New York Jets, Mark Sanchez and Antonio Cromartie Got Bounce Back Games

Mike Stainkamp@mikestainkamp34Contributor ISeptember 20, 2010

Jets quarterback Marc Sanchez leads his team to a 28-14 win over the New England Patriots
Jets quarterback Marc Sanchez leads his team to a 28-14 win over the New England PatriotsAndrew Burton/Getty Images

"I just felt like it's a little too early to hit the panic button." Those are the words of Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez last week after a brutal loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Maybe the second year man out of USC is right. The Jets did not panic in their Week 2 28-14 win at home over the hated New England Patriots and all is well in Jetland a day later. Even though they may have lost their star cornerback Darrelle Revis to a hamstring injury that limited him during practices leading up to the game on Sunday, Antonio Cromartie stepped up his game and locked down the "slouch" that is Randy Moss.

Fittingly, the play that knocked Revis out of the game was late in the first half, when Moss was able to get off Revis Island unscathed and make a ridiculous one-handed catch. And by one-handed I don't mean he caught the ball with one hand then used the other to secure it. No. He used ONLY one hand as he grabbed the Tom Brady pass with his right hand and held onto it with only that hand. An absolutely incredible catch.

So it seems as if Cromartie won the battle between Revis and Moss. Once Revis went down with that aggravated hamstring injury, he tagged in Cromartie and he went for the kill. While Revis was on Moss, Brady completed 2 of 6 passes to the veteran wide receiver for 38 yards, including that one touchdown (Moss also had 3 drops out of those 4 in-completions). After Cromartie took over, the Brady-Moss connection was shutdown. Brady went 0-4 in Moss's direction and the defense was able to pick off two passes.

Throughout last week's loss to the Ravens, Cromartie was picked on by quarterback Joe Flacco, along with rookie corner Kyle Wilson. Early in yesterday's game, he was beat numerous times by the Pats rookie tight ends and it looked like the acquisition of Cromartie was turning out to be a bad one. I even texted my cousin during the first half that Cromartie is a liability. He hasn't played well in the first 6 quarters of the season, and even though it's early, his work ethic was in question. He answered those questions in the second half when he shutdown Moss.

Sanchez, on the other hand, needed to bounce back for different reasons. All week, we heard how last season was a fluke because of the way Sanchez played in the season opener. ESPN analyst and former Patriots linebacker Teddy Bruschi called Sanchez a front-runner who couldn't handle adversity. Former Jets quarterback Joe Namath criticized his former team via Twitter during last week's game, prompting Sanchez to say that now is not the time to panic. Sanchez didn't press the panic button when the Jets ended the first quarter with 3 offensive plays and 5 total yards. Instead, he rallied his troops and lead the team to his best performance as a pro and the Jets will need that leadership out of their young quarterback throughout the rest of the season. Could we say that Sanchez pressed the Staples' Easy Button?

With a win under their belt, the Jets are looking like a team playing for respect. Unlike last week when it seemed as if they thought all they needed to do was show up and they would be handed the victory. Week 2's win was a hard fought, well-played game and that is exactly the effort they will need to bring each and every week if they truly have Super Bowl aspirations.