Know Your Opponent: Week 2 at Buffalo Bills

Matthew Stalker breaks down the New York Jets week 2 opponent, the Buffalo Bills

After a tough loss in Week 1 to the Bengals, the New York Jets will travel to Buffalo for their Week 2 match-up where they will face the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night. Let’s get to know the Jets’ opponent for Week 2…

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Initial Reaction – New York Jets Stuff Stat Sheet, Move To 2-1

Initial Reaction to the New York Jets 27-20 win over the Buffalo Bills

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.

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Throwback Thursday: Jets vs. Bills, October 28, 2007

Chris Celletti goes Throwback Thursday on an “epic” game in the history of the Jets/Bills rivalry

Throwback Thursday is a feature at Turn On The Jets, where we take a stroll down Jets Memory Lane and reminisce about past great Jets games against the upcoming week’s opponent. (Word to be taken with an enormous grain of salt: “great”)

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New York Jets Know Your Opponent (Week 3 – Buffalo)

Staff Writer Dalbin Osorio overviews the New York Jets Week 3 opponent, the Buffalo Bills, in this week’s version of TOJ’s Know Your Opponent.

Off a heartbreaking loss to the vulnerable New England Patriots on Thursday night, the New York Jets have had 10 days to prepare for Doug Marrone and the Buffalo Bills. The story-lines are a-plenty: for sociological purposes, this will be the 2nd time in Bills history that two African American quarterbacks face off against each other. From a coaching standpoint, Rex Ryan gets to have his offense go against his protege’s defense, as Mike Pettine returns to the scene of some of his most famous leaks (no pun intended.) And, from a strictly football standpoint, both teams are 1-1 and looking to notch their first win in the division. Let’s get to know the opponent the Jets will be facing this Sunday.

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New York Jets Defensive Film Breakdown: Week 1

Chris Gross breaks down the New York Jets defensive film against the Buffalo Bills

To complement our new series of offensive film breakdown from Joe Caporoso each week, this column will provide a similar insight into each week’s game from the other side of the ball. Each position will be evaluated, with a primary focus on the defensive line. For this week, let’s take a look at what the eye in the sky told us about the Jets’ week 1 defensive performance against Buffalo,and what needs to be improved upon heading into the coming weeks.

The New York Jets defensive play this past Sunday was, for the most part, a very impressive, and dominating performance. Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was intercepted three times, once returned for a touchdown, all within the first 3 quarters of play. While there is certainly an abundance of reasons to be excited about the way the Jets played, defensively,there is still room for a vast amount of improvement. The ceiling for this defense is limitless, but in order to reach its’ full potential, improvements need to be made all across the board, particularly up front.

First, let’s look at each part of the defense, and evaluate based on position group. Since this series will have a primary focus on the defensive line, each player who received playing time will be evaluated individually,while the remaining defensive groups will be evaluated as a whole. We will then look at some of Buffalo’s most positive offensive plays and break down exactly what went wrong.

Defensive Line:

Muhammed Wilkerson – After a full film evaluation, there is little doubt that Buffalo game planned around the second year pro out of Temple. Wilkerson was accounted for on every single play, as he was double teamed on the majority of run plays, while the protection on passing plays was shifted to him, nearly 100% of the time. With Sione Pouha out, Buffalo recognized Wilkerson as the Jets best defensive lineman, and drew up a nice protection scheme to keep him in check, which is why he had a relatively quiet day. However, in the small sample of plays that Wilkerson saw one on one protection, he was a clear mismatch to whoever was attempting to block him, whether it was a tight end or tackle.

One particular flaw that Wilkerson displayed, however, was a tendency to peak his head inside when he was lined up outside of the tackle or tight end as the edge player. He needs to trust that his teammates will execute their assignments properly, and worry about his job on each particular play. Nothing too negative came out of this during Sunday’s game, but teams could take notice of this and attack the outside on Wilkerson, which would become a problem if this tendency persists. Still, it is obvious that Wilkerson is beginning to command respect from opposing offensive lines. The return of Pouha will likely lead to more double teams on him, and less on Wilkerson, allowing the talented defensive end to make more plays.

