Initial Reaction – Return Of Ground And Pound, Jets Back To .500

The New York Jets got back to .500 by steamrolling the Indianapolis Colts behind a power running game

The New York Jets played the type of football game today that they talked about playing all summer. Behind a smash-mouth rushing attack and a suffocating defense, they steamrolled the overmatched Indianapolis Colts 35-9. Without question the story of this game was the much maligned (especially from this site) Shonn Greene having a career day with 32 carries, 161 yards and 3 touchdowns. Joe McKnight also chipped in a 61 yard run to help boost the Jets rushing total on the day to a gaudy 253 yards.

It didn’t leave much for the passing game to do. Mark Sanchez was an efficient 11/18 for 82 yards with 2 touchdowns and no turnovers. It was good to see rookie Stephen Hill back out there and contributing, as he caught his third touchdown of the season and had three receptions. The Jets used Tim Tebow in a sensible way, allowing him to convert a third and short from an empty formation and letting him run a few read options with Greene. He also converted another fake punt, his third of the season, hitting Nick Bellore for a 24 yard completion.

On defense, we finally saw signs of a pass rush. Quinton Coples finished with 1.5 sacks, the first of his career. Rookie safety Antonio Allen also had a sack in his Jets debut and Muhammad Wilkerson had a strip sack, his first of the season. Antonio Cromartie continued his All-Pro caliber season, keeping Reggie Wayne in check and recording his third interception of the season. The Colts were never able to establish a running game, finishing with only 41 yards on 17 carries.

It was an encouraging, confidence building win for the Jets against an inferior team. People who write off the Jets as one of the league’s worst teams and talk like their season is over, forget their ability to dominate teams like the Colts on their schedule and there are more like them on the way. They aren’t on the way this upcoming week though, as the Jets will travel to New England in a battle for first place in the AFC East. It will be a difficult task as always to slow down New England’s high power offense.

Regardless, the AFC is bunched together and it is going to stay that way. The Jets are 3-3. 2-0 in their division and 3-2 in the AFC. Their season is far from over and if they continue to improve, have the ability to be a factor in the AFC playoff race.

…And now it is Patriots week.

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports

  • None of the teams in our schedule have a defense as terrible as the Colts… Maybe the Titans and Jaguars… But outside that we will have to pass to win.

  • mike

    nononono. the jets have to NOT pass in order to win. they need to stop the run on defense and keep sanchez’s dropbacks below 25 per game.

    if this team manages to slip into the playoffs, it will not be because of an aerial attack, it will be because of their defense.

  • BIGgreenBALLz

    Do u think if Tbo to the takes the snap nd just run up the gut he would get more production as appossed to to him taking the snap, faking to hand it off then going straight ahead?
    After the turn over late in the 4rth and in the other previouse games i notice that if he just went full apeed ahead instead of faking he would have scred, F$&#! He should have 3 TDs by now if he just was more desivesive.

  • Mike if you are saying that Sanchez does not have to throw anymore and we should just GROUND AND POUND you must realize that we wont be facing the Colts every week… There are teams that actually play defense and if you think we can win this division playing like this then you are insane! The next two games are against teams with good run defense and pores secondaries. Sanchez must be able to move the ball and keep us in it. There is not a team in the NFL that wont run the ball against the colts. Our run game is not cured…. Its just the Colts that stink. If Sanchez cant win games with his arm I don’t care how bad the running game is he and Tebow need to go!

  • Joe Caporoso

    I’d like to see Tebow going straight ahead in short yardage situations, instead of wasting time with a fake handoff. particularly near the goal-line

  • mike

    frankly if you think passing with sanchez is the way to win, you must not have been watching his whole career. let’s go to the tape:
    when throwing 30 or more pass attempts, sanchez is 13-15
    when throwing fewer than 30 pass attempts, he’s 16-8
    same goes in the playoffs: 1-2 with 30 or more attempts
    3-0 with fewer than 30

    notice any difference there?

    the key to beating new england is controlling the line of scrimmage, and that’s obvious because they have under 100 rushing yards in their 3 losses and and 160+ in their 3 wins. you might also notice that they give up 102 rush yards per loss, and only 63 rush yards per win.

    the key to this game is NOT sanchez throwing the ball all over the field. that’s never been the plan and rightfully so.