Game Reaction: Jets 48 – Bills 28
Brian Bassett , theJetsBlog.com
The Jets opened the season with a 48-28 victory today home against the Bills. The offense was otherworldly compared to what the Jets showed during the preseason, as Mark Sanchez completed 29-of-27 passes for 266 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, while Shonn Greene rushed for 94 yards and one touchdown. The defense was strong early on, but played with the lead to grind the clock much of the second half and let the Bills start to crawl back into the game. The Jets showed their talent and playmaking ability across the board, forcing four turnovers and Cromartie scoring a touchdown on a pick-six as well as the longest punt return touchdown in nearly ten years from Jeremy Kerley.
Here are some observation from the game we made, add yours in the comments!
Hold Steady — Week one overanalysis is RAMPANT in NFL media circles and so tomorrow don’t be surprised to hear the Jets compared to the 1999 Saint Louis Rams. I’m kidding. Still, the Jets are going to go from zeroes to heroes overnight so don’t get too caught up in it just yet. As Han Solo once sagely said …
Corner Curtain — Each of the team’s top three corners had a pick during the game. We know what Revis and Cromartie are about, but to see Kyle Wilson step up in a big moment was fantastic. I expect to see some really good things from Wilson this season with the help he’ll get this year on the inside from Landry and Bell and even look for the Jets to try and work him in more out of the slot. It sounds like everything is OK with Revis, so that’s good news … but we’ll have to see what we heard from the team in the next couple of days.
Your Future Stars? — Stephen Hill had an amazing first day for a rookie. I honestly can’t remember seeing a rookie receiver look that good since Randy Moss did it waaay back in 1998. Now I didn’t just say he was going to be the next Moss, just that it’s impressive to see a rookie receiver do what he did in his first game. Hill will certainly have tougher days at the office soon enough, but his play early did enough to make other teams respect him, which will only help Tone get open. Kerley also has seemed to come screaming out of Rex Ryan’s doghouse lately and with his two touchdown day (one punt return, one receiving) he’s made it clear that whether he plays in the slot or out of it, the Jets need to find a way to get him the ball. Oh and don’t forget Jeff Cumberland, who had three catches during the game.
Try And Take This Job! — Sanchez might have had a tough spring, first whispers of the Jets interest in Peyton, then Tebow comes to town, then the offense struggles during most of camp, but none of that seemed to matter today. Sanchez knows what he needs to do and executed the offense extremely well. Every game won’t look like that, but it’s hard to think we’re going to see many ten point affairs from this offense if half of what we saw Sunday is to be believed. With that early interception, the “here we go again” feeling starting welling up inside me, but Sanchez righted the ship quickly. One thing I want to see from Sanchez: he can’t care who he’s not throwing the ball to. My meaning? Dustin Keller had one catch all game, but he can’t worry next week against the fearsome Steelers that he’s got to get the ball to Dustin more regularly. Sanchez needs to do whatever’s required to move the ball downfield and not worry about who’s not getting their love. If the Jets seem to have as many reliable targets as we saw against the Bills it’s going to be a “problem” all year.
Dirty Thirty — How can you not love the terrifying play that LaRon Landry brought to the field? He led the team in tackles with six and was flying all over the field. Landry forced a fumble and had that devastating hit on Fred Jackson. I confess even I felt a little dirty watching that play … oof. Still Landry is bringing a whole other level of athleticism to the position that we haven’t seen in a long time. If Landry can stay on the field, the Jets are going to be first in line to re-sign him after the season.
Shonn of the Dead Hands — Shonn lost the ball twice, but recovered both fumbles. Fumble receoveries generally comes down to luck – so dropping the ball is a bad thing. If Greene is going to carry the ball as much as the team expects him to, he needs to be more sure in how he secures it. It was an issue for him early on, but at this point, we hope that was just an anomaly.
Mario Who? – Seriously did Mario Williams play in this game? I didn’t see him .. did you? Williams had one tackle all game. One. Williams claims he was held all game and that Austin Howard was putting his hands in his facemask, but that’s generally a penalty refs take seriously … even terrible scab refs who don’t understand the rules on “offsetting” penalties. Howard’s play was a breath of fresh air and while we’re sure there will be harder days ahead for him, he played nicely and the Jets did a great job of using tight ends and backup linemen to help block out Williams all day.
Us Against the World — The Jets were mad that the world was doubting them, but they did what their coach asked and focused on the game rather than the tabloids and the nonsense that has surrounded this team for six months. It’s only one week and they know it, but the Jets came out to prove that they weren’t the third best team in their own division.