Quinton Coples – Coples looked very much like a rookie in his NFL debut. He did some things great, while making some mistakes that are a clear sign of inexperience. The best play he made all game was his tackle for loss on Bills running back CJ Spiller in the 2nd Quarter. Coples was lined up as a 5 technique on the outside shade of the tackle, who down blocked in an effort to get to the second level on Linebacker David Harris. Not only was Coples quick enough in his steps and reaction time to prevent the Tight End from getting down on him, but he chipped the tackle’s shoulder just enough to prevent him from getting to Harris, allowing the linebacker to go unblocked. Even if Coples had missed the tackle in the backfield, Harris was waiting right behind him to make the play, a direct result of excellent hand work by Coples. This play in particular was a textbook defense of the down block.

While this was certainly an excellent display of instinct and technique by the Jets first round draft pick, there are still a number of things he showed he needs work on if he ever wants to achieve his full potential. One aspect, in particular, is his ability to take on the double team. Coples was repeatedly lined up on the interior, either as a 3 technique on the outside shade of the guard, or as a 5 technique, with a tight end to his side. He faced a great amount of double teams when he was lined up in these positions, and did not necessarily fare too well. He needs to realize, that if he is going to be shifted all around the line, he is certainly going to see a great number of these schemes on the interior, so he needs to do a better job of expecting and preparing for it.

While Coples is superbly talented in terms of athleticism and strength, he does tend to get locked up with his blockers at times. He too often took on the entire man this past Sunday, rather than working a shade and attacking half the man. Regardless of who you are or how strong you may be, it is nearly impossible to go directly through a 300 lb man, especially in the NFL, where the game speed is at an all time high. If he can work these kinks out, Coples’ natural abilities will allow him to develop nicely.

Calvin Pace – Pace was easily the most technically sound player in the front seven this past week. He was the veteran of the bunch, and it certainly showed through flawless foot and hand work, as well as an overall instinct and feel for the game. No one on the team showed the ability to set the edge better, and Pace actually displayed the greatest arsenal of pass rush moves as well. The problem is, he is just a step too slow at this point in his career to capitalize on his excellent technique and record multiple sacks, otherwise his annual sack total would be much higher than what it has been over the past couple of seasons.

Kenrick Ellis – Ellis played very well filling in for an injured Sione Pouha. He proved to be a very immovable force as both a two gap and one gap assignment player, as he was constantly in the backfield, and could not be driven off the ball, even when double teamed. Ellis also displayed excellent lateral quickness for a player his size, something that is vital to the position he plays. When Pouha returns, the Jets are going to have a very good rotation at the Nose Tackle position.

Mike DeVito – DeVito played how anyone who has watched the Jets for the past few seasons would expect him to play. He is extremely tough and smart, and he works very hard, while hardly ever making mental mistakes. DeVito, like Ellis, could not be moved off of the ball on run plays this past week. Although he did not split double teams and gain penetration like Ellis, he did a very good job of occupying two blockers and not allowing either of them to get to the linebackers on the second level.

Marcus Dixon – Dixon did not play particularly well this past week, which could just be a sign of rust since we was just recently resigned to the team following his release at the end of the preseason. Dixon did not show any type of explosion on Sunday, and struggled mightily against the double team. Many times, particularly on some of the big runs by Buffalo, Dixon would end up 8-10 yards down the field. This cannot happen on the defensive line, and if he wants to continue to get reps, Dixon is going to have to play like he has in the past, not like he did on Sunday.

Aaron Maybin – Maybin generally played how one would have expected him to play. He is extremely fast off the ball, and relentless in his pursuit, however his lack of body control caused him to get bumped around and knocked off balance too often. Maybin can be a very effective pass rusher, as we saw last year, however if he does not get his body under control, he is going to remain as a guy who will get 4-6 sporadic sacks per seasons, rather than the 10-12 that he has the potential for.

Linebackers – David Harris played as well as he normally does. He was very disciplined and seemed to have a great feel for what was coming from Buffalo on every play. A few times, he was hindered by a defensive lineman getting blocked into him, which blocked his line of vision, thus preventing him from making a play. Harris generally did a good job of shedding his blocks, but did allow the offensive lineman to get into him a few times,before he could get separation with his hands, obviously something that he needs to be more consistent with. Still, Harris was very effective, and remains one of the best players on the defense.

