by Joe Grinwis
What a win for the Jets! Now at 6-6 they remain more than alive for a chance at the postseason, most likely in a Wild Card situation. The games on Sunday by the other 6-5 and 5-6 AFC teams will paint a better picture as to the Jets chances as we head into the final quarter of the NFL season. As for last night’s game grades:
Quarterback – B
Mark Sanchez: 7-15, 104yds, TD
Kellen Clemens: 1-2, 14yds
Sanchez, before leaving the game with a right knee injury, struggled in his first series but after that settled down and played a very good game. If it weren’t for the two big drops by Braylon Edwards, Sanchez’s completion % would be higher, and he would’ve had at least one other TD on the stat sheet. When Sanchez went down Clemens came in and although the offense barely did anything with him in the game, he did complete a big 3rd down pass and did not turn the ball over, allowing the Jets defense to hang on to the victory.
Running Back – A
Thomas Jones: 23 carries, 109yds (4.7ypc)
Shonn Greene: 11 carries, 59yds (5.4ypc)
Tony Richardson: 2 carries, 36yds (18ypc)
Jones eclipsed 1,000yds for the 5th consecutive season in this game and continues to be one of the most under-rated players in the NFL. Greene had an outstanding game as well as the rookie from Iowa did not fumble as he has had fumble issues this season. Both made big runs when they needed to and both probably should have had the ball in their hands more than they did, but that is on Brian Schottenheimer. Even Richardson got in on the action, breaking off two long runs of 19 and 17 yards, respectively.
Wide Receiver – B-
Jerricho Cotchery: 4 receptions, 68yds
Braylon Edwards: 3 receptions, 45yds, TD
Cotchery was his normal self, reeling in four receptions and 68yds, 45 of them coming on one play that led to a Jet TD. Edwards had a huge 1st quarter drop in which he was running down the field with no Corner or Safety in sight for 15 yards and the ball hit him in the facemask and he dropped it. Everyone watching on TV and in the stadium thought it would be a TD and if he catches that, this game is probably a bit of a blowout.
Tight End – C
Dustin Keller: 1 reception, 5yds
Keller made the first reception of the game on the first play of the game but after that was non-exsistent in the passing game. However, Jet fans need to realize something: Keller IS becoming an all around player. His blocking is improving and that is one of the reasons why Jones is continuing his success at 31 years of age, a usual down point for RB’s.
Offensvie Line – B
Five sacks for Buffalo is never a good thing, considering their lack of pass rush besides Aaron Schoebel, who D’Brickashaw Ferguson did have a tough time with, as he usually does. However, the line paved the way for Jones and Greene and aside from the sack total, did a pretty decent job in keeping both Sanchez and Clemens upright.
Defensive Line – A
Led by Shaun Ellis’ two sack performance, the line by itself was causing pressure on Ryan Fitzpatrick all night. Very good game from the makeshift line of the Jets, it helps that the Bills have used seven different starting Offensive Line rotations this season, but all that matters is what happens on the field, not the petty excuses.
Linebackers – B+
Outstanding game by David Harris who was constantly around the football and applied pressure to Fitzpatrick as well, including a strip sack fumble which was recovered by fellow ‘backer Calvin Pace. Harris had 11 total tackles in all. The Madbacker, Bart Scott (9 tackles), also had a good game. Only thing keeping this grade from being a solid A is the lack of pass rush from the Outside Linebackers.
Secondary – A+
98 yards. That’s how many yards Fitzpatrick threw for last night and although that can be credited to the entire defense, the Secondary played outstanding. Darrelle Revis picked up his 5th INT of the season and could have had another two. Lito Sheppard dropped a sure pick 6 and another could be INT, and although he was beaten by Lee Evans early on the first drive, like Sanchez, Lito buckled down and played well the rest of the game. Kerry Rhodes coming off the bench? One tackle and decided instead of tackling, he’d just dance. Seeing the NFL Network commericals where Rhodes says “Kerry Rhodes on the football field is a playmaker” is comic relief.
Special Teams – B
This is really Jay Feely and Steve Weatherford’s grade because the return game, both on kicks and punts, are non-existent without Leon Washington back there. The Jets miss him dearly not only offense, but on specials as well and Brad Smith is not someone who you want returning kicks. Feely continues to kick well and Weatherford, who has struggled at points this season, had a nice couple of punts in the Rogers Centre dome.
Coaching – B+
The defensive game plan was excellent, as was the offensive, however this grade is not an A because once again when the run was picking up 5-10 yards a carry, Schottenheimer still decided it was time to throw on a 2nd and 3 after three or four consecutive succcessful runs. When is this guy going to learn to stick with what works until a defense can figure out how to stop it?
Tell us what you think here.