New York Jets: 4 Things We Learned in Week 3
Ugliness aside, a win is a win.
That is the attitude Jet fans have to have when reflecting back on the team's Week 3 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.
While certain aspects of the game were disappointing, especially coming off a weak showing in Week 2 against the Steelers, there are plenty of positive takeaways.
The product on the field can only get better for Gang Green, and here are a couple of key reasons why.
The Opposition Has to Account for Tim Tebow
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With 7:30 remaining in the second quarter, the league got its first glimpse of the danger Tim Tebow poses as a personal punt protector on special teams.
After forcing the Jets into the sure-punt scenario of 4th-and-3 around their own 25 yard-line, the Dolphins were ready to receive and send the offense back onto the field.
Instead, the Jets direct-snapped to Tebow, who gained five yards before being brought down, extending the drive that eventually turned into the Jets' first points of the game.
This play validated the hype surrounding Tebow's presence on the special teams squad. Every time the Jets are facing fourth and short, the opposition is going to have to watch out for this type of play.
Tony Sparano's Offense Creates Opportunities
Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
The Jets had a lot of missed opportunities on Sunday.
Whether you're looking specifically at the touchdown pass that TE Jeff Cumberland should have caught early in the fourth quarter when he was wide open or the series of errant throws that plagued the offense throughout the game, receivers were open.
Missed connections aside, the opportunities were there. That earns Tony Sparano a pat on the back.
As the offensive coordinator, the most he can do is to game-plan schemes that will create opportunities for his personnel.
Throughout Sunday's game, the opportunities were there, and that's a testament to his play-calling.
Mark Sanchez Loves the Slant
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As ugly as the Jets passing attack looked at times on Sunday, when they needed a score, they were able to get into the end zone by calling Mark Sanchez's favorite route: The slant.
In Week 2, Sanchez's lone touchdown pass came when he connected with Santonio Holmes on a 14-yard slant route.
This week, facing 3rd-and-1 and needing a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, the Jets dialed up another score with Jeremy Kerley running the route this time.
It's clear the slant is one of Sanchez's favorite routes to throw. In the red zone, as long as his receiver is able to beat the corner inside, it's an easy completion and confidence-booster for the struggling quarterback.
Watch for Tony Sparano to continue making similar play calls in the team's upcoming games.
The Defense Can Carry the Weight
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Through their first three games, the Jets defense has forced six turnovers, two coming yesterday in Miami.
When the offense hasn't been effective, the defense has risen to the occasion so far this season. This was certainly true this past week when LaRon Landry's interception return for a score gave Gang Green their first touchdown of the game.
The absence of Darrelle Revis will certainly make matters more difficult, but the Jets defense has been the backbone of the team thus far in the season, and Sunday was no different.
The team can't bank on the defense scoring every week (though they have in two of their first three games), but it is encouraging to see one side of the ball pick up the pieces when the other is static.