Bart Scott was very up and down. He certainly brought the tenacity of the Bart Scott of old that Jets fans have grown accustomed to. However, on several plays, he was a step too slow in his run angles and pursuit, which allowed the guard or tackle to get just enough of him to prevent him from making a play, which further allowed the running back to spring into the second level. Although, on other plays, Scott did beat the lineman across his face, taking him right to the play. His play was certainly decent, but needs to improve.

Secondary – The corners played the best out of any unit on the defense, as displayed by the interceptions obtained by Darrelle Revis, Kyle Wilson, and Antonio Cromartie.

The Safeties played excellent against the run. Both LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell were extremely fast to come up and fill on run plays, the primary reason as to why they were involved in so many tackles. They still need to gel in coverage a bit, however. Landry did a great job of engaging the tight end on several plays, but would more often than not allow him to get a step ahead, which is why there were some plays of Scott Chandler reeling in a catchand being tackled immediately. Of the two, Landry saw much more time in the box, while Bell occupied more of a true free safety role. Once the coverage timing gets down between the two of these new additions, the Jets secondary could strike vast fear into opposing offensive coordinators and quarterbacks.

The Big Plays Allowed – The two biggest red flags from Sunday clearly came from CJ Spiller’s two runs of 40+ yards. These plays were caused by a number of things including missed assignments, mental breakdowns, and some defensive lineman just getting flat out beat. On Spiller’s first long touchdown run of 56 yards, the defensive line in the game consisted of Dixon, DeVito, and Coles. Dixon was double teamed and blown nearly ten yards off the ball, while DeVito,who was lined up at NT on the play, got blocked into David Harris’s line of sight, which caused the linebacker to vacate his gap in an attempt to regain his vision and make a play. Spiller did a great job of recognizing this as he hit the gap where Harris was supposed to be for a clear path to the end zone.

On the second of Spiller’s two long runs, there was seemingly a bad communication error. Buffalo ran a counter type play, with the back side guard pulling to kick out Garrett McIntyre, who was lined up at defensive end. McIntyre executed a spill technique, meaning he attacked the pulling guard’s inside shoulder with his outside shoulder, in an attempt to jam anything in the middle,and force the back to the outside. Normally, this technique is used in a cover 2 scheme, where the cornerback would remain in the flats, thus accounting for any leakage on the outside caused by a spill, or in defense where a linebacker is responsible for outside contain. Unfortunately for McIntyre, neither of the two were out there, so once Spiller hit the outside, he was alone with plenty of daylight ahead.

On the same play, Kenrick Ellis got excellent penetration in the backfield, but was tackled to the ground by the guard just before making the play, a call missed by the referee that was standing right there. Marcus Dixon was again doubled teamed, struggling mightily.

Overall this was a very solid effort by the defense. Outside of a few week 1 mistakes in technique and assignment, this unit put together a very impressive performance. Sione Pouha’s return will certainly help, as it will allow for a solid two man rotation at the nose, as well as freeing Mike DeVito from seeing time there, something he is clearly undersized to do. There is a lot to work on for the Jets defense as the season progresses, but there is also much to be excited about.

Turn On The Jets Film Breakdown – Jets vs. Bills

Turn On The Jets breaks down the game tape from Jets/Bills, answering your questions and giving other observations

Every week in this column we will break down the offensive game tape, both offering our observations and answering your questions submitted on Twitter. Tomorrow, our resident defensive lineman, Chris Gross, will provide a film breakdown of the other side of the ball. Thank you to everybody who sent in this week’s questions, which were aggregated into the following as many were on the same topic – 

1. How effective was Mark Sanchez at going through his progressions and making the proper reads?

The short answer is very effective and this question led me to spend most of my time breaking down the Jets passing game, which was without question the biggest surprise of the week. Tony Sparano and Mark Sanchez both did a terrific job with a game plan that was built to feature Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley and Jeff Cumberland while using Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller primarily as decoys.

The first two pass plays were designed for Stephen Hill who was open on both and caught the second one on a crucial early third down. The third play was for Cumberland who was also wide open and moved the chains on a 13 yard gain. After that completion, Sanchez alternated making poor decisions/throws with terrific ones before settling down and playing a great overall game.

