What a strange game this is.
Watching tonight’s New York Jets vs. Dallas Cowboys matchup, the pain from last season’s opener came to mind.
What a wild night. A tale of two halfs. A tale of two quarterbacks.
In the end… Nick Folk. From 50 yards out. To win.
What a game.
In the end, the Jets pulled out the unthinkable. A 27-24 victory over the Cowboys, highlighted by a Darrelle Revis INT off a terrible throw from Cowboys QB Tony Romo.
A 50 yard FG from Jets Nick Folk was the winner with 27 seconds left.
The first half: Painful to watch. New season. Same old Jets. Trailing 10-7 at halftime, the Jets, with the exception of two nice drives, couldn’t do anything right. Jets QB Mark Sanchez looked like a rookie at time. Lost. Confused. Out of sync.
The Cowboys? Claiming to have the best Defense in the league, Jets head coach Rex Ryan was badly outplayed by his brother, Rob, the defensive coordinator of the Cowboys. The blitzing, the coverage, everything. The Jets couldn’t keep up. This is Rob Ryan’s first game as coordinator. Can you imagine how good the Cowboys defense is going to be when the team learns his defense? Did you happen to see Wayne Hunter out there trying to guard Demarcus Ware? That was scary.
Not a good start to the 2011 NFL season for Gang Green.
The second half: You see why this team has gone to two stright AFC Championship games. Sanchez was downright brilliant. We’re not sure why Number 6 needs a quarter and a half to get going, but when he’s on, he’s on. The defense changed, the team changed, and with two terrible Romo turnovers (a fumble deep in Jets territory and an INT in the Cowboys territory), the Jets pulled off a miraculous victory.
And Joe McKnight anyone? A punt block ending in a TD for Marcus Trufant. Wow.
Overall, the Jets defense was gutted by Cowboys QB Tony Romo all night. The team didn’t make any big acqusions at defense this offseason and the second guessers will be talking this week.
On the offense, the weakness of the Jets offensive line was evident throughout with Sanchez struggling to get something going. With the exception of a 90 yard TD drive to end the first half, the Jets were flat, nervous and just bad in the first half.
The second half saw Sanchez turn into a top QB, finding Dustin Keller, Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes. Throw in a few key screens to LaDainian Tomlinson, and the Jets are 1-0. Sanchez finished the game 26-44 for 335 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT.
The Jets abandoned the Ground and Pound and focused on passing; maybe for just this game, maybe not.
Let’s get to the recap of the game, highlighting ‘the Good, the Bad and the Ugly’
First the Good:
- Good to see the Jets open the game in a ’46′ defense, Rex’s tribute to his dad, Buddy, who invented the defensive scheme.
- LT still has it. There is nobody better at the screen play.
- Oh, so that’s what Plaxico Burress can do? Beautiful 26 yard TD catch in the 4th quarter. Throw it up there and he will catch it.
- When Sanchez gets going, he really gets going. The last drive of the first half and into the third quarter, you could see the confidence in his throws and his reliance, first on the tight ends, including Dustin Keller, and then eventually to Burress and Derrick Mason.
- 44 pass plays to 16 running plays. We’re not sure where to put this one. Good? Bad?
- Nice block , Joe McKnight. Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff will like that one.
- The Cowboys had never lost a game when leading by 14 points in the fourth quarter. 240-0-1. Oh well.
- Nick Folk from 50 to win. That’s a great thing to see.
Now the bad:
- When you see Darrelle Revis get burned by a second year WR, you know you’re in for a long night.
- Note to Antonio Cromartie: It’s gonna be a long season. I hope you have a short memory. And don’t listen to the chants for Asomugha.
- The first half produced no catches for both Burress and Mason. Burress would make his first catch at the end of the third quarter.
- The Jets defense just got burned all night by the Cowboys. Everything seemed to work.
- When Bart Scott is your fastest defensive player out there, something is wrong.
- Shonn Greene still doesn’t look ready to lead this team. Did you see him out there in the fourth quarter? Me neither?
- Unfortunately, when you rely on the pass all night, you’re going to see a big mistake. We saw that on the Sean Lee INT of Sanchez at the end of the third. Killer interception.
- Sanchez still needs time to get going. Better in the second half than first half, as usual.
Now the Ugly:
- Note to the Jets: Beef up the D line. It’s not working. This line will not stand up for the entire season.
- Good to see Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer up to his old tricks. The Jets offense was terrible Sunday night. No flow, no running game. Nothing.
- Will the Jets ever show up in the first quarter? No points again.
- Rex was outplayed by his brother on defense. This one will eat at Rex for a while.
Next up is the Jacksonville Jaguars, winners this week. After that, it’s a road trip to hell with games at Oakland, at Baltimore and at New England.