Maybe it was the ugly navy blue and gold throwback New York Titans uniforms which have been lucky for the New York Jets in the past. Maybe it was because New York is a Super Bowl-caliber team. Maybe it was because the Jaguars are a less than stellar team. While it is hard to say which one of these ultimately had the biggest impact on the outcome of the game, all were responsible for the 32-3 thrashing of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jets were coming off an emotional comeback win against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night, and they came into this week’s game with revenge on their minds. Last time the Jets and the Jaguars met, Gang Green was shocked by the one-man offense of Maurice Jones-Drew. Rex Ryan’s team wanted to erase that memory and make Week 2 a week to remember.
The scoreboard might show the outcome of the game, but it doesn’t tell the entire story. Here are three things we learned from New York’s impressive 32-3 win at the Meadowlands.
There were many who questioned New York’s highly-touted defense after last week. The Jets gave up an unfamiliar 24 points and a total of 390 yards to Tony Romo and the Cowboys.
New York certainly showed today that their defense is still one of the top units, even in playing against an offensively challenged Jaguars team with a journeyman quarterback. Gang Green elected to receive at the coin toss and they never looked back. Santonio Holmes’ early touchdown put Jacksonville in a hole and forced them out of their bread and butter with Jones-Drew.
Ryan’s defense put pressure on Luke McCown early, recording a safety, sacking the quarterback on a couple of occasions and keeping Jones-Drew under control. New York also picked off McCown four times and allowed just 91 passing and 112 rushing yards.
While Jacksonville is not a top offense by any stretch of the imagination, Jets fans have to be impressed by the defense’s dominant performance.
The New York Jets’ success the past two seasons was predicated on their ground-and-pound style of play. While they still have the same dominant defense, the running game is not the same with Shonn Greene. New York only ran the ball 15 times last week versus the Cowboys. Greene only recorded 26 yards on 10 carries, while LaDainian Tomlinson tallied just 16 yards on five carries.
Week 2 was a bit different, but still something that the Jets should be concerned about. Greene struggled to find holes, finishing with 49 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown. Rex’s offense ended the game with just 101 rushing yards.
It is clear this offense now belongs to Mark Sanchez. The young quarterback has been asked to throw a lot more than he did in his first two seasons. He has many weapons in the passing game including Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, Dustin Keller and LaDainian Tomlinson. The Jets success this season now hinges on whether Sanchez can carry the team in the passing game. New York will now have to win games by throwing the ball.
Looking at the game from the Jets point of view, Gang Green played extremely well. On the flip side, you can say that Jacksonville is a bad team. Maurice Jones-Drew can only carry a team for so long. Once his team went down a few scores, the Jaguars' weakness in the passing game was exposed.
Jacksonville is one dimensional, allowing defenses to stack the box and bring in defenders to stop the run. The Jets forced them to throw the ball, playing right into New York’s hands.
Without a decent quarterback, Jacksonville will struggle mightily. Jones-Drew will likely be asked to carry the offense and we might see rookie Blaine Gabbert start at quarterback starting next week. The Jets dominated, but at some point you have to question the skill level of the opponent.