Jets vs. Cardinals: Earning Their Wings
Rex Ryan made the call: Greg McElroy came in for a struggling Mark Sanchez in the 7-6 win over an even more embattled Arizona.
Bilal Powell: Notice the trend? He is consistently getting wings from me because I think he’s not only a breath of fresh air in the run game but I think he’s just a damn good runner. He creates lanes or he fights for the extra yards by cutting or spinning around to throw off a defensive player enough to get just the slightest bit of advance. In an era where we’ve seen our usual running back running into a wall on most given plays, Powell is just refreshing. If he can remain healthy then he will continue to remain a factor and will be a bigger one as games go on. If the coaches use him properly and whether that will happen, well, who knows. The point is that he shows a lot of promise and in a season that’s been very up and down where there’s not that much to look at and know we’ll see work in every game, we need to hold onto whatever we can that seems to have consistency.
LaRon Landry: I can’t say it enough. This is the guy the team needed. His stats haven’t been tremendous since putting on the green and white uniform, but his impact is very well known and extremely obvious. In the game against the Cardinals we saw something that hasn’t exactly been foreign to us Jets fans who watch the games, whether it’s at home on a comfy couch or in the thick of things at the stadiums. LaRon Landry changes the scope of the game when he is on the field. He scares receivers. He literally dares them to come near him and for a quarterback to throw to a guy that’s anywhere close to being within his vicinity. And he pressures to the point that guys get thrown off their routes, which results in interceptions. Just like the one we saw today that right after had the big tough guy known as Dirty Thirty doing the Jet across the field. It’ll be a shame if cap issues make it impossible for the Jets to retain Landry for the 2013 season because on a team thin at Safety, he’s the exact answer to the problem.
Stephen Hill: The theme here is improvement. On a struggling team you have to reward that. And when it comes to rookie receivers thrown to the dogs early on due to injury and lack of depth that didn’t improve at all as the season went on, you reward it with a set of wings. After a stellar first showing in the team’s first game of the season (feels like forever ago, doesn’t it?) Stephen Hill was plagued with an injury that seemed to move from his hamstring to his hands. Balls seemed allergic to being caught by him, as if they had feet that would pedal the pigskin away from being able to be caught, or at least held onto. Today that first step to improvement was taken. Again it wasn’t impressive stat wise (though who was?) at just 5 receptions for 40 yards but that’s a significant enough jump to be worthy of noting. Hopefully it continues for the rest of the four games, as we’re not quite ready to give up on someone so green or wish he wasn’t in green and white. Not yet, at least. The next four games and the offseason will be key for Stephen Hill and we’ll all be watching.
Honorable Mention – Bart Scott: Say what you will about him, but this is a guy who is passionate and while that doesn’t always mean he’s going to bring it on the field (which he was effective enough on today, on a day when not many were), sometimes that just means more.
✈ SydneyFind me on Twitter at @SydneyKira1; email: firstname.lastname@example.org