Bitter sweet. Really couldn't enjoy the victory all too much last night with the news of Leon Washington . Not just the fact that we will be missing our most dynamic player for the rest of the season, but because this is not your run of the mill, when will he be practicing again injury. Not as bad as Joe Theisman's but for a running back who relies on his quick cuts and speed to make plays, this recovery is not going to be easy. I have heard some people say that it is a potential career ender, and while I hope it isn't—their certainly is that possibility. So first thing is first, which is wishing Leon a healthy and full recovery. No need for it to be speedy.
I can't say enough about Sanchez. Was it a perfect game? Absolutely not, far from it. He was asked to do little and he managed to do just that. He did have another fumble that he managed to recover on a play that looked ugly straight from the snap. However he was asked to throw 15 times, he completed 9 and he threw a nice TD to David Clowney. It was sllightly under thrown but you expect your receivers to go up and make plays in that situation. He ran in for a TD on a nicely designed play. (Again this is why I find Schottenheimer so frustrating, one week his play calling is a head scratcher, the next he plans pretty much to perfection)
Shonn Greene was just fantastic, and that is what we have been waiting for. He fights for that extra yardage—players think they have brought him down and when they look up he is 10 yards down the field and you can forget about it. He runs hard, he hits the hole hard, and keeps his leg churning. He has a very bright future ahead of him. With Greene and Jones running wild at the minute, the Jets' running game is sure to wear down any interior line. We could have extended that game, and I doubt the Raiders stop either of them.
I was pretty critical of Keller last week, but this was a better game from him. He wasn't excellent by any means, but he took a pass from Sanchez and turned it into a 26 yard gain. I'm not sure why we don't see more roll out plays like that. He was open on one pass and Sanchez over threw him, and on another he made one cut, Sanchez thought he was making another and the ball was nowhere near him. I have no idea who was at fault there. Did Keller make the wrong cut or did Sanchez make the wrong read? One thing is for sure, they need to get on the same page, as we can use Keller a lot to beat a team like Miami.
Defensively we were pretty solid all around, I actually liked the line —I thought it performed pretty well without Jenks. Howard Greene in particular caught my eye on a couple of players, and Mike Devito is a lot better than I ever remember him being under Mangini. He holds his containment and then gets off the block pretty quickly. I saw him a couple of times hold the outside and as soon as the run came inside, he closed it up. It obviously is a work in progress, and there were times where we were vulnerable to the inside run but luckily Oakland decided to pass a lot.
Calvin Pace was fantastic, and that's the guy that we remember. I think it is safe to say that he is back up to speed. He is a menace when he is in there. He works until the whistle and I liked the play where he caused the 2nd fumble. When he gets pushed completely out of the play, he never takes his eyes off the QB and then runs him down from the back. Game ball goes to him without a doubt.
Tackling this week was better although not perfect. Kerry Rhodes missed a couple but it didn't hurt us at all, so no need to dwell on those as Rhodes is usually pretty solid in that regard.
Offensive line was tremendous for the second straight week, just over powered the Oakland defensive line, which allowed us to rush for over 300 yards for the 2nd week in a row, and I think we are only the second team to do that since the merger after the 1975 Bills . Before the season they were widely regarded as one of the best units in the league, it has taken time to materialize but they are finally showing their talent.
Braylon Edwards was a little quiet this week, but you can expect that when you ask the QB to throw just 15 times. Sanchez did a nice job spreading the ball out more and not trying to force it. It was a nice night to see Wallace Wright get a reception to his name and Clowney grab his first NFL TD. I thought he ran good crisp routes all day and I hope that he still gets work when Cotchery and Smith come back.
Cotchery is expected back this week, but not so sure about Smith.
Finally, we can't have a Monday Musing without a Danny Woodhead update. It was nice to see the guy get some touches in light of the fact that it was obviously to run out the clock when everyone was winding down—but he got some tough yardage.
Next up: the grudge match with Miami.