First, came the interception which occurred because Buffalo quickly took away his first and second read. Simply put, he should have ran out of bounds for a 3 yard gain or threw it away, as he did later in the game when the Jets tried a similar play that was defended well. He then followed up with a beautiful strike to Jeremy Kerley on a third down, where he was the first read and beat his guy immediately. Sanchez then missed a cover 2 hole shot to Holmes that could have been a touchdown, although Holmes could have got a cleaner release to help him out. Sanchez was then bailed out when he went to Hill on a 3rd and 5 and he drew pass interference, when he should have went to Holmes on a deeper out behind Hill.

Keep this play in mind because Sanchez learned from his mistake later in the game. The following pass was the Jeremy Kerley touchdown which was a well designed play by Sparano. It was meant to look like a wide receiver screen to Santonio Holmes. As Holmes works back to the ball, Kerley appears to be going to block the corner causing a slight hesitation from the man who is covering him, he then jets to the back of the end-zone and Sanchez delivered a perfectly thrown pass.

Sanchez was pretty locked in for the rest of the game from this point. He hit Holmes in a tight window to convert a third down, the Stephen Hill touchdown on his double move was an easy read and a good throw. Throughout the rest of the game, he made only three throws that weren’t on point. First he slightly overthrew Jeremy Kerley on a quick out, which was caught but forced him to extend and stumble, ending up short of the first down. Second, he just missed Holmes on a quick post, although you could argue Holmes should have made the catch. Finally, he again missed the hole shot to Holmes at the end of the half which was nearly a touchdown. This is a tough throw and they nearly executed it but missed by about an inch.

One particular play later in the game that was encouraging from Sanchez was a 3rd and 9, when instead of throwing it immediately to an open Dustin Keller in the flat (a play he absolutely would have made last year), he was patient and waited for his primary option, Jeff Cumberland (who is on the 20 yard line in this screen shot), to run his 9 yard hook route before delivering a spot on pass to convert a third down.

Finally, remember the Kerley touchdown? Tony Sparano smartly came back to the wide receiver screen to Holmes, knowing that the defense would be hesitant to jump it after getting beat earlier in the game. This was executed to perfection, thanks to a great block from Dustin Keller and went for a 17 yard gain.

A few final observations on passing game – It was striking just how often Hill, Kerley or Cumberland were the first read on passing plays. It showed immense confidence in three unproven players and all three answered the bell. The plan worked well because Buffalo was keying on Holmes and Keller, which helped get the three of them consistently open. Ironically enough it appeared the receiver Sanchez had the least chemistry with was Holmes. They just missed on three completions that all could have been big gains (two of which should have been touchdowns). If they get rolling on the same page, the Jets passing offense could be that much more effective.

2. Austin Howard/Mario Williams

Howard’s game was as good as advertised. He spend the majority of the dropbacks singled up on Mario Williams and consistently stonewalled his pass rush. Williams continually tried to bull rush him and use his power but could not get through, which gave Sanchez time to go through all the progressions outlined above. Howard showed surprising quickness and the times WIlliams looked to adjust to more of a speed rush he looked a step slow. His complaints about illegal hands to the face certainly didn’t show on the film as there were not blatant penalties missed by the officials on Howard.

3. Shonn Greene

Shonn Greene did finish with 94 yards, unfortunately it took him 27 carries to get there. Yes, there were times Greene ran very well in-between the tackles and he pushed the pile. However, the Jets need another option when running to the edge. This play below serves as a perfect example of why Greene needs a complimentary speed back with him. This play only went for 6 yards and look how well it is blocked up. Greene, again inexplicably stumbles when he receives the handoff, a recurring problem for him.

After the stumble, he gets temporarily held up behind the line here yet still there is space for a run that should net more than 6 yards. However, he simply doesn’t have enough burst to hit the seam. This is why the Jets may need to consider giving more outside handoffs to both Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight.

Check back tomorrow for Chris Gross’ film breakdown of the defense, primarily focusing on the defensive line. 

