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Jets' Offensive Consistency: Why It's the Key To Team's Super Bowl Dreams

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 19:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets throws a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on December 19, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Chris Dela RosaContributor IDecember 23, 2010

In spite of what most critics said, the Jets were able to overcome their two game losing streak by defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers.  With that victory, the Jets were also able to break their 11 game losing streak in the state of Pennsylvania.  What helped them win this game was the fact that they were firing on all cylinders.

With the exception of the game in New England, the games the Jets have lost were kept close by the superb play of their defense. In those three loses, the Jets lost by a combined 13 points.  Two of them could have been avoided with successful fourth down conversions (the home losses to Baltimore and Green Bay), and the other occurred because of sloppy play (the home loss to Miami).

On the offensive side of the ball, Mark Sanchez has been hot and cold this season. There are games, like last week against Pittsburgh, where he was able to avoid throwing interceptions; there are others, like New England's destruction of the Jets, where Sanchez threw three and showed signs that he is regressing to the way he played last season.  In games where Sanchez does not throw interceptions, the Jets are 5-1.

While the concept is fundamental, the Jets need to become masters at getting touchdowns.  In games where the Jets score touchdowns, they are 10-0.  Against the Dolphins, Santonio Holmes could have caught a touchdown pass from Sanchez that would've ultimately put the Jets ahead of the Dolphins and kept them tied atop the AFC East with the Patriots.

One of the people that has played a large role in the Jets inability to score is Brian Schottenheimer.  Throughout the season, his play-calling has been questionable. Against the Steelers, however, he demonstrated a more conservative and smart approach that allowed Mark Sanchez to make easier decisions without putting ball possession in jeopardy. He balanced this style with more tricky plays at times, such as the fake hand-off on fourth down that gave Sanchez the walk-in touchdown. 

In the Jets playbook, the plays that have led to success for them this season have been the bootleg passes and runs by Sanchez, handing the ball off to LaDainian Tomlinson or Shonn Green, and slants (mainly to Santonio Holmes).  By running these plays and building from them, the Jets can be extremely successful in the future and possibly go to North Texas, ultimately leaving with the Lombardi Trophy.

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