Another week for the Jets, another week of trash talk and locker room turmoil. One of the New York City newspapers Daily News released an article earlier in the week discussing a report in which an "anonymous" source, a starter on the Jets defense labeled back up quarterback Tim Tebow as a terrible player. Once again this took the focus of the Jets main task this week.. getting a MUCH needed win in St. Louis against an improved Jeff Fisher led team to keep their very very small playoff hopes alive another week. Every game here on out for the Jets is important for the current management regime in place so let's breakdown today's action:
St Louis Offense:
What an interesting match up for the Jets today as their defense had the task of going up against the former offensive coordinator for the Jets, Brian Schottenheimer. For the Rams, their day could not have started any better. Sam Bradford orchestrated a long 13 play drive going for 81 yards and a touchdown while eating up 6 minutes and 31 seconds of clock. It looked like it was another dud in the making for these Jets, but not today. After Bradford's hot start, he cooled off tremendously and finished 23/44, only 170 yards, 2 TD's (one of which came in garbage time in the 4th quarter) and 1 INT.
Bradford, the third year quarterback from Oklahoma who at times has looked very good this season just looked very confused going up a Jets defense that makes a living on exotic blitzes and confusing the opposing QB. The Jets consistently had him feeling the heat and very rarely got many good passes off quickly.
The only real bright spot on offense for the Rams was bruising running back Stephen Jackson. He tore the Jets for 81 yards on 13 carries. Once the game got away from the Rams in the second half they reverted to passing on most downs, making Jackson's role less important.
What has been stressed for this Jets offense? A clean game without turnovers (easier said than done obviously), a commitment to the run game even if it isn't working THAT well, and a few shots down the field. Well, at least for this week, the Jets hit the head on all of those points.
Mark Sanchez played one of his best games of the season, very efficient going 15/20 for 178 yards and 1 TD. He looked confident out there and really did not make any mistakes. It looked grim in the first quarter in which his pass protection was awful (sacked 3 times). But, adjustments were made and for the rest of the game he was given time to throw.
Finally, FINALLY the Jets used their full stable of running backs to attack the defense in different ways. Joe McKnight caught an 18 yard pass and had 14 yard rushing in his spot duty. Bilal Powell and Shonn Greene who compliment each other decently well and Powell finished with 11 carries, 42 yards, and 2 scores, easily his best game in a Jets uniform. And as for receivers, Chaz Schilens who has not played very much this season caught a gorgoeus 25 yard pass for a touchdown. A strong effort from this group is exactly what they needed heading into a Thanksgiving matchup with the Pats.
St. Louis Defense:
This unit came out with a bang in the first quarter using its athleticism and speed to keep Sanchez and company on the sideline. Defensive end Chris Long recorded 2 sacks in the opening quarter and rookie cornerback Janoris Jenkins akmost capitalized on two Sanchez misthrows but failed both times. Once Bradford started turning the ball over it put the Jets into good field position on offense which was the story of the game. They efficiently put up points and the Rams defense could not stay off the field.
This Jeff Fisher led unit certainly looks improved, but they need help at the safety position to allow their young corners to play more physical and less conservative. The run defense was decent, only allowing 3.0 yards a carry but the Jets stayed consistent and hit a few good run plays.
For the first time all season, Jet fans are finally starting to get results from their young guys on the defensive line. Muhammed Wilkerson again had a sack that ended up in a fumble for the second straight week and he is starting to really come on. Rookie Quinton Coples thus far has looked better defending the run and he had some nice plays today. Their performance is key with the secondary continuing to play pretty strong.
Safety Eric Smith recorded his first interception of the season on a play in which he jumped the route to perfection. With the Jets losing Smith, Pouha, Kenrick Ellis, and Darrelle Revis to injuries this year it makes sense as to why this unit has struggled so much at times against the run. today they didn't do a great job but they got 3 takeaways for the offense who drove the game to a victory in the end.
Thanks for reading 1st & 10's Week 11 game analysis of the New York Jets. The New York Jets are 4-6 and will be home against New England on 11/22 (Thanksgiving) at 8 PM.