Well it had to happen, didn’t it? How long could we realistically expect this kid to keep up the incredible streak of great play and good luck?
New York Jets rookie QB Mark Sanchez finally hit a wall, knocking him off the throne we fans have exalted him into over the last few months. It had to happen some time and I am glad we got it over with now during the early going and not later in the season when we hope to be fighting for a playoff spot or perhaps even a division championship (yes, the dream is still alive in NY.) There is no doubt that the kid has shown us an awful lot of mots and guts during these first 4 games but we’ve all seen the things that need to improve and New Orleans was more than happy to highlight these areas for us.
Going into New Orleans riding high on a wave, the Jets were knocked around pretty good but, surprisingly, not by the best offense in the league as one would expect. New Orleans came into this game averaging an incredible 40 points per game and all the explosivness of nitro gliscerine.
Rex Ryan’s defense was more than up to the task as it turned out. Facing its biggest challenge of the season, the New York Jets defense held the prolific Saints offense and quarterback Drew Brees to just 10 points, a performance that included two stops on fourth-and-1, one of those a goal-line stand.
The “swaggerlicious” defense has truly been on a roll, allowing just three touchdowns in 45 drives by opponents this season. Even faced with being on the field for too long thanks to a less than stellar offensive showing, Bart Scott and crew prevented the Saints from getting any real seperation on the score board. The outstanding play of the defense forced a fumble that led to an offensive touchdown, bringing the gap to 17-10 midway through the third quarter. The Saints, who rushed for 153 yards, converted just 4 of 13 third-down situations.
It’s hard to look at a loss and find the silver lining but Jets fans have quite a bit to be optimistic about after this game. First and foremost, you can breath easier now as there is no doubt now about the defense and it’s new swagger. These guys are for real! With the imminent return of LB Calvin Pace things will only get better for this squad.
Offensively, we have most of the right parts but it is obvious that there is still some gelling left to do. Our offensive line needs to be more consistant so that our young rookie QB is better protected, especially in light of his tendency to hang on to the ball. They also need help better establish a run game. RB Thomas Jones had a paltry 48 yards on 13 carries, although he did manage one 15 yard TD run….I suspect Shonn Greene’s monster 5.75 yard per carry average over 4 touches lit a bit of a fire under the veteran.
Let’s hope he and the rest of the first team offense can keep that fire going into next weeks Monday night duel with the Miami Dolphins.