New York Jets Week 6: Instant Grades, Analysis vs. Indianapolis Colts

Rocco ConstantinoContributor IOctober 14, 2012

New York Jets Week 6: Instant Grades, Analysis vs. Indianapolis Colts

0 of 5

    The Jets made easy work of the Colts, coasting to a 35-9 victory behind a stout running game and an opportunistic defense.  The Jets now stand at 3-3 on the season.

    Shonn Greene plowed the Colts' defense for 159 yards and three touchdowns and Mark Sanchez had an efficient day as the Jets signal caller.

    Highly-touted rookie Andrew Luck looked confused and frustrated for much of the game.  Luck accounted for three turnovers, two of which were converted into touchdowns by the Jets offense.  


    Look for RC Cos' Instant Impact and individual player grades immediately following every Jets game this year.  For even more analysis and for all Jets' breaking news, follow the B/R Jets Report on Twitter: @BR Jets_Report.

Quarterbacks: A-

1 of 5


    This was the ultimate game-management performance by Mark Sanchez.  On a day were the Jets were so dominant in the running game, Sanchez simply had to take care of the football and make simple throws when needed.

    Sanchez finished 11-for-18 for 82 yards, but threw two touchdowns and no interceptions.  



    With the Jets running out the clock against the Colts, Sanchez attempted just one pass in the fourth quarter.  It was an 11-yard completion to Jeremy Kerley at the 13:56 mark.  The Jets kept the ball on the ground from there.



    Mark Sanchez failed to complete his first three passes in the third quarter and finished just 1-for-4 for nine yards.  Sanchez wasn't asked to do much, but he took care of the ball and managed the offense admirably.



    Mark Sanchez's touchdown pass to Stephen Hill was a thing of beauty.  Sanchez was as patient as you will ever see him.  He let a pocket form around him, stepped up with defenders in his vicinity and fit the ball in a very tight window to Hill.

    Sanchez hasn't been asked to do much, but has done what he's asked to.  The play calling has been much more conservative, calling for a number of screens and quick slants, instead of shots down the field.

    Sanchez's touchdown to Jason Hill was a simple pitch and catch, much easier to complete without J.J. Watt in front of him looking to bat down every pass like last week.

    At the half, Sanchez  is 9-for-13 for 62 yards and two touchdowns.



    The play calling has been kept simple for Sanchez, who didn't attempt a pass down the field the entire first quarter.  He finished the quarter just 2-4 for nine yards.  He overthrew Jeremy Kerley on a failed third-down conversion on the first drive, but his Stephen Hill to convert a 3rd-and-8 to keep the current drive moving.

Offense: A

2 of 5


    This was the Jets' best performance on offense since opening day without question.  The coaching staff knew what would work against the Colts and stick with it.  Quite simply, the offensive line threw the Colts around and Shonn Greene jammed the ball down their throats.  

    Mark Sanchez didn't commit any turnovers and took care of the ball the way he needed to.

    Greene ran for 161 yards and three touchdowns and seven different Jets caught passes from Mark Sanchez.



    The Jets had three drives on offense in the fourth quarter and did well on two of them.  Their first drive didn't result in a score, but it took over five minutes off the clock.  They added a touchdown on their final drive, a short five-play drive after an Andrew Luck fumble.



    The Jets offense sputtered to two three-and-outs on their first two drives, as Mark Sanchez missed all three of his pass attempts on the drives.  It took until the third quarter, but there was another incident of Sanchez and one of his receivers showing poor timing.

    This time, Jeremy Kerley came out of his break a little late.  He turned his head as Sanchez's third-down pass was zipping right by it.

    The Jets put a touchdown on the board on a Shonn Greene four-yard run.

    Greene ran well in his limited carries and topped the 100-yard mark and Joe McKnight's 61-yard run showed the burst the Jets' run game has lacked this season.



    The Jets offense has been the story here without question.  The team put 21 points on the board in the second quarter and has had their way with an inferior Colts defense.  Shonn Greene has been running hard and with meaning and Mark Sanchez has made the throws he's needed to make.  

    Greene has 91 yards on 14 carries at the half and the Jets have gained 106 yards on the ground as a team.

    It's funny how much better the offense works when Sanchez has time to throw, receivers aren't dropping passes and the running game is working.



    After a quick three-and-out on their first drive, the Jets moved the ball well on their second drive behind strong running by Shonn Greene.  Greene's 21-yard run was his longest of the season and moved the Jets into Colts territory for the first time.  Greene, Tim Tebow and Joe McKnight each carried the ball on the Jets' second drive.

    Greene has done his best running of the year so far, carrying the ball seven times for 43 yards.

Defense: B+

3 of 5


    This wasn't a dominant performance by the Jets defense by any means, but they did enough for the team to win easily.  The defense committed a number of penalties, so accurately called, some not so much.  

    The Jets were helped out by a number of overthrows by Andrew Luck and a couple of dropped passes by Colts receivers.  When Luck did get close, either the offense fizzled or the Jets came up with a pick.

    The Jets played a zone defense, similar to the way they played the Steelers when Darrelle Revis missed the game due to a concussion.  It made for some easy targets for Luck, but also allowed the rookie to show his inexperience.

    There was some semblance of a pass rush, as Antonio Allen, Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples each recorded a sack.  Coples made a handful of plays in the backfield.



    The Jets forced two fourth quarter turnovers and finally pushed Andrew Luck over the edge of complete frustration.  Ellis Lankster picked Luck off in the end zone and Muhammad Wilkerson forced a Luck fumble on a sack.  

