Did the passing game have an amazing day yesterday? No it did not. But it absolutely had an efficient day. The passing game didn’t need to have a huge day, because the running game performed so well. The passing game made the necessary throws in the important spots. That is all they were required to do yesterday, and that is what they did. You cannot hold that against the offense, and Mark Sanchez.
Mark Sanchez did not have numbers that are going to jump off of the boxscore for anybody. He didn’t have to. When the running game goes for over 5 yards per carry, and 250+ yards, the quarterback just has to keep the defense honest with the passing game. A lot of Sanchez’s detractors are going to look at his numbers to reference as being unimpressive, but that is not always the best judge. It’s not fair to hold the fact that they didn’t ask him to throw much as ammunition against Mark Sanchez.
The two touchdown passes Mark threw were excellent. As we talked about last week, Mark Sanchez is terrifically accurate between the numbers and today was no different. The pass to Stephen Hill was right on the money, thrown threw a very small opening. You couldn’t have made a better throw than Mark made there. He made a strong throw on the second TD pass as well. Jason Hill ran a simple post pattern, and Mark made a strong throw for an easy pitch and catch. 11-18 for 82 yards and 2 TDs is not a day that will be remembered, but you can’t hold that against Mark. When called upon to make a throw, Mark made it. Mark Sanchez did what he had to do, and that is all you can ask for.
On defense, the Jets rushing defense looked like its old self, allowing less than 3 yards per carry. No, they were not going against a running back that scared anybody, but they still had to perform, and did a good job. The top rusher for the Colts was Vick Ballard, who ran for an eye-popping 25 yards. It was a performance against the run that was much more in character for a Rex Ryan defense.
The pass defense did an excellent job as well, holding Andrew Luck to a completion percentage of 50%, as he went 22-44 through the air. They picked him off twice, once by Antonio Cromartie and once by Ellis Lankster. It was nearly a third, as Cromartie recorded a second INT that was nullified by a questionable call of pass interference. Reggie Wayne did record 5 catches for 87 yards, but there was never a point during the game where you felt that the passing game of the Colts was taking over, and that was a testament to the Jets’ defensive performance.
They recorded 4 sacks as well, with 1.5 by Quinton Coples.
They have to keep working. The Jets cannot let this one go to their heads, as this is still a win against a team that they were supposed to beat. They have a major test next Sunday, as the Jets head to New England for their first matchup against the Patriots.
It should be a fun week. Stay tuned this afternoon for the report card.