It’s taken some time for Plaxico Burress and Mark Sanchez to get on the same page. It appears they’re getting there, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the New York Jets.
Gang Green defeated the San Diego Chargers Sunday at MetLife Stadium, 27-21, with Burress hauling in three touchdowns to lead New York to a crucial victory. The Jets improved to 4-3, and head into their bye week before traveling to Buffalo to take on the rival Bills in Week 9.
New York trailed 21-10 heading into the second half, but Rex Ryan’s defense pitched a shutout the rest of the way, the defense’s third half where they gave up no points to the opponent. Darrelle Revis, who saved the Jets in Week 6 with a scintillating 100-yard interception return touchdown against the Miami Dolphins, came up with another clutch pick. With the Chargers ahead 21-17 and in Jets territory in the fourth quarter, Philip Rivers’ pass bounced off of Vincent Jackson and into the arms of Revis, who returned the ball to the Chargers’ 20 yard line. That set up Burress’ third and final touchdown, giving the Jets a lead they never relinquished.
Burress only caught four passes for 25 yards, but Sanchez clearly looked for Burress when the Jets needed scores. On Sanchez’s only interception of the game in the first quarter by Eric Weddle, Sanchez was looking for Burress in the end zone. The Jets’ offense has struggled under Sanchez getting in the end zone and finishing drives, but Sanchez may have finally found a favorite new target.
A point that may be talked about less than Burress’ three scores but clearly just as important was the resurgence of the Jets’ running attack. Shonn Greene had his best day of the season by a country mile, gaining 112 yards on 20 carries. Sanchez was good enough, finishing with 173 yards passing and the three touchdowns to Burress.
The Jets finally put it all together in the second half, with the offense moving the ball and finishing drives while the defense shut down Rivers and the Chargers. They now have an extra week to prepare for Buffalo, a much harder game than the Jets probably thought when they looked at their schedule. A loss would have put New York’s season on the brink. A victory has them looking again for bigger and better things.