The Jets won their second game in a row today for the first time this season, beating the Jacksonville Jaguars, 17-10.
The first half was sloppy play after sloppy play, and the offense was its usual mess. The defense played well, and Bart Scott intercepted Jags’ QB Chad Henne in the red zone for his fourth career interception.
In the second half the Jets remembered they were playing the Jaguars and managed to score two touchdowns and a field goal after they went back to the running game. Shonn Green and Bilal Powell both gave gritty performances. Greene has 20 carries for 77 yards, and Powell had 19 carries for 78 yards. Both had a touchdown.
After the controversial decision to start Mark Sanchez this game over Greg McElroy, Rex Ryan may have had his job riding on this game. Originally the Jets planned to dress three QBs, but were forced not to dress McElroy after having to dress Kahlil Bell. It was uncertain whether Joe McKnight was going to be able to play today after developing migraines this morning.
Mark Sanchez’s final line on the day was 12 of 19 for 119 yards and a 79.1 QBR. He had no interceptions, which made for a nice change, but he was strip sacked in the first half. Sanchez only really had to make one throw today, and he did it. In the fourth quarter with the game on the line, Sanchez had to convert on 3rd & 8, and he completed a 37 yard pass to Jeff Cumberland. For at least one more week, Sanchez probably kept his starting job.
Interesting side note: Tim Tebow put in no appearances in front of the Jacksonville crowd.
As with most Jets games, there were some “What’s going on?” moments that left everyone scratching their heads. How did they let the Jaguars convert on 4th & 15 in the fourth quarter and up only a TD? Why are they only throwing two yard passes on third down when they need eight yards? Why can nobody on the team protect the ball? Or even throw/catch it?
But, the Jets triumphed in the end. The defense did well stomping on a pretty bad offense. The run defense was suffocating. LaRon Landry and David Harris each had 10 tackles. Mo Wilkerson and Quinton Coples made their presences today, pressuring the quarterback all game and each had a sack. Wilkerson had a costly facemask penalty that extended a Jacksonville drive that led to a touchdown, but overall was a beast on the field today. He’s really kicked it into high gear this season. David Harris also had a sack.
Ellis Lankster, after missing an interception instead of trying to knock the ball down and allowing Jacksonville to convert on a big play late in the game, intercepted Chad Henne two plays later to seal the win for the Jets.
There was a scary moment for the Jets defense when Antonio Cromartie took a hit to the helmet and was down on the field for a minute. He was evaluated in the locker room and returned to the game. The Jets receiving corps took another hit when Stephen Hill suffered what looked like a knee injury. He didn’t return. The Jets really should give Braylon Edwards a call.
As up and down as this season has been for the Jets, they are still in the chase and this game had playoff implications. By improving their record to 6-7 and with the Steelers and Bengals losing today, the Jets are, somehow, one game behind Cincinnati and Pittsburgh for the final AFC playoff spot.
The Jets play next Monday night against the Titans in Tennessee. Kickoff is at 8:30.