There are a lot of silent critics and a lot of happy Jets fans after Sunday’s game. Throughout my post last week, I kept saying Jets fans would have to wait for the regular season to get a better picture of how the New York Jets are handling it out on the field. After seeing them in action, I’m sure many are relieved that the offense is coming along better than expected, considering they went 0-4 in the preseason. The Jets started week 1 against division rivals, the Buffalo Bills, whose defense started off looking pretty good in the first quarter, even breaking up a few of Sanchez’s passes. It was only a matter of time until they fell apart and the Jets didn’t waste any time taking advantage of this. Ryan Fitzpatrick was crowned the ‘pick 6’ king for Sunday’s game when he was picked off by Darelle Revis, Kyle Wilson and Antonio Cromartie. The Jets defense was also hard at work, forcing four turnovers.
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It wasn’t too long until we would have a Tebow sighting, first as a WR, then QB and TE. He made a few wildcat plays, but only rushed for 11 yards on five carries and did not attempt a pass. It was obvious that Sanchez was the star of the game. He connected with both WR Jeremy Kerley and rookie WR Stephen Hill for two touchdowns a piece. Shonn Greene also contributed with a 94-yard touchdown. Sanchez also made a great throw to WR Santonio Holmes on what would have been a TD, but it was reviewed after that Holmes’ hand was out when the ball was caught. Antonio Cromartie returned an interception for a touchdown for the first time since 2008. Kerley also became the first player in Jets’ history with a punt return TD and a receiving TD in the same game. Sanchez managed to stay sack free and also got out of the pocket a little more than he has in the past. He ended the game with 19-of-27 passes for 266 yards. The team chemistry looked in sync on Sunday, something that was an issue in the past and was being closely watched by the media.
Going into week 2 from their 48-28 victory, the Jets need to work on where they think Tebow will fit in the most. He’s a talented player and the bench is not the place for him. That being said, using him as a QB should be their last option. With Sanchez making major improvements, Tebow can help out in more fragile areas. They also need to fix their rush defense. There’s no telling what would have happened if Bills RB Fred Jackson wasn’t injured and remained in the game. The Bills are not that great of a team defensively, so the Jets have to prepare themselves for stronger defensive teams. Unfortunately, the Bills weren’t the only one to lose a key player during the game. Revis is also suffering from a mild concussion, but is expected to play in week 2. Revis left the game during the fourth quarter after being accidently kicked in the head by teammate Bart Scott.
The Jets set a team record for the most points in a season opener. They looked great for their first game, and up next they face the Pittsburgh Steelers who just lost to the Denver Broncos. If the Jets continue to play the way they did against the Bills, they will easily go to 2-0.