The New York Jets kept their razor-thin playoff hopes alive with a dominant 27-13 road victory over the St Louis Rams to move to 4-6 on the season. Quarterback Mark Sanchez played one of his more solid games of the season, completing 15 of his 20 passes for 178 yards and threw for the Jets' first offensive touchdown in more than two full games when he connected with Chaz Schilens on a 25-yard score in the second quarter. Bilal Powell scored the first two touchdowns of his career, helping a Jets' rushing attack then went for 124 yards.
The Jets' defense, facing a Rams offense coached by New York's former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, stifled the Rams all day. They held Sam Bradford to 170 yards on 44 attempts, putting consistent pressure on the signal caller all day. New York forced three turnovers, one interception of Bradford by Eric Smith in the second quarter, and two fumbles, one by Bradford.
Although the final score was lopsided, it took the Jets a bit of a while to get going, and for a while it seemed like the same old story of the 2012 season. St. Louis went on top, 7-0, driving down the field with relative ease late in the first quarter, as Bradford hooked up with Brandon Gibson on a one-yard touchdown on a fourth down. Then, after Smith's interception, Nick Folk had a field goal blocked for the second time this season.
But it was Sanchez's big play to Schilens that turned the game around, and it's been a long time coming. The Jets' embattled quarterback has played poorly all season and with the media firestorm surrounding his backup, Tim Tebow (who had -6 total yards on the day), Sanchez needed a good game more than anyone else. He certainly stepped it up on Sunday against the Rams, even if his final stat line isn't going to jump out. If Sanchez can play that type of efficient, mistake-free game from here on out, he'll quell any questions about the starting job being his.
Next up for the 4-6 Jets is a Thanksgiving night showdown with the 7-3 division-rival New England Patriots.