EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 11: Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets celebrates a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium on December 11, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
The Jets finally dominated an opponent they should have dominated on paper. New York beat Kansas City today 37-10 in a contest they had control of from pretty much the opening kickoff. The Jets marched right down the field to start the game and did not let up. The Chiefs made plenty of mistakes, and the Jets made them pay dearly.
More after the jump.
Offensive Line: The line dominated the point of attack in this game. They blew Kansas City's front off the ball and opened huge holes that enabled Shonn Greene to run for 129 yards and a 5.3 average. Aside from one play where Wayne Hunter got deked out of his shoes by Justin Houston and an ill advised fourth down pass in garbage time where Tambi Hali got to the quarterback, they kept Mark Sanchez pretty clean as well.
Shonn Greene: The run blocking was great, but Greene found his holes and exploded through them on his way to a 129 yard game. He also added 58 receiving yards on 3 catches. If Greene read things a bit better in the open field, he could have gone for even more, but that is nitpicking on a day like this.
Mark Sanchez: Make no mistake about it. The Jets are taking the ball out of Sanchez's hands. They are limiting his reads, giving him low risk passes, and asking the run game to carry more of the load. Sanchez is starting to get comfortable with this reduced workload. He was 13 of 21 today for 181 yards, 2 passing touchdowns, and 2 rushing touchdowns. More significantly, his completions were almost all on the money this week. He started hitting his receivers in stride so they could maximize their yardage after the catch instead of having to adjust and give the defense extra time to get to them. With Sanchez looking more comfortable and confident, it might be time to start building on this and giving him a bit more.
Brian Schottenheimer: It took him long enough, but Schottenheimer is finally making life easy on a struggling quarterback. He deserves credit for it. It feels like people are crediting Tom Moore for everything good with this offense and criticizing Schottenheimer for everything wrong. Schotty is calling the plays, though. He deserves credit when things go right.
Tom Moore: I think it is completely fair, though, to also credit Moore. It does not seem like a coincidence things have been better when he has been around. Maybe he is giving Schottenheimer guidance. Maybe he is just pointing out things or giving players extra attention. Maybe Schottenheimer feels job pressure when Moore is around. Things seem to be working.
Santonio Holmes: He only had 2 catches for 12 yards, but there was a touchdown. He also drew some flags.
Dustin Keller: Against a team that has struggled against tight ends, the Jets got him involved again with 4 catches for 34 yards.
Patrick Turner: He gets limited action, but it seems like he makes a first down grab every week.
Josh Baker: He had a nice 17 yard grab. Maybe the Jets could work the athletic tight end into the offense more and bring back the double receiving tight end problem they presented early in the year with Dustin Keller and Jeff Cumberland.
LaDainian Tomlinson: He still has some moves left if he is limited and kept fresh. He had a 19 yard touchdown reception, a 31 yard catch, and a 7 yard run when the got to the edge. He still has some juice as a change of pace guy.
Sione Pouha: The Chiefs averaged 3.1 yards per rush. Pouha controlled the point of attack and kept his linebackers clean all day. His highlight was his tackle for a safety.
Marcus Dixon: Dixon got a spot start for Mike Devito, and he had a monster game. He was constantly getting into the Kansas City backfield. He had half a sack and opened things up for other guys by winning his assignments consistently.
Muhammad Wilkerson: The rookie creates opportunities for linebackers by winning the point of attack. He was particularly effective shedding blocks this week to register 5 tackles.
David Harris: His line made things easy for him, but he did a good job cleaning up with 6 tackles. He was also productive rushing the passer with a sack and a hit.
Bart Scott: Bart had a sack today and was disruptive when he was in there, playing better than his 3 tackle line would suggest.
Eric Smith: He got lost a few times, but he was really good as a pass rusher, with a sack and another pressure.
Jim Leonhard: He made a few plays in coverage, including his interception. He also made a smart play as a punt returner. Even thought it cost the Jets field position, he let a punt go and let it roll. He did not think he could catch it so he did not risk it. In light of recent events, that was a thing of beauty. It would be great if this injury was not serious. The Jets could use him down the stretch.
Jeremy Kerley: His big punt return set up a score. He might be returning more punts. It looks like Kerley is making more of an effort to simply secure the catch.
Although some guys were not at their best today, I do think think there was much glaring enough to merit a bad section. The offense even recovered from that ugly 10 men in the huddle timeout to start the game.
The schedule gets a bit tougher the rest of the way. The Eagles, Giants, and Dolphins are probably all tougher than any of the last three teams the Jets have played. All of these games are winnable, though. It seems like the Jets are starting to get hot at the right time.