Monday, December 5, 2011
Sanchez Criticism just Hogwash: Late Comeback Propels Jets to 34-19 Victory
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With its playoff hopes hanging in the balance, the New York Jets turned to its franchise quarterback to ignite yet another fourth quarter comeback. Trailing 16-13 with 7:52 remaining in the game—and very possibly Gang Green’s season—Mark Sanchez notched his tenth career come-from-behind victory.
The Jets capitalized on favorable field position--taking possession at the Redskins 49-yard line—thanks in large part to Washington placekicker Gram Gano’s short kickoff. On the fifth play of the ensuing drive—a second and five from the 30-yard line—Mark Sanchez pump faked in the direction of Santonio Holmes who hit a slant and go route, slipping behind cornerback Josh Wilson for the go-ahead touchdown.
Following the score, Jets coach Rex Ryan pulled aside linebacker Aaron Maybin and barked in his ear “fourth quarter sacks win football games.” New York’s defense marched onto the field— and with Maybin clearly inspired by Ryan’s plea—the Jets linebacker did his coach one better. On third and ten from the Redskins 20-yard line—Washington quarterback Rex Grossman dropped back in the pocket and was instantly engulfed by “Mayhem Maybin” as the ball was jarred loose and recovered by fellow Jets linebacker Calvin Pace at the 9-yard line. A jubilant Jets sideline swarmed Maybin in celebration as the second year castoff from Buffalo is making his bid for the league’s most improved player of the year honors.
With a four point cushion the Jets aimed to salt away the victory and Jets running back Shonn Greene was just the man for the mission. On the second play of the ensuing drive, Greene took the snap out of the Wildcat formation and slithered his way through the Redskins front and into the end zone for his second rushing touchdown of the afternoon. Greene would clinch a hat trick late in the final quarter as he lumbered for a 30-yard touchdown to put the finishing touches on the Jets 15 point victory.
In what looked to be yet another anxiety inducing game—the Jets managed to pull away in the final eight minutes of regulation—closing the game with a 21-3 spurt. The stands at FedEx Field were littered with green and white and J-E-T-S chants rained onto the field as the Jets exited to a warm reception from Firemen Ed and Gang Green die-hards. New York escaped the nation’s capital with a crucial win with the final four games of the season on the horizon.