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch – Jets/Bills Recap Edition

Mike Donnelly’s weekly Stock Watch is buying and selling after the New York Jets thrashed the Buffalo Bills in week 1

You probably didn’t hear all that much about the Jets the past two days from the national media. Well, at least not as much as you did the previous four weeks anyway. Funny how that works, huh? After weeks and weeks of the media portraying the Jets as an absolute joke and pundits everywhere seemingly taking great joy in taking shots at them, the Jets went out and absolutely slaughtered the Buffalo Bills in the first game of the season that actually counted. Yep, that’s right, believe it or not those 4 preseason games actually didn’t mean crap, and the Jets not scoring a touchdown meant even less than that. When the lights came on, the Jets dropped a 48-spot on everyone’s sleeper darling team, the Buffalo Bills. It felt good. It felt damn good. Let’s break down what we saw..

BUY: Mark Sanchez – I hate to say “I told ya so”, but… Ok, I’m not going to get too carried away just yet, but that was as good as we’ve ever seen the Sanchize look. He had time in the pocket, he looked poised and confident, and he showed a newfound zip on his passes down the field. It’s amazing what a quarterback can accomplish with a legit deep threat (Hill), competent blocking on the right side (Howard + a game plan using chip blocks), and most importantly not having Brian Schottenheimer holding him back. I’m sure it was just a coincidence that in the first game without Schotty, Sanchez had arguably the best game of his career, right? Speaking of which..

BUY: Coaching Staff – This goes to all of the coaches, from top to bottom. Rex Ryan obviously used the media’s negative portrayal of the team to motivate them and lead them into the Great Buffalo Massacre of 2012. Plus, he –along with Mike Pettine– showed he can actually coach a little football and put together a defensive game plan that absolutely shut down Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills spread attack. On the other side of the ball, watching the offensive play-calling and play design was a thing of beauty. All offseason I couldn’t say enough how much better the offense would be simply by getting rid of the black sheep of the Schottenheimer family, and the early results look promising. It had been so long, I forgot that an offense could actually stick with the run throughout an entire game; I didn’t realize you could exploit mismatches on defense and attack them; I didn’t know you could throw a pass beyond 6 yards. Week 1 was an eye-opening performance by the coaching staff. By the way, I haven’t heard many “Schotty must be laughing in St. Louis!” jokes that everyone seemed to love throughout the pre-season. I wonder why?

BUY: The Wide Receivers – Santonio Holmes was mostly double-teamed throughout the game and didn’t put up big numbers, but he clearly impacted the game just by being out there. Stephen Hill, on the other hand, did put up eye-opening numbers, scoring two TD’s in his NFL debut and getting himself open repeatedly. Jeremy Kerley also chipped in 4 catches, a TD (plus a punt return TD), and put his rough pre-season beyond him. Chaz Schilens even shocked the world by not only walking onto the field without pulling his hamstring AND making a catch. What a day!

BUY: Shonn Greene Carrying the Load – Shonn Greene was handed the ball 27 times and showed he could handle the load, which is extremely important for this Jets team. He ran hard throughout the game, didn’t tire, and was breaking tackles well into the 4th quarter which is exactly what we want to see. He’s never going to be a game-breaking threat but combined with Tebow’s wildcat, he can really be a factor in Sparano’s clock control offense. That being said..

SELL: Shonn Greene’s fumbles – Greene put the ball on the ground twice on Sunday, including once at the goalline and that is absolutely unacceptable. I’m as staunch a Greene defender as anyone, and I was generally encouraged by his performance, but he can NOT be doing that. Also..

SELL: The Run Blocking – Generally the run blocking was pretty solid on Sunday, but this team still needs a Tight End who can block. Cumberland and Reuland aren’t going to cut it, and when Jason Smith comes in for that role, it kind of tips their hand as to what is going to be run.

BUY: The Secondary – A dominant performance by the defense was marred slightly by an apparent concussion for Darrelle Revis. If the Jets are going to win in Pittsburgh, we’re going to need to see a healthy #24 out there to eliminate Antonio Brown from the Steelers offense. Against the Bills, we saw Revis, Cromartie, and Wilson manhandle the Bills receivers. We saw the new safeties, Laron Landry and Yeremiah Bell make big hits and actually make some plays. It was nice to see a Jets safety out there not just trailing a tight end by 5 yards while hopelessly diving for a tackle. We’re going to need a solid performance from these guys next week against a Pittsburgh team that likes to throw to Heath Miller down the middle of the field.