    That's the way to finish a game and make an rookie quarterback look like a rookie.



    It was the same story for the Jets defense in the third quarter.  The Colts have moved the ball through the air at times and Antonio Cromartie still can't keep his hands off the Colts receivers.  However, when push comes to shove drive after drive for the Colts has fizzled out without much harm.

    There was a couple of Quinton Coples sightings in the third quarter.  He tipped a pass (which was completed in spite of the tip) and had Andrew Luck wrapped up for a potential sack on a third-down play.  Luck was called for intentional grounding.

    Coples was called for a facemask on a potential sack of Andrew Luck, but at least he's been in the backfield frequently.  It still goes down as a sack for Coples.

    At this rate, it's scary that the Colts have been driving, but if those drives continue to end up fruitless, all they are doing is taking time off the clock. 



    The Colts continue to find a lot of room in the Jets secondary.  Andrew Luck has spread the ball around and has utilized an up-tempo offense to get into a nice rhythm.  The defense has been called for four penalties, and if the referees are going to call the game this tight, the Jets are going to have to make adjustments.

    The Colts were able to advance the ball inside the Jets 20-yard line half way through the second quarter.  An illegal hands to the face penalty and a sack by Antonio Allen forced them backwards.  The drive resulted in a field goal.

    The Jets may be giving up yardage in chunks, but have allowed just two field goals to this point. 

    The run defense continues to be superior, as the Colts have found no room on the ground whatsoever.  



    Andrew Luck is having little problem through the air against the Jets defense.  He has caught Antonio Allen on a couple of mismatches and has looked in Kyle Wilson's direction a few times as well.  The Jets' run defense and tackling looks a little better than in past weeks.

    The Jets are still failing to generate any pass rush in blitzing and non-blitzing situations.

    Muhammad Wilkerson's personal foul penalty moved the Colts up to the 11-yard line instead of saddling them with a 3rd-and-10.

Special Teams: A-

4 of 5


    While there was nothing spectacular from the special teams, they remained solid in all aspects of the game.  

    Robert Malone continued to excel as the team's punter and Nick Folk showed improved distance in his kickoffs.  He averaged 52.2 yards on five punts.



    Robert Malone had a rare slip-up on his first punt of the quarter, booming the ball into the end zone in a failed attempt at a pooch kick.  However, he later pinned the Colts back at their own seven-yard line with 4:00 left in the game.



    In what has become a running trend, Robert Malone continued his stellar punting.  After the Jets went three-and-out on their first drive, Malone boomed an unreturnable 52-yard punt to the Colts' 24-yard line.  His second punt went for 49 yards.

    There wasn't much else to do on special teams for the Jets in the third quarter.



    Tim Tebow's best role on the Jets continues to be as the team's resident fake-punt converter.  This time he did it through the air, completing a 23-yard pass to Nick Bellore of all people!

    Nick Folk kicked his second straight touchback after the Stephen Hill touchback.  Chaz Schilens dropped Colts return man Cassius Vaughn at the 15-yard line after the Shonn Grenne touchdown run.

    After Vinatieri's 50-yard field goal, Joe McKnight had a nice 34-yard kick return out to the 30-yard line.



    Nick Folk kicked the opening kickoff for a touchback, something he has been struggling with the past three weeks.

    Robert Malone was put under immediate pressure as he was forced to kick his first punt from his own end zone.  He responded with a 50-yard punt to the Colts' 41-yard line.  

    Joe McKnight's only chance at a return resulted in a touchback.

Coaching: A

5 of 5


    Just as the coaching staff was given credit for a super-aggressive approach against the Texans, they should be lauded for tuning it down against the Colts.  The Jets knew they had superior talent in their running game, and stuck with it throughout.  

    Long passes down the sidelines were removed from the game plan and replaced by a number of quick slants and screen passes.  

    For the first time all season, Tim Tebow was asserted into the offense seamlessly.  He didn't rack up huge yardage, but his presence didn't feel like a distraction for the first time.



    It was an easy day for the coaching staff.  Just give the ball to Shonn Greene and get out of the way.  The Jets didn't try anything fancy, just used their superior talent to bully the Colts around the field.  Luck continued to be confused at times by the Jets defense.

    Rex Ryan successfully challenged what was called a completed pass to Donnie Avery. 

    The Jets did not attempt a pass over the final 13:56 of the quarter.  



    It was a nondescript quarter for the coaching staff.  The Jets had two three-and-out drives that were more a matter of execution than play calling.  Their third drive continued to stick to a conservative game plan and was sustained further.

    This game plan is the polar opposite of what the Jets tried to do on offense last week.  It's a good, smart adjustment by the coaching staff that is working well.

    There was more confusion on a play in which Antonio Cromartie was inserted as a wide receiver, causing the Jets to burn a time out.



    Tony Sparano has shown great discipline in his play calling, sticking with what is working best.  The Jets have kept the ball on the ground and have given Mark Sanchez safe throws to make.  In a game the Jets are dominating on the ground, it's up to the offense to not make any mistakes.

    We won't know until after the game whether the fake punt call came from the sidelines or from Tim Tebow, but either way it was a beautifully designed play.

    Activating Antonio Allen has already paid off, as the rookie recorded a sack in his first career game.



    Please keep running the ball!

    The Jets have come out with a conservative approach, and considering the Colts' struggles against the run and the windy conditions at MetLife, it's the right decision.  It's up to the line to push around an inferior Colts front seven and Shonn Greene  and Bilal Powell to find the holes.

    There were no critical decisions to be made in the first quarter.