Raise your hand if, on at least 8 separate occasions, during yesterdays dismantling of the New England Patriots you wondered out loud: “where was this offense last week?”
Wow. What a difference a week makes. What a difference a half makes, is more like it. The Jets, in defeating the Patriots 28-14 yesterday in the New Meadowlands, not only showed their true potential, but showed how valuable the offseason acquisitions of: LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonio Cromartie, and Jason Taylor are to this team. The teams true turn-around occurred late in the first half, down 14-7 when Sanchez orchestrated a 7 play, 49 yard drive which resulted in a Nick Folk FG.
Where was this team last week? The passes made by Sanchez yesterday were passes that Jets fans didn’t see once in Week 1. Not once. The Ravens loss featured no slants, no deep passes, no fades, nothing. What happened?
Let’s recap the game, including an injury to Darrelle Revis that will cause some debate.
- The First Quarter was miserable. Time of possession was close to 14-1 in favor of the Patriots and the Jets looked like they were continuing their downward spiral. Brady was hitting all receivers, including Rookie TE Aaron Hernandez, who looked like Tony Gonzalez out there.
- The Jets were outgained in yards 104- 5 in the first quarter.
- In fact, the Second Quarter was much the same, with the Patriots controlling the tempo.
- Randy Moss. What can you say about his TD grab. Beautiful catch, sticky fingers. In going up 14-7, the Patriots were poised to go for the kill. And when you watched Darrelle Revis grab his hammy on the TD play, thoughts of 0-2 popped in everyone’s head. (Watching the Dolphins put a licking on the Vikings, thoughts of 0-3 weren’t far off).
- 14-7. Remember that score, Jets fans, because everything changed at 14-7. Schotty opened it up and Sanchez believed in his abilities. The Jets came alive yesterday at 14-7.
- Braylon Edwards looked real good out there. Edwards, rightfully criticized in the pastfor dropping just about everything, sucked in every ball Sunday, and wowed the Jets faithful. Leaping catches, one-handed catches, two-point conversion catches, whatever; Edwards was locked in.
- Dustin Keller. Showing why Keller is Sanchez’s favorite target, the TE had 7 cathces for 115 yards with a TD over rookie Devin McCourty. Great game by Keller.
- Mark Sanchez. What can you say about Sanchez? Subjected to torment all week from reporters, fans and even Joe Namath, Sanchez went out and outplayed Tom Brady. 21-30 for 220 yards with 3 TDs doesn’t quite show how good Sanchez was. He was confident, hit his receivers and directed this offense. A performance reminiscient of last season’s playoff run.
- LaDainian Tomlinson. We may have a RB controversy here, folks. LT (11 carries for 76 yards, along with 4 catches for 26 yards) has clearly been the better back, and featured back, for the Jets this season. This can clearly go 1 of 2 ways for 2nd year RB Shonn Greene; Either Greene’s confidence will erode from sitting the bench or Greene will be fired up and healthy for the second half of the season. Time will tell. LT has been superb and provides a great catching weapon out of the backfield.
- Jason Taylor. We can almost welcome JT to New York. Almost. A nice spin move resulting in a fumble forcing sack in the fourth quarter sealed the game. Nice to see that. Relieving to see that.
- Antonio Cromartie. Better to forget about the Cromartie from Week 1 and the first half of yesterdays game. He was bad. Real bad. Then, something happened. A light went on, something clicked, who knows. The second half yesterday provided shut down defense on Randy Moss no less. Another beautiful INT showed how valuable Cromartie could be to the Jets. Held Moss to nothing in the second half.
- Darrelle Revis. We all saw Revis grab his hammy after getting beat by Moss late in the second quarter. We all saw Revis walk to the locker room and not return. I’m sure we all collectively said, “Thanks for holding out, Darrelle.” Revis will undergo an MRI today to determine the severity of the injury and his status for Sunday Night’s game in Miami. Revis stated yesterday that he didn’t believe it was pulled or torn. We’ll see…
- Second Half shutout. The Jets defense, again in flexing its muscles, shutout the Pats in the second half, confusing Brady along the way. Stopping the run again without Kris Jenkins, the Jets mixed up their pressure to Brady who couldn’t get comfortable in the second half. Credit Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine, or Rex Ryan for a second half gameplan that dominated the Patriots offense.
We will update you on Revis’ MRI when it is reported.