EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 09: Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets passes during the season opener against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on September 9, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Heading into yesterdays 1pm matchup against, what everyone thought was a revamped and greatly improved Bills team, there were many questions surrounding the New York Jets, particularly the offense and quarterback Mark Sanchez. In a 48-28 shellacking of the Bills yesterday at MetLife Stadium, Sanchez and the Jets offense silenced the questions and critics for at least the next week.
Mark Sanchez played what I felt was his greatest game as a starter for the New York Jets. He threw the ball with confidence, made critical checks at the line of scrimmage and more importantly bounced back from a horrible interception on the Jets first possession. Sanchez finished the day going 19-26 for 266 yards with three touchdown passes. Sanchez looked poised and in control of the game for the majority of the contest. He resembled the quarterback Jets fans have been waiting for him to become.
The defense, which was expected to play a huge roll for the Jets this season, was dominant. An early interception by Darrelle Revis set up a Sanchez touchdown pass to wide out Jeremy Kerely to put the Jets ahead 7-0. Later in the quarter another interception by Kyle Wilson lead to a second touchdown pass from Sanchez, this time to Rookie receiver Stephen Hill. Early in the second half cornerback Antonio Cromartie picked off Ryan Fitzpatrick and returned it for a touchdown to put the Jets up 34-7, which seemingly put the game out of reach and gave the Jets their 1-0 start to the season. The Bills did manage rack up some yardage and points in garbage time. The defense came up big in week 1 and should be expected to play at this level each week.
Sanchez played great; some unknowns stepped up, the defense dominated as expected. The only thing missing from the week 1 victory was a highlight from Tim Tebow. On five carries (out of the wildcat) he only managed to produce 11 yards rushing and no pass attempