Well, it’s a win. And the losing streak is over. It’s a great morning in Jets Nation; hysteria dying down in the community after the Jets defeated the Miami Dolphins, 24-6, on Monday Night Football.
The Jets (3-3) are now 3-0 against teams with a combined record of 3-13, while 0-3 against teams with a combined record of 13-4. Mediocrity is thriving in Florham Park. And, yes, a win is a win, but with their next three teams a combined 14-4 (vs. Chargers, @ Bills, vs. Patriots) that is certainly a cause for concern.
It wasn’t all that pretty. Eyes squinting, watching the game through my hands I saw a revived defense will their way to a victory. Perhaps the most understated factor of this team throughout the recent skid, the defense holds the key to this teams’ success.
The offense still looks lost, inept, stagnant — whatever you want to call it. But if the defense can string a couple more performances like these together, that might be enough time to get this offense in order.
How fitting is it that after a week’s worth of in-house feuding, media hounding and out right questioning the identity of this team, that their leader, Darrelle Revis, starts and ends this game. Those who are searching for the Jets identity look no further than their lock-down, All-Pro, other-worldly cornerback.
PASSING OFFENSE: C-
- Starting slow is an understatement. With their first four offensive opportunities all resulting in three & outs. That is the second straight game the offense started like that. Additionally it marked 11 three & outs in their last 15 drives. Someone tell Rex Ryan he’s taking the “it’s not how you start” quote too far.
- After that Sanchez was smartly efficient going 11-of-18 for 118 yards with two total touchdowns and no turnovers.
- We had a Plaxico Burress sighting (1 reception, 16 yards). But what stuck out more than his one reception was the sight of him dogging it out the few deep routes Sanchez threw his way.
- Wayne Hunter, often under criticism, had an amazing night blocking the ferocious Cameron Wake.
RUSHING OFFENSE: C-
- After a sluggish start for Shonn Greene, the running back by committee seemed to find some success. LaDanian Tomlinson averaged four yards a touch, while Brian Schottenheimer finally realized that Joe McKnight could be used on offense.
- This may be the end of ground and pound as we’ve known it. Sanchez said it himself, that type of system is dependent on a specific personnel. While Greene fits the mold, he needs a counter-part (alas Thomas Jones).
PASSING DEFENSE: B+
- The defense can really be summed up in two words: Darrelle Revis.
- In two seasons in Buffalo, Aaron Maybin did not record a sack or forced fumble. In three games with New York, Maybin has two sacks and three forced fumbles. *removes ‘bust’ label and brushes shoulder off*.
- Antonio Cromartie pulled himself out of the game after re-activating a lingering groin injury. He insists he’ll be ready for Sunday.
RUSHING DEFENSE: C-
- Reggie Bush averaged 7.1 yards per carry against the Jets. There’s actually people out there who would trade that man for a $10 Pizza Hut pizza. And he did that to the Jets D?
- The run defense did a better job, only allowing 118 yards this week. That’s still a far cry from what this team accomplished the last two years.
- Bart Scott update: 4 tackles, .5 sack, 1 forced fumble.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C
- T.J. Conley had a career-game, registering career highs for gross average (48.5), net average (39.4) and punts inside the 20 (3).
- A rare mental lapse by Mike Westhoff’s unit nearly cost the team seven points. Luckily, Revis was able to bail them out.
- The Dolphins’ Dan Carpenter was clearly trying to avoid McKnight, the league’s top return man — as far as return yardage (no disrespect to Devin Hester.) — kicking the ball short on two of the team’s three kickoffs.
- I’m still scratching my head at the failed halfback pass. Schottenheimer being Schottenheimer.
- Credit goes to Ryan and the staff for turning the team around in the locker room, and having their team buckle down. More so, because of the war of words between players and the medias attempt to tear this team apart, inside out.
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