Monday, September 12, 2011
Week One Grades: Jets Comeback Kids Once Again
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Non-existent for most of the first half, Mark Sanchez orchestrated a brilliant 9 play, 83 yard touchdown drive in the waning moments of the second quarter, closing the scoring gap to 10-7. Sanchez proved effective in the no huddle offense particularly in the final minutes of both halves connecting with seven different receiving targets for 335 yards. Sanchez’s lone interception cost the Jets a touchdown as Dallas linebacker Sean Lee returned the ball to the one yard-line, and two plays later halfback Felix Jones found the end zone for six. Sanchez was vulnerable to a few mistakes but made the big plays down the stretch to give Gang Green second life.
Rex Ryan’s ground and pound was held in check by Cowboy’s defensive coordinator, and younger brother Rob Ryan. Gang Green’s offensive front was manhandled at the line of scrimmage, providing no running lanes for the Jets duo of Shonn Greene and LaDanian Tomlinson who were stopped in their tracks. New York would finish the day with 45 yards on 16 carries, the lowest rushing total produced during the Rex Ryan era.
The Jets had no answer for Dallas tight end Jason Witten who hauled in 6 receptions for 110 yards including a 64 yard catch and rumble in the early stages of the final period. Tony Romo made good on 23 of 36 passes for 345 yards including two touchdowns. The Jets capatil
New York’s run defense was in mid-season form surrendering just 64 yards on 17 carries, limiting the Cowboys to a long run of eight yards on the evening. Rex Ryan’s defensive front did not allow Tony Romo to escape the pocket rushing for only nine yards on three scampers. Jets defensive end Mike DeVito provided the play of the game, when he stripped a scrambling Romo down by New York’s goal line deep into the fourth quarter.
Improbable as it was, running back Joe McKnight played the role as the Jets savior Sunday night blocking Dallas punter Mat McBriar’s boot, which danced into the hands of Isaiah Trufant who brought it in for the game- tying score. Mike Westoff’s designed punt block was executed to perfection as the Jets overloaded the Cowboy’s strong side, allowing McKnight to run in free up the middle. Nick Folk was perfect on his two field goal attempts capping a stellar effort by Gang Green’s special teamers.