time in franchise history that the Jets scored 50+ points.

First time for Everything

DB Darrelle Revis scored his first TD of his career on a 32 yard interception return in the second quarter. Brett Favre threw six touchdowns today, the most he’s ever thrown and tied Joe Namath’s franchise record. He [Favre] never threw this many TD’s in high school or college according to the future Hall of Famer. “I read a good play,” Revis said. “It’s something that the coaches have wanted me to do for a while, get my first interception for a touchdown and it happened today.”

Scary Moment for Cardinals fans

Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin went up for a pass in the endzone at the end of the game and was met helmet-to-helmet by Rhodes and S Eric Smith. Boldin was carted off the field and into the x-ray room for examination. WR Larry Fitzgerald was seen sprinting towards the room to check on his fellow wide receiver, along with most of the Cardinals team.

Grading the Jets

Offense: A

This is the type of game Gang Green fans expected to see way before Week 4. The Jets offense was firing on all cylinders today, compiling 373 total net yards and six TD’s. Laveranues Coles looked electric and WR Jerricho Cotchery looked ridiculous on his two wide open touchdown passes. The offensive line was stupendous in protecting its future Hall of Fame QB, letting up one sack. The only smudge on the offensive side was the run game. RB Thomas Jones (18 attempts, 46 Yds) didn’t do much today but had a nice catch from Favre towards the end of the first quarter.

Defense: C+

The grade would’ve been higher if the defense would showed the same pizzazz that they showcased in the first half. 21 points in one quarter is unacceptable, but at least they got to Warner, which was crucial if they wanted to ground the air attack of Fitzgerald and Boldin. But giving up all those points in the second half and over 468 total yards is a cause for concern. If it wasn’t for the big offensive outbreak, this game could’ve gone the other way.

Special Teams: B-

NT Kris Jenkins had a key block on a FG attempt by Neil Rackers in the first quarter which led to a touchdown on the next Gang Green drive. WR Wallace Wright, like always, was everywhere on every kickoff return. If there is a David Tyree type special teams player on the Jets, it’s him.

Coaching: B+

Again, the grade would’ve been higher if the Jets defense didn’t go into a prevent scheme in the third quarter. Mangini and Co. did a good job letting the leashes loose on both sides of the ball. The pass rush was effective, albeit in the first half and the passing game looked something out of a video game. Scoring six touchdowns in real life is a different story.

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