Entering Sunday’s game against the winless Buffalo Bills many in Jets nation were worried about the Jets falling victim to a “trap” game. Well those worries were quickly eliminated as Gang Green took it to the Bills early and often en route to a 38-14 road victory. Here are some notes from the game.
1) LT lights it up- LaDainian Tomlinson had a tremendous game on Sunday, carrying the ball 19 times for 133 yards with 2 touchdowns. Tomlinson was very explosive out of the backfield, displaying vintage moves leaving several players grabbing air. It is more than evident that LT has something left in the tank, and the Jets are benefiting greatly from it. Side notes: During the game Tomlinson passed Tony Dorsett (12,740) for 7th on the all-time rushing list. In addition this was LT’s first hundred yard game as a Jets, and his first since 10/26/08.
2) Sanchez continues to cruise- Mark Sanchez had another effective, efficient game as he was 14/24 for 161 yards and 2 touchdowns. Sanchez continues to make smart decisions, and spread the ball around the field keeping the defense on their toes. In addition Mark continues to work the ball down the field which stretches the defense and opens up lanes for the running game. After the first quarter of the season Sanchez has 0 interceptions. Who would have predicted that when the season first started?
3) Keller is a beast- Dustin Keller continues to make big plays for the Jets offense as he reeled in two more touchdown catches. Dustin now has 5 td catches in 3 weeks, which ranks him 2nd in the NFL behind Antonio Gates.
4) Brad Smith adds another dimension- Brad Smith is a very versatile player for the Jets as he contributes on both special teams and offense. On Sunday Brad threw the first touchdown pass of his career and once again was very effective running the Jets “seminole” offense. Smith has now scored 5 touchdowns, 4 different ways: 1 rushing, 2 receiving, 1 returning, 1 passing. Brad is clearly the jack of all trades for the New York Jets.
5) Ground and pound returns- It is no secret that the Jets want to run the ball and they were effective in doing so on Sunday with 2 running backs going over 100 yards. Shonn Greene, while platooning with Tomlinson, racked up 117 yards with his very physical, explosive style of running. The offense as a unit ran for a total of 273 yards, which shows you how dominant the offensive line was.
6) Defense eliminates 3rd down issue- The New York Jets defense has struggled getting off of the field on third down, but on Sunday that problem was remedied as Buffalo was 0/10 on 3rd down conversions.
7) Another scoreless first quarter- For the fourth consecutive week Gang Green’s defense has not allowed a point in the first quarter. Furthermore Buffalo did not complete a pass until 6:45 remained in the second quarter, which just shows how effective the Jets defense was early on.
Defensive standouts-The Jets defense held Buffalo to 12 first downs and 223 total yards. Some of the defensive stars were as follows:
Jason Taylor- continues to apply a ton of pressure, even while playing with an injured elbow.
Shaun Ellis- got his third sack of the season before leaving the game due to injury.
Antonio Cromartie- completely eliminated Lee Evans from the Bills offense.
David Harris- the leader of the Jets defense, continues to punish running backs. In my eyes has to be one of the top 3 or 4 inside linebackers in the game.
Bryan Thomas- seems to always be around the ball, making plays.
Areas of concern- Kyle Wilson continues to struggle in pass coverage as it appears teams are going right after the rookie. Trial by fire is an understatement. In addition there continues to be communication issues in the secondary between safeties Brodney Pool and Jim Leonhard. Pool has missed some time due to injury and hopefully the two can work it out as the season progresses. Nick Folk missed a chip shot field goal in the first quarter that I am sure had many Jets fans screaming out Jay Feely’s name. Missed kicks happen, hopefully not from that range again.
Overall this was a dominating performance by the Jets, one that you would expect from a team with post season dreams. It was encouraging to see the team focused and aggressive early on, which is a credit to Rex Ryan and his coaching staff.
Next up for the Jets a Monday night match-up against Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings. I for one cannot wait to get to the stadium as it will be an electric atmosphere packed with fired up Jets fans.