Florham Park, N.J.– “I’m gonna tell you what. If I look at these stats and there were no sacks given up we will have a ‘Victory Monday’… No sacks.” – (c) Rex Ryan
Monday’s are the worst. No one likes Monday’s, it’s not just Garfield. But ‘Victory Monday’s are different. ‘Victory Monday’ stands in stark contrast of a regular Monday as a ‘Victory Monday’ is an absolute delight. Fans wake up with a little extra pep in their step. That first sip of coffee tastes ever so sweet. That normal Monday morning haze that usually clouds your brain has evaporated and you begin to look forward to wasting the majority of your work day reading about how your favorite team was able to pull off the big win yesterday.
For the players it’s a chance to relax, both mentally and physically, for two days before they have to get back at it, diving head first into the next week’s game plan. For a team in the position the Jets are, it’s not only a perfect way, it’s the only way to start the week. Relax, regroup then refocus because they might need the next four Monday’s to be ‘Victory Monday’ or they could be in danger of missing the playoffs.
For three quarters plus the Jets were unable to separate themselves from the Redskins because they continually shot themselves in the foot (silly kickoff return by McKnight backing the offense up, false start on Mulligan, Kerley muffed punt to name a few mistakes), but everything started working to perfection as the clock got closer to zero.
The Jet defense looked to be in for a long day after the Redskins took the ball 82 yards down the field and put up an early 7-0 lead with relative ease, but the defense would clamp down and refuse to let up another touchdown the rest of the way. With the offense still struggling the defense realized they needed to make a play to get this turned around in the right direction and make up for the mistakes by the offense/special teams and up stepped Marcus Dixon and Aaron Maybin.
As if taking their cue from the defense the offense was finally able to get everything to click in the fourth quarter, but one of the key’s to the game was the way the offensive line held up throughout the entire game. The Redskins have one of the best pass rush defense in the NFL and as anyone who has watched the Jets this season knows, the Jets offensive line has, to put it mildly, struggled a little bit this season. But for the second straight game they protected their quarterback and blew open holes for the running backs.
“I thought our offensive line was the difference in the game. They were able to protect the quarterback and open up some holes in the running game.” Ryan said, “When you look at it, going against that group, they’re third in the league in sacks, they never had a sack. That one kind of looked like one, but had a penalty, but no sacks allowed so we’ll take that.”
“Two games in a row, just a phenomenal job. They’re getting coached hard by coach Callahan, he’s not cutting them any slack in practice and it’s showing.” Sanchez said, “They’ve taken to the tough coaching, they’ve taken to the intricacies of our blocking schemes and I’m really proud of the way they’re communicating.”
With the defense keeping them in the game and the offensive line protecting Sanchez so well, it became time for Sanchez to step up and make a play to put this one over the edge and into the W column for the Jets and that’s just what he did, which should come as no surprise because that’s just what he does (don’t worry I won’t be invoking Tebow comparisons, simply for the fact that Sanchez has been doing this for three years now).
Sanchez didn’t have a spectacular day (19-32, 165 yards, one TD, QB rating of 83.5), but he did manage to have a solid game that was void of turnovers, which is exactly what this team needs from him for the first three quarters. In that fourth quarter though, the Jets will need Sanchez to continue making plays like he did yesterday when the clock struck ‘Tone Time.’ Sanchez hit the pump fake, then threw a gorgeous pass that was perfectly placed into Santonio Holmes hands as he strolled into the end zone to give the Jets the lead and essentially the game.
“Again Mark was, you know at times he sailed a couple of balls, but then when it counted the most in the fourth quarter he found a way to get it done so I was proud of that.” Ryan said of his quarterback.
“It was a play that had to be made for us.” Holmes said, “Coach Schottenheimer dialed it up at the right time, (the) defender bit on the slant move, it was a double move route, and he jumped all over the first part of the route and the rest was history. Mark put the ball in a great place for me to catch it and, you know, that’s the ball game.”
No one likes Monday’s, except for when they are a ‘Victory Monday.’ On a ‘Victory Monday,’ your lunch tastes better, time flies faster and somehow those annoying insufferable co-workers of yours become suddenly tolerable. So revel in this victory, soak it in, just know like Sanchez knows this mission is far from complete.
“That’s huge, you know, two in a row is great.” Sanchez said, “But these are all for nothing if we can’t win the next few.”