SELL: Depth on Defense – Perhaps this is nitpicking a little bit, but when the Jets started making some defensive substitutions late in the game, it got really brutal out there. Ellis Lankster can be a nice 4th corner, but when he was forced into a larger role he got picked apart. Isaiah Trufant should never be on the field for defense. Garrett McIntyre came in for an injured Bryan Thomas and the drop off was noticeable. Even Kenrick Ellis, who had a great preseason left a lot to be desired as Sione Po’uha’s replacement. We are going to need to see a healthy Sione this week against Pittsburgh and their crap offensive line.

SELL: The media – I wonder how some of these morons were able to recap the game on Sunday with a giant foot sticking out of their mouths. What a major disappointment Sunday had to be for the media hacks who had the Jets dead and buried before a single play that actually counted took place. I feel really bad that they had to file away their pre-written “clown” jokes since they weren’t able to use them. What a major disappointment. And did I take great joy in reminding everyone that the real “clowns” were people like Evan Silva, who called for the Jets to score a mere 6 points this week? Yes, yes I did. It was just one game and we can’t get too carried away because there’s a long way to go, but what a game it was. I have a feeling there are going to be plenty more like it.

New York Jets Week 1 Report Card – Dean’s List

A grade report for the New York Jets opening season win over the Buffalo Bills

Quarterbacks (A) – If Mark Sanchez is completing 70% of his passes and throwing 3 touchdowns on a regular basis, the Jets are going to be one of the toughest teams to beat in the NFL. Sanchez showed accuracy, poise and a short memory after a first quarter interception. He pushed the football down the field and spread it around to seven different receivers, consistently finding the proper read based on what the coverage was dictating. Yesterday’s performance confirms something we have been saying about Sanchez for a long time here, if he is protected properly he has the skills to be a very good NFL quarterback who can lead a winning team.

Tim Tebow didn’t do much with his limited reps, finishing with 11 yards on 5 carries and handing off for a few short runs. There has to be some ongoing concern about disrupting Sanchez’s rhythm by replacing him with Tebow but it wasn’t an issue yesterday. Eventually, he will be need to throw the ball out of the Wildcat to keep defenses honest. It will be interesting to see how long it takes Tony Sparano to dial one up.

Running Backs (C) – Shonn Greene ran hard for 94 yards but let’s keep perspective, it took him 27 carries to reach that total. His longest run of the day was 14 yards and he fumbled twice (losing neither). He continues to look like nothing more than a slightly above average back who lacks the ability to consistently break tackles or make people miss. Bilal Powell showed a little giddy up on a 16 yard reception and you have to wonder when the Jets will bump his carry total up. They can’t give Greene 27 carries on a weekly basis, so maybe Powell will start getting 7-10 carries a game.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends (A) – Stephen Hill had a spectacular debut, scoring 2 touchdowns including one where he smoked fellow rookie Stephon Gilmore on a double move. We knew Hill would be a vertical threat but what was really impressive was how he moved the chains on a few third downs with precise routes and tough catches in traffic. Hill has a chance to be a better version of what Braylon Edwards was for Mark Sanchez in 2009 and 2010. Santonio Holmes was productive and just missed having a ridiculous touchdown catch at the end of the half. Jeremy Kerley came up huge in the slot with a 27 yard catch and a 12 yard touchdown…hell even Chaz Schilens caught a pass for 8 yards.

Dustin Keller was quiet in the passing game but Jeff Cumberland pulled in three nice catches for 33 yards. Newcomer Konrad Reuland deserves credit for logging 17 plays after being signed just a week before the season starter.

Offensive Line (A) – Austin Howard completely shut out Mario Williams. I feel as if that needs to be typed again…Austin Howard completely shut out Mario Williams…just an unbelievable job by the Jets first year starter. The rest of the unit was excellent as well, keeping Sanchez clean all game and giving him to go through his progressions.

Defensive Line (C) – Without Sione Pouha, the Jets rushing defense struggled at times, particularly in letting CJ Spiller rip off a few monster runs. However, despite not logging any sacks they received a good push up front when the game was still in question. Muhammad Wilkerson did have a quarterback hit and Mike DeVito had 2 tackles.

