On Sunday the New York Jets beat the Denver Broncos 24-20, to push their record to 5-1 on the season, and first place in the AFC East. Gang Green has now won 5 consecutive games as they head into the bye week. Before we go into the notes from the game I just want to quickly cover two things. First off, the officiating in this game was absolutely dreadful. It is games like this that sometimes make you wonder about the impact Las Vegas has on football. The Jets were wrongly flagged several times during the game, resulting in huge plays for the Broncos. The NFL is quick to fine players and coaches, it is time for the officials to endure the same consequences. Secondly, if I ever have to hear Dan Dierdorf in the booth again it is too soon. Dierdorf is clueless in the booth, terrible at diagnosing plays, and almost comes off anti-Jet with his ignorance. Please CBS let Dan follow the Buffalo Bills around the rest of the season.
1) Sanchez continues to grow- It was only a matter of time before Mark Sanchez would struggle, and Sunday was his day ( 2 early interceptions, could have been 4). Last year this type of start would have sent the young quarterback into a tailspin, but this is a new year and an improved qb. Sanchez remained composed in the pocket, got the offense back in rhythm, and kept pushing the ball down the field. With the Jets down late in the game, Sanchez faced a 4th and 6 and fired a long throw to Santonio Holmes, which resulted in a pass interference call on the Broncos 2-yard line. This is definitely a play Mark would not have made last year and is evidence of his development as an NFL quarterback.
2) Defense resilient- Many, including yours truly, thought that the New York Jets would have no problem shutting down the Broncos running game. Well the game begins and Denver is running the ball down the Jets throats. It was more than apparent that the Broncos game plan, including Tebow running the offense, caught the Jets off guard. As the game wore on the Jets defense started to tighten things up, especially heading into the 4th quarter. Gang Green’s defense, led by David Harris and Bart Scott, made plays when they had to, giving the team a chance to win the game in the end. This is not something the Jets defense did last year. This defense has become a resilient bunch that has embraced Ryan’s and Pettine’s aggressive attitude.
3) Kicking game shines- Another solid game out of the Jets kickers, spearheaded by Nick Folk’s franchise record 56-yard field goal. Folk has almost become an offensive weapon for the Jets (never thought I would be saying that). Punter Steve Weatherford average 42.2 yards on his kicks which definitely helped the Jets in the field position battle.
4) 2 more for LT- LaDainian Tomlinson, along with the rest of the Jets running game, started out slow but came on strong with the game on the line. Tomlinson’s 20-yard td run in the 4th quarter helped Gang Green tie the game, and his second touchdown with 73 seconds left, put the Jets ahead for good. It is more than evident that the team believes in LT, and he has clearly become one of the leaders of the Jets offense.
5) Another TD for Edwards- Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards caught his 4th touchdown in 5 games. Not too bad for a guy many wanted to write off before the season started.
6) Holmes still rusty- Santonio Holmes continues to work his way back into the Jets offense. Santonio showed some flashes, but then had a terrible drop followed up by an even worse fumble. For a guy that never fumbles, he sure puts the ball on the field a lot (fumbling issues in preseason as well).
7) Secondary contains Orton- Heading into Sunday’s game the New York Jets secondary knew they would have their hands full with the Bronco’s passing attack that averaged over 300 yards a game. The defense struggled early, especially Drew Coleman, but tightened up coverage as the game progressed. (Lets keep in the mind this group had to overcome several ridiculous penalties) Coleman bounced back, and Darrelle Revis started to show flashes of returning to form. Antonio Cromartie had another solid game and could be on his way to a Pro-Bowl season. Still waiting for Brodney Pool to have a signature game. All in all the Jets secondary did enough to keep the Jets in the game.
8) A win is a win- Good teams find a way to win games that they are supposed to lose. The Jets made enough mistakes to lose the game, but found ways to bounce back and overcome them. This is a resilient bunch of players that not only believe in themselves, but believe in their coach and his philosophies. 5-1 at the bye week is a great place to be for the New York Jets, and makes for a very exciting second half of the season.