Monday Morning Quarterback: Week 11 Jets vs. Rams
By Alan Schechter
November 18, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan looks on during the first half against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
It was a happy reunion yesterday in St. Louis, as the Rex Ryan and company handled Brian Schottenheimer and the St. Louis Rams by a score of 27-13, running their record to 4-6. It’s only one game, but it was an encouraging one, as the Jets played well on both offense and defense. The final was two touchdowns, but once the Jets took the lead, the game really was never in doubt.
After the first drive, it seemed like we were in for another bad day. After the Jets drive stalled to open the game, the Rams went straight down the field on a 13 play 86 yard TD drive, capped by a Sam Bradford 1 yard TD pass to Brandon Gibson to give the Rams a 7-0 lead. However, the Jets held the momentum off as they went right back down the field, and although they didn’t put up seven, they put up 3 to keep themselves in the football game.
The Jets took over this game a little over halfway through the second quarter. Mo Wilkerson sets the Jets up with a strip sack of Sam Bradford that Bart Scott recovered and returned down to the St. Louis 28. 2 plays later, Mark Sanchez connected with Chaz Schilens from 25 yards out to put the Jets ahead 10-7, and ahead is where they stayed. They went in at halftime up 13-7, and 2 Bilal Powell late TD’s put the game out of reach, and the final was 27-13.
This game was the way Rex Ryan would draw up every game: good defense, run first, and throw when necessary. Mark Sanchez had an efficient game, going 15-20 through the air for 178 yards and 1 TD, zero turnovers. Interesting how that works isn’t it? Your quarterback doesn’t turn the ball over, you win football games. The formula isn’t tough. Mark made the throws when he had to make them, and he didn’t have to make more. Do you think Rex Ryan would sign up for Mark Sanchez never having to throw more often than 20 times per game? I know he would. The running game picked up 124 yards and 2 Bilal Powell TDs, enough to keep the defense off balance.
November 18, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Chaz Schilens (85) catches a 25 yard touchdown pass during the first half against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
You know who stepped up and played well too? Chaz Schilens. He caught the ball 4 times out of 5 targets, including the go-ahead 25 yard touchdown. Jeremy Kerley also recorded 3 catches for 43 yards, despite being a very late game time decision with a heel/hamstring problem. On the other side of the coin, it’s time to take Stephen Hill out of the starting lineup. He has more upside than a lot of guys on the team, but he is not ready to play a starring role. He drops the ball too much, and you could see, based on the late completion to Konrad Reuland, that Sanchez doesn’t trust Hill. It’s time to let Hill be in a supporting role for a while.
Turn the page and we’ll go a bit more into the game.
November 18, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (8) has the ball striped as he throws by New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
Game ball has to be given to Mo Wilkerson yesterday, who is finally showing all of the promise that caused the Jets to select him with their first round pick in 2011. He recorded 3.5 tackles, and the strip sack on Sam Bradford was a thing of beauty. Congratulations to Mo. The defense, as a whole, looked by and large terrific after the first drive. The first drive had us all a bit nervous, but then the defense shut the Rams out until over halfway through the fourth quarter. Kudos to the Jets defensive coaches for making the necessary adjustments to stop the Rams.
The only black mark today goes to the special teams. They gave up another blocked field goal today, which is absolutely unacceptable. People said during the game that Mike Westhoff should retire at haltime, while I am not going to go THAT far, I will say that this is strange, how the special teams have been so bad for so many weeks. Normally this is a strength of the Jets, now it is proving to be a liability.
That includes, and now I know everyone is going to jump on me for this, Tim Tebow. The fake punt was selfish, and a terrible call. The coaches have said that Tebow has free reign there, so the play is on him. The Rams regular defenders were in the game, sitting on a fake. He should have recognized that and decided not to bother. Instead, he went ahead with it simply because he wanted to. He needs his actions to back up his words, as that action was not for the good of the team, and a good team would have made it hurt them. Thank goodness that the Rams weren’t good enough to capitalize.
And by the way, Tebow looked just as disinterested on the sidelines as everyone usually says about Mark. Did not look into the game at all.
A quick turnaround, but we get a day to enjoy this one. Nice win for the Jets yesterday.