Linebackers (B) – David Harris led the way with 7 tackles, Bart Scott wasn’t far behind with 5 including one for a loss. Calvin Pace hit Fitzpatrick twice  and also had 5 tackles. Bryan Thomas tweaked a hamstring and will be questionable for next week. Quiet game for Aaron Maybin.

Secondary (A) – An interception for each of the Jets top three corners. Antonio Cromartie’s was gift wrapped for him, both Darrelle Revis and Kyle Wilson made nice breaks on their respective picks. LaRon Landry seemed to be in on every tackle, finishing with 7 and a pair of quarterback hits, along with forcing a fumble on CJ Spiller. This secondary has the potential to be one of the league’s best, particularly if they keep forcing game changing turnovers.

Special Teams (A) – A beautiful punt return touchdown by Jeremy Kerley, two made field goals from Nick Folk and great distance on kickoffs…not much for Mike Westhoff to complain about. New punter Bob Malone looked very good as well.

Coaching (A) – Rex Ryan pushed all the right buttons this week by keying his team up from all the “circus” talk. His decision to publicly call out Jeremy Kerley also seems to be paying early dividends. Tony Sparano’s game plan was a refreshing break from Brian Schottenheimer ball the past 6 years.

No Huddle – New York Jets 1-0 Edition

TJ Rosenthal goes No Huddle on the Jets dominant week 1 performance

What a great start for a team that was mocked for going scoreless all summer. That was ridiculed for signing Tim Tebow. That was seen as a publicity grabbing gadget act above being a real football team. It’s only one game, but you know the Jets 48-28 thrashing of a Bills team that so many already anointed as the real threat to the Patriots, will change the conversation. Allow us to help.

1 – 48 Points: Who Knew? Sparano did

Tony Sparano made sure to keep the Bills defense uneasy right from the start. Maybe the Jets don’t have hall of fame wideouts or Jim Brown running the ball, but the players they DO have all got involved in the first quarter. We counted seven different guys touched the ball in a first quarter that shocked anyone who was dialed in to the “Circus.”

Kerley. Hill. Holmes. Heck even Keller AND Cumberland. Greene. Powell. With a little Tebow mixed in to keep the chains moving and the clock rolling. The pass protection was stellar. That’s how you do it. Sunday was the blueprint. It won’t always result in 30 plus points and other teams will provide bigger challenges defensively in the coming weeks, but Sunday’s offense was more creative than any game was that we can remember in years. It gives us hope that the defense won’t have to carry this team. The offense will have days when it does it’s fair share.

2 – Yes Sanchize, You Proved Us Right Sunday, AND Shut Some People Up

As Mark Sanchez was lighting it up in the 2009 Rose Bowl we told a friend by phone that the Jets should move up to grab him. He was exuberant, confident, and decisive.

What has happened to him along the way has been a rocky ride perhaps due to a combination of sorts. Starting with pressure from the start as a rookie on a good defensive team. Add in coddling, a tough local media, sky high expectations in 2011, and a trust in himself that at times over three years wavered. All despite his late game heroics and playoff success.

Against the Bills, with time to throw, Sanchez got the ball out on time, on the run to receivers, and was the clear field general of the team. It’s year four. A season where many say the game slows down and makes sense to signal callers who get so much thrown at them from an X’s and O’s standpoint out of college.

How much higher the ceiling can be for Sanchez is anyone’s guess. What we do know after week one is, he CAN guide his team down the field thoughout an entire game. Let the haters try to diminsih his work yesterday by saying “hey, it was just one game.” Keep the motivation for number 6 going. We love what the doubters have helped fuel already, which is a foundation for success, and for the first time in a long time, a chance for the Jets starting QB to sleep well after a great performance.

3 – NY Post, Now It’s Time For YOU To Jump In The Clown Car

Imagine burying a team that hasn’t played a real game yet. The NY Post couldn’t wait to call the Jets training sessions in Cortland “Camp Chaos” back in July. Probably loved the drawing last week that painted Rex Ryan, Sanchez and Tebow as clowns in a clown car.

Maybe now it’s time to slap a big NY Post logo on a clown car and a bozo nose on the genius who devised the artwork above. Hey, sometimes you gotta eat crow, right? Especially when you are bold enough to be designing cartoon eulogies in August.

