The Jets beat Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints 26-20. They now head into their bye week at 5-4 and in contention for a playoff spot. Who saw that coming at the beginning of the year? Here is the good, the bad and the ugly:
1) Chris Ivory and the offensive line – Chris Ivory had his second dominant game in three weeks this time showing speed to the outside in racking up 139 yards on 18 carries. Ivory had runs of 27, 52 and 25 yards running right past Saints defenders. The other half of this equation is that the offensive line opened some holes for Ivory to run through. Willie Colon and Austin Howard were dominant in consistently opening up holes despite the defense knowing exactly what the Jets were going to do. D’Brickashaw Ferguson did a good job getting to the 2nd level on a couple of screen passes, most notably Greg Salas’ 42 yard catch and run.
2) Defensive line plays angry – After having a terrible game as a unit last week it was clear that they were not happy about it and were going to take it out on Drew Brees and his offensive line. They may have registered “only” two sacks (Wilkerson, Pace) but they registered six quarterback hits and roughly 15 pressures. As usual Wilkerson was the star with a sack, a tackle for loss and two quarterback hits. Quinton Coples finally appeared to be healthy as he was unblockable at times. He registered three quarterback hits and made one of the most important plays of the game stopping a 4th and 1 reverse by maintaining contain, then the tackle. This was a marked improvement over his play so far this season and steady play from Coples would reduce double teams and free up more defenders to have favorable match ups or come free.
3) Secondary bends but doesn’t break (for the most part) – The Jets mixed and matched corners, safeties and linebackers all day to confuse Drew Brees and make him hold it a bit longer to get the rush there and it worked. Brees burned all three first half timeouts in the 1st quarter and had two delay of game penalties. Dee Milliner showed much improved technique and flashed his athletic ability having his best game of the season. Antonio Allen was all over the field stopping the run, covering Jimmy Graham and others. Dawan Landry had a much better day of coverage including tipping a pass away from a receiver that was intercepted by Demario Davis. Antonio Cromartie let up a 60 yard completion to Robert Meachem but it was due to his falling down while their feet got tangled. He also let up a touchdown to Jimmy Graham that was not defendable. Cromartie was in perfect coverage position but Graham used his size to body out Cromartie. Jaiquawn Jarrett had a more difficult day in coverage getting beaten by Graham deep then getting dragged into the end zone. Kyle Wilson could not keep up with Lance Moore at all. Moore was open whenever he wanted.