If you have been watching the New York Jets for a prolonged period of time, you know certain statistical days rarely happen. 300 yard passers. 100 yard receivers. 100 yard rushers. 5+ sacks in a single game…these things just don’t happen all that often. 20 penalties? Now that sounds a little more believable.
Today, the Jets beat the Buffalo Bills 27-20. They probably should have won by more but wins are wins and few people expected the Jets to have 2 wins in the middle of September. It was another banner day for the defense, that was marred slightly by an awful collection of penalties, most of them on Kyle Wilson in a single series that turned the momentum of the game in the Bills favor.
Seriously, Wilson’s display of a penalty on four straight plays and back to back personal fouls, merits being cut. Forget even trading him at this point, you cannot have a player who can self-implode so easily, particularly when he is below average on the field. Send a message and release him.
Penalties aside, the Jets were hurt by a pair of poor challenge decisions by Rex Ryan which cost them two second half timeouts. He has gotten away with a clock management gaffe in the Jets first win and now poor challenge use in their second win. Ryan must clean up these mistakes. He is a very good coach and doing unbelievable work with this team’s defense but that doesn’t excuse these type of errors.
On to the positives, the Jets defense sacked EJ Manuel eight times. Eight times! Muhammad Wilkerson had a pair and Sheldon Richardson, Antonio Allen, Dawan Landry, David Harris, Calvin Pace, and Demario Davis got in on the party. As you can see from the player list, the pressure was coming from all over the place. Outside of the penalty aided touchdown drive, EJ Manuel struggled heavily. He finished 19/42 and with a 71.8 QB Rating. CJ Spiller had 10 carries for 9 yards before leaving with an injury. The Jets defense has owned “big play” backs in all three games to start the season. If your fantasy running back is playing the Jets, do yourself a favor and bench them.
Offensively, Geno Smith had two very ugly. two very “rookie” interceptions. However, he bounced back effectively from both and finished 16/29 for 331 yards with 2 touchdowns to go with them. He also ran for his first career touchdown on the Jets opening drive. Smith had four completions go for over 40 yards, two to Stephen Hill and two to Santonio Holmes. Both receivers finished with over 100 yards and Holmes had the go-ahead touchdown on an unbelievable 69 yard catch and run. This was vintage 2010 Holmes, who appears to be back at 100%. It was an extremely encouraging day in Hill’s development as he caught a 45 yard pass and a 51 yard touchdown, showing his deep speed.
Chris Ivory went down early with a hamstring injury and Bilal Powell rose to the occasion with a career day running the ball. Powell finished with 149 yards on 27 carries, including a long run of 27 yards. Today was easily the strongest case he ever made for being a lead back. Marty Mornhinweg finally showed a little dedication to the running game, handing the ball off a total of 41 times.
Overall, this was an encouraging win for the Jets. They demonstrated a level of offensive firepower and downfield passing, we just haven’t seen in the Rex Ryan era. Defensively, this also has the opportunity to be the best unit he has coached since coming to New York. There are still issues with this team but they aren’t one of the worst teams in football…far from it, actually.