by Joe Grinwis
We are in the playoffs Jets fans for the first time since 2006! Thank you Jets!!! Now, on to last night’s amazing game grades.
Quarterback – B+
Sanchez: 8-16, 63yds
I don’t care that Sanchez had only 63 yard and only a 50% completion percentage, but in that wind, and in that game, Mark Sanchez did not turn the ball over once and only had one questionable pass the entire game. He steeped up to the plate in his biggest NFL game and did what the Jets asked him to do. Thank you Mark.
Running Backs – A
Smith: 4 carries, 92yds, TD
Jones: 27 carries, 78yds, 2 TD
Greene: 13 carries, 62yds
Thomas Jones had far from his best game of the season, but Shonn Greene continues to show his fresh legs down the stretch. Brad Smith and the “Wild Tiger” or “Tigercat” (named specially for him since he played at Missouri) is quickly becoming the most explosive player on the team. This past month, Smith has been unstoppable, but nowhere near as as unstoppable as he was last night.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends – B+
Cotchery – 5 receptions, 39yds/1 carrie, 6yds, TD
Edwards – 2 receptions, 15yds
Keller – 1 receptions, 9yds
Jerricho Cotchery led all receivers on both teams with 39 yards receiving, and had a touchdown as well. Braylon Edwards, only with 2 receptions, had one drop, but one big pass break up of a ball that was going to be an Interception. Good game from the group.
Offensive Line – A+
Outstanding. Zero sacks allowed, and they helped pave the way for big plays by B.Smith and Greene out of the backfield, as well as on a few touchdown runs by Jones. Sanchez was barely hit, and this Offensive Line continues to make its case for the best unit in the league.
Defensive Line – B+
Sione Pouha continues to be a force in the middle in the absence of Kris Jenkins, and Marques Douglas had his second straight big game for the Jets, this time leading the team in tackles with 4 (3 solo). This unit helped get to Carson Palmer (1-for-11, 0yd, INT) and JT O’Sullivan (3-for-8-, 31yds).
Linebackers – A
Calvin Pace picked up his 8th sack of the season, another strong season from Pace who only played in 12 games. Rookie UDFA Jamal Westerman picked up a fumble and ran down the sidlines 39yds before being forced out of bounds, and Bart Scott continues to be the leader this defense needed, making plays several ways all over the field. One concerning note is David Harris, who left with an injury and his status as of know is unknow for Saturday in Cincinnati.
Secondary – A+
Chad Ochocinco (0 receptions) is lost on Revis Island and hopefully will remain there through next Saturday night. Darrelle Revis is not only the MVP of the Jets, but the best Cornerback in the NFL. Period. Dwight Lowery had another big INT, Kerry Rhodes picked up a forced fumble, Jim Leonhard had a strip sack, and James Ihedigbo had a strip sack as well. 31 yards on this unit. Thirty one. That’s almost unheard of. Oustanding game from this unit.
Special Teams – A
No big returns this week, but no big returns were allowed, either. Steve Weatherford boomed a few punts, proving his worth. He is the best punther this franchise has seen since Tom Tupa. Jay Feely nailed his 3 FG’s and 4 PAT’s with ease.
Coaching – A+
Rex Ryan, Brian Schottenheimer, Mike Pettine, and Mike Westhoff, not to mention all the assistants and position coaches, did a great job throughout the week obviously because the Jets dominated Cincinnati the entire game, and there wasn’t a call the entire game that as a fan you could question from your seat in the stands or in your home. Hopefully this staff is ready for Round 2 with Cincinnati, and I believe they are.
Wild Card Weekend
Here we go fellow Jets fans! Wild Card Weekend! We are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2006! The Jets will travel to Cincinnati for a rematch with the Bengals. The game will be on SATURDAY January 9TH and kickoff will be a 4:30pm EDT. You can watch the game on NBC.
Jets – 27
Bengals – 10