by Joe Grinwis
One down, three to go, Jet fans! Lets hope the team can keep us dancing in the streets for another four weeks!
Quarterback – A+
Sanchez: 12-15, 182yds, TD
Not a single bad throw from the rookie who looked like a 10 year vet in the Cincinnati cold last night. If it weren’t for Braylon Edwards dropping a ball in the endzone, Sanchez would’ve been 13-15, 220+yds and two touchdowns. Outstanding performance from the rookie. Jet fans, be proud of the kid and realize that he is getting better as the weeks go on and there is no better time to keep improving then the playofffs.
Running Backs – A-
Greene: 21 carries, 135yds, TD
Jones: 15 carries, 34yds, TD
The only thing that concern the Jets is that Jones the last few weeks has struggled to gain any yardage and looks to be wearing down in the home stretch. Not to worry as long as Shonn Greene continues his spectacular play. Greene has the fresh legs and if the Jets plan on getting to Miami, they’ll have to use his legs 20+ times a game the next two games.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends – B+
Keller: 3 receptions, 99yds, TD
Cotchery: 6 receptions, 67yds
Edwards: 2 receptions, 15yds
The only thing keeping this from an A was Edwards’ drop in the endzone on a perfect throw from Sanchez, late in the 1st quarter. The final score of this game was 24-14, but it should have been 31-14. The Jets cannot afford another Edwards endzone drop against either the Colts or Chargers next weekend if they expect to move on to the AFC Championship Game.
Offensive Line – A+
The Jets trio of Pro Bowlers (D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Alan Faneca, and Nick Mangold) paved the way for the electrifying Greene and protected Mark Sanchez throughout as once again the Bengals were held without a sack and barely touched the rookie. There is no question the best Offensive Line resides in New York and wears green and white, not blue.
Defensive Line – B
Shaun Ellis led all lineman with 6 tackles (5 solo) and also picked up a sack and recovered a fumble. As the longest tenured Jet, nobody wants a Super Bowl more than Ellis. Note of concern however was the tackling by the majority of this unit against Bengal RB Cedric Benson, who gashed the Jet defense for 169yds on 21 carries.
Linebackers – B
Bryan Thomas led all ‘backers with 7 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. Again, this unit also had some bad tackling against Benson, which needs to be corrected against either Joseph Addai/Donald Brown or LaDainian Tomlinson/Darren Sproles. Not the best game for David Harris, either, but he was not 100 percent due to his ankle injury he suffered last week against the Bengals.
Secondary – B+
For the second straight week Chad Ochocinco found himself lost on Revis Island. Revis, who picked up his first ever playoff interception, held Ochocino (or should I say Johnson?) catchless until the game was out of reach. Jim Leonhard picked up a sack, and forced a fumble, as he continues to be not only a force in run defense, but also when rushing the passer on Rex Ryan’s well known safety blitzes. The one problem is the Nickelback situation. Dwight Lowery is hit or miss. The Jets need Donald Strickland back next week.
Special Teams – B
The Jets have a good chance of having to go up against Darren Sproles of the Chargers in the return game if they hope to get Miami, whether it is next week or the week following. The Bengals had a couple of big returns on the Jets, who usually have one of the best Special Teams units in the league. They need to shore things up, or Sproles will gash them for at least one touchdown return, something with a rookie QB the Jets cannot afford. Kudos to Jay Feely who did an excellent job not only with his kicking, but with his punting as well. Steve Weatherford did not punt due to an irregular heartbeat. We here at JetNation hope the best for Steve.
Coaching – A
Brian Schottenheimer’s game plan was perfect, and when the Jets had a big enough lead he gave it to his workhorses to run out the clock, and rightly so. Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine did enough to get to Carson Palmer, although they did have a problem shutting down Cedric Benson, it didn’t seem to be the schemes, more like the tackling. Great coaching all around.
Bring on the Colts or Chargers. The Jets will win. Here is the discussion thread from our New York Jets message board.