4 – That’s EXACTLY How To Use Tim Tebow

The big QB controversy is over. Done. Finished.

What HAS just started however, is the effect that a unique playmaker can have on a team with alot of athletes looking to grow together. Tebow was (5-11 yds) not a big ground gainer, but no carry brought any loss of yardage. All Wildcat touches from him at least kept the offense on schedule and the clock moving.

He even fielded an onsides kick as a member of the “hands team” in a two score game late in the fourth.

We wrote a pre game piece noting that the two headed monster could work if Tebow could be utilized as the “spice,” and Sanchez the “sauce.” That’s what we saw on Sunday. Who knows what the “Tebow-cat” can become down the road too. It’s only one game old.

5 – If You Are Third And Long, The Jets Secondary Can Hurt You

Darrelle Revis, Kyle Wilson and Antonio Cromartie jumped routes. Cro took his pick to the house. Laron Landry forced a fumble on CJ Spiller that set up a late FG in the first half.

If the Jets front four can keep stifling the run game as they did before CJ Spiller got loose a few times, then teams will play right into Ryan’s hands. Second and long and third long situations will allow the Jets secondary, able to play the ball more aggresively thanks to their new safeties, the chance to make BIG plays.

Scoring plays and field position plays.

All aboard…The “Clown Car” leaves for Pittsburgh in the coming days. We wonder how many newcomers will now join the bandwagon. Faces painted with bozo noses and all.

Initial Reaction – 48 Points And A Barrel Of Laughs, Jets 1-0

The New York Jets rolled to a 48-28 win…thoughts on how they handled Buffalo

While we are happy to say we told you so about the Buffalo Bills being overhyped and the New York Jets remaining the second best team in the AFC East, we certainly can’t say we saw that coming. 48 points? Special teams touchdowns? The Jets looking like a high functioning NFL offense for an entire game? Today was a fun one at MetLife Stadium. Fun, because today demonstrated just how good this team could be and just how ridiculous all the negative pre-season hype around the team was.

Let’s start at the top, with the most important positon on the field and the most important player on the Jets roster not named Darrelle Revis…Mark Sanchez. Outside of a bonehead interception in the first quarter that had Twitter ablaze with cheap shots, Sanchez was as accurate as we’ve ever seen him, consistently fitting passes into tight windows and pushing the football down the field. Credit Tony Sparano for an aggressive game plan but credit Sanchez for dropping in some gems. He effectively spread the ball around, completing passes to 7 different receivers and showing tremendous comfort with rookie Stephen Hill. When you protect Sanchez, he can make all the throws necessary to win in the NFL.

The Jets wide receivers took a beating all summer, particularly Hill who many people claimed wasn’t ready for a big time role. He silenced those critics by turning in a monster 5 catch, 89 yard, 2 touchdown performance. Hill is a faster, bigger version of Braylon Edwards who Sanchez was extremely comfortable with in 2009 and 2010. Jeremy Kerley also got himself out of Rex Ryan’s doghouse with a 4 catches for 45 yards, a receiving touchdown an electric punt return touchdown. If they can stay consistent, the Jets offense has a ceiling much higher than anybody expected.

Austin Howard deserves to be singled out for praise. Mario Williams laid a goose egg today and Buffalo’s pass rush in general did absolutely nothing. The whole line deserves credit but Howard just recently stepped into a starting role and has the most prove. He was more than up to the challenge against Buffalo’s much hyped personnel.

Defensively, it was playmaking. The Jets made Ryan Fitzpatrick look every bit the overpaid, mediocre quarterback he is by intercepting him three times and taking one back to the house (we have been waiting for that defensive TD Cro!). Yes, the running defense and the lack of sacks was a mild disappointment but ultimately when the game was still in question, the defense routinely made game changing plays. LaRon Landry seemed to be in on every tackle and there is no question the tandem of him and Yeremiah Bell are a major upgrade from last year’s safeties.

The Jets and their fans have every right to enjoy this one. It was a statement victory in the division. However, there will be an even better chance to turn some heads this week in Pittsburgh. The talent is there to win, but will the consistency be there?

Check back tomorrow for No Huddle, a full Report Card and a closer look at Sanchez’s performance