Twelve Jets touched the ball on Sunday against the Bills. Twelve. Seven of them in the first quarter. What a sight for sore eyes for Jet fans who have more often than not, felt as though they were able call the “check down for pedestrian yardage” plays that would happen frequently over the past few seasons.
New Offensive Coordiantor Tony Sparano must have kept cotton in his ears all summer as he drew up plans for an offense that not only spread the field, but avoided predictability.
Right tackle Austin Howard’s ability to shore up the pass protection was a major factor in Mark Sanchez’s ability to stay firmly planted in the pocket in the opener. The quarterbacks accuracy and decisiveness were his contributions though, Both of which make one wonder if the game has finally slowed down a bit for the fourth year starter.
Sparano showed alot of confidence in rookie Stephen Hill, who was called out for the dropsies against Carolina. Was unafraid to draw up plays for Jeremy Kerley, a player that Rex Ryan challenged to “step up” in training camp.
Remember Jeff Cumberland? We do. He was our hope last year for a second tight end in the passing game before his season ending injury early on. Wish granted, thanks to Sparano.
Santonio Holmes is a weapon. That’s why it was imperative to get him the ball and other chances downfield. To put pressure on the Bills.
Most importantly, Sparano showed the utmost most confidence in Sanchez. A player who has had handcuffs on him for almost his entire tenure as a Jet. In using 6 wisely, within a balanced system, it was easy to notice how his own confidence and leadership grew as the game developed.
So many were ready to see the Jets as a modern day Ground and Pound failure, with the nuisance of Tebow mixed in. Not so fast.
There will be those who will remind Gang Green that Buffalo is not Pittsburgh, the Jets next opponent. Those glass half empty folks might want to be honest however, regarding how they saw the Bills prior to kickoff. Chan Gailey’s crew has been painted as a team on the rise. Many publications predicted them to finish second in the AFC East. The addiition of Mario Williams, and the growth of second year lineman Marcell Dareus being two of the main reasons why. Sparano kept those two off balance and out of the equation all day, while remaining bold in allowing Sanchez to throw downfield.
The Wildcat yielded just 20 yards, but the insertion of Tim Tebow was done without a hiccup. The yardage was never negative, kept the offense on time, and the clock moving. The formation also gave four different players carries, keeping it hard to predict as well. Without one ball thrown out of it. Yet.
Sanchez was right after the game when he noted that the win was something to be excited over but nothing to gloat about. True, there was a ton of negative press regarding the “Circus” act Jets heading into week one, but the Jets were wise in using the doubt many had about them as motivation. Even wiser in keeping their mouths shut as much as these Jets could, afterwards.
The most exciting to take out of the 48-28 win was Sparano and the offense. If they can remain a bunch that keeps the opponent’s defense guessing, while their own talented defense continues to cement it’s own schemes, then maybe the Jets can truly write their own story about 2012. Avoiding the one that had been written for them by too many experts, ready to give up on a team that hadn’t played a real game yet, until the one in Met Life on Sunday.
Well done Mr. OC.