Jets vs. Cowboys: Second Viewing Thoughts

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 11: Nick Folk #2 of the New York Jets celebrates with teammates Dustin Keller #81, Mark Brunell #8 and Brandon Moore #65 of the New York Jets after FOlk kicked a successful 50-yard game-winning field goal against the Dallas Cowboys during their NFL Season Opening Game at MetLife Stadium on September 11, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

I took a second look at Sunday night's opener between the Jets and Cowboys. Watching a game live, it is easy to miss things. Once you know what is going to happen, you can take a deeper look the second time. As always, this feature could become a staple or a one time deal. Here are my takeaways.

  • I do not know how I missed it the first time, but there is no word to describe Kyle Wilson as other than dominant. He locked up his receiver all night. When Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie had to step out briefly in the second half, the defense did not miss a beat.
  • I knew Bart Scott played well, but after watching the game again, he was the best Jets defender not named Revis. He lived in the Dallas backfield and constantly set up other guys to make plays. His best stretch came on a critical drive late in the fourth quarter. Dallas had it second and short. On second down he set the edge and forced the runner inside, where he was stop. On third down, he shot through a gap and made the stop himself.
  • Wayne Hunter did not play well, and it was even worse watching it again. He got beaten with ease consistently. The good news is Jacksonville does not have the same kind of talent on the edge and Hunter improved after similar showings last year against Houston and Miami. It was still not encouraging.
  • I still blame the run blocking for Shonn Greene's numbers. He had no chance on a lot of his short runs.
  • While Hunter was the worst offensive lineman for the Jets, it was not a great game for anybody. The Jets blew assignments a lot. Matt Slauson was the only lineman I saw not responsible for Mark Sanchez getting hit once.
  • Jeremy Kerley did not have as rough a night as a punt returner as I thought. The ball that hit his facemask was bad, but he consistently made the first guy miss.The Jets just really did not do a good job setting anything up in front of him.
  • Marquice Cole did not impress me as a gunner or as a blocker of the gunners on punt teams.
  • Mark Sanchez stood in and took a lot of shots. His guts resulted in completions because his receivers would not have been open had he not given them extra time by holding the ball to the last second.
  • The Jets went to a package halfway through the third quarter with one receiver, three tight end, and one back. I love that look. Two of the three tight ends are Dustin Keller and Jeff Cumberland. Due to the personnel on the field, you cannot go small on defense or the Jets will run it down your throat. If you go with a base or a big set, Keller, Cumberland, and LaDainian Tomlinson split wide, and somebody will be in a mismatch against a linebacker.
  • Antonio Cromartie lined up at wide receiver on an early drive and faked an end around on a run play. Nice idea to keep the defense from overpursuing the runner. It at least gave Dallas something to think about.
  • You can see Rex Ryan say, "Fight for the ball," after Miles Austin ripped that ball from Cromartie.
  • Dennis Thurman showed why he is getting coordinator buzz after that play. Instead of just yelling at Cromartie, he displayed to Cro what he did wrong and how to correct it so it does not happen again.
  • Not to pick on Cromartie, but I really do not think he tries to read blocks as a return man. He just fires at full speed and hopes he finds open space.
  • I saw some Dallas fans complain there should have been defensive holding on the blocked punt. I would love to see where any Jet grabbed onto a Cowboys to open that hole. It did not happen. Same with the complaints about Jason Witten's offensive pass interference. It was an obvious pick. Austin does not get open without it
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