Jets 26 Cardinals 14
by Brian Clark
Quarterback – C-
Brett Favre – 25/33 189 yards 1 TD, 2 INT, 1 Fumble
Brett Favre had trouble holding onto the ball against Bengals, but was efficient enough to not get graded lower. He threw for a 76% completion rate, but for only 5.7 yards per, for mostly short underneath routes and screen throws. He was able to help control the time of possession as well with the “Pennington Offense”. Games like this out of him will be enough to be a winless team, but we will need better efforts to be a competitive player come the playoff stretch.
Running Backs – A-
Thomas Jones – 17 carries, 65 yards, 3.8 yards per carry, 2 rush TD, 1 rec TD
Jones did a great job finding the end zone, basically matching his TD total as a Jet in one game. Separate than down in the end zone he ran the same old game. He lacks the explosiveness to get through the hole and be a threat in the 2nd layer. Also the player that would be that threat, Leon Washington, is having a surprisingly poor season, as he has little impact as an explosive threat in the running game. 5 carries for 7 yards is not what the Jets want out of this change of pace back.
Wide Receivers – B-
Jerricho Cotchery – 8 receptions, 85 yards
Laverneus Coles – 8 receptions, 61 yards
Both these guys really didn’t get a chance to stretch the field, as Favre mostly looked underneath. Although both of them did a decent job at YAC, neither of them were a real threat in the open. Both made a couple of key 3rd down receptions as well.
Tight Ends – D
Chris Baker –1 reception, 6 yards
With a predominantly short passing attack, the TE’s barely got into it. Baker’s one catch was a nice one while tightly covered to get a first down near the goal-line, which led to Thomas Jones’ first TD. Which means that after the 8 minute-ish mark of the 1st quarter, the tight-ends had no statistical impact on the game. This is the type of game where Dustin Keller could have thrived.
Offensive Line – C+
They didn’t do anything horrible during this game, and did a much better job down around the goal line, a problem in the past few games. Brick got burned on Favre’s fumble, as he has yet to solidify himself as the LT stud he was prospected to be out of college. Besides that sack on the 3rd play of the game, they only allowed one more which was good, but were not overly dominant to allow for a big game out of the running attack.
Defensive Line – A-
They controlled the line of scrimmage the entire game, and shut down any attempt the Bengals had in the running game. Chris Perry averaged 1.3 yards per rush over 11 carries, basically negating any attack on the ground. This is a different team with a dominant Chris Jenkins who had 4 tackles, and Ellis had 3 tackles and a sack.
Linebackers – B+
I would hate to jinx us, but I am loving the Bryan Thomas/Calvin Pace combo we have right now at the OLB position. Pace had a sack and a fumble recovery, Thomas had another half of a sack as well. These guys have garnered big contracts over the past year and have played extremely well getting after the quarterback. Thomas has 4.5 sacks in 5 games, and Pace has 3.5 sacks, and 2 tackles for a loss. Harris had another solid game with 6 tackles and half of a sack as well.
Secondary – B+
The cornerbacks shut down the receivers in this game, basically making Fitzpatrick look worse than he actually did. The threats of Tj Houshmandzadeh and Chad Johnson were basically nullified, as they were rarely able to get even a chance to be a deep play threat. Grant it, it would have been different with Carson Palmer in there, but you can’t blame the Jets defense for the fact that the Bengals were missing their Pro Bowl QB. They went out there and played well, Abram Elam led the team in tackles with 7, (in what I hope is an audition to be the starter), while Revis had 5, and Poteat had a sack and a fumble recovery.
Special Teams – B-
A little spark was seen out of the return game, which was absent over the past few. I’d take 32.5 yards per on kickoffs and 15.4 yards per on punts every day of the week. Jay Feely was 2/2 on field goals taking care of his end of things. The reason why they rated low is because Hodges only averaged 37 yards per, which is horribly below the average for punts in the league. As mentioned before with Favre, something like that will not impact us against the winless Bengals, but against a true threat, it may come back to bite us again. (See Week 2 vs. Patriots).
Up to this point in the year, Mangini has not shown any fear about going for it on 4th down, and his call in the 1st quarter to go for it from the Bengals 40 was the perfect call in that situation, whether they made it or not. The defensive game plan was ideal to attack a relatively weak rushing team, and a quarterback who would most likely have a limited playbook and big play opportunities. By compressing the field, and forcing Fitzpatrick to look short, they basically became a stagnant offense. On the offensive side of the ball the Jets managed the clock and controlled the tempo. Although the Jets were supposed to easily control the Bengals, and perhaps blow them out, the score does not truly state how well the Jets controlled this game.
Studs Of The Game: Thomas Jones, Calvin Pace, Hank Poteat