A win! It had been 35 days since the Jets' last one, but New York is 4-6 after a one-sided 27-13 win over the St. Louis Rams. It's a short week with the Jets hosting the New England Patriots on Thanksgiving night in a suddenly crucial and exciting game, but let's put a cap on Sunday's victory before we move forward.
While his stat line isn't going to make anyone go crazy, Mark Sanchez played one his best games in a long time. Given his struggles and career-long ball security issues, it's pleasantly surprising when Sanchez plays a mistake-free game as he did on Sunday. He was accurate, efficient and in command all day long. His already high completion percentage would have been even better if not for a few (predictable, at this point) drops. When I was watching this game, I thought to myself that Sanchez's performance was very Chad Pennington-like. While Sanchez doesn't have the intelligence and accuracy that Pennington did, that wouldn't be a bad guy for Sanchez to emulate going forward given how he's played most of this season and last.
Bilal Powell had 42 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries, again having a higher yards-per-carry than starter Shonn Greene. Particularly Powell's second touchdown, a six yard draw on third down, was a run I don't believe Greene converts for a score. While Powell isn't likely a starter in the league, he's more aggressive, more athletic and has better vision than Greene. Thinking progressively, it may not be a bad idea to make Powell the starter the rest of the season to see what you've got with him. We already know what Greene is (hint: not a starting-level back).
The Jets' defense played one of their best games of the season, causing three turnovers. Most impressively was that the Jets applied pressure on the quarterback for the second straight week. They only had one sack of Sam Bradford, but they were in his face all day. Muhammad Wilkerson is quietly putting together a very, very good second season, and is beginning to validate his first round pick status. As is Quinton Coples, who is rightly getting more playing time. There's really no reason Coples shouldn't play almost every snap the rest of the way.
Oh Brian Schottenheimer, how we've missed you! It was refreshing to see you throw 44 times against a good pass defense and totally ignore your running back who was averaging over six yards per carry. What brilliant memories returned when we saw Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson run four yard out patterns so close to each other that they could have been holding hands the whole time. Have fun with that, St. Louis.
Real quickly on this whole Bart Scott media ban and what not. Some reports made it seem like it was a legitimate thing, others said it was a joke. Either way, can Bart Scott just please shut up? Thanks. Plus he's so slow that he got caught by Matthew Mulligan at the 20 yard line after scooping up a fumble with nobody to beat to the end zone. Matthew Mulligan! Probably a surefire sign that you should start negotiating your contract with the NFL network or WWE now Bart, before it's too late.
When I see Tim Tebow go for negative six total yards on five plays, the thought that comes to mind TOTALLY is "The Jets really need to use this guy more, if not make him the starting quarterback."
What has happened to the Jets' special teams? The usually ultra-reliable unit has been awful this season, and the futility continued on Sunday with another blocked field goal and another long kick return against. Folk also missed a makeable field goal late in the game, but its hard to get on him since he has had a great season. But in general the Jets' special teams has been a disaster this season, and to have another field goal blocked is inexcusable.
In summation, nobody is going to throw a parade for the Jets beating the Rams, but a win is a win and the Jets need 'em. If they somehow find a way to beat the Patriots on Thursday, only then can they start thinking about making any late season run towards the postseason. The biggest takeaway from this game is that when the Jets' defense plays well and Sanchez takes care of the ball, the Jets aren't half bad. But bad teams are inconsistent, as the Jets have been all season. It remains to be seen whether they can bottle up Sunday's performance and have it for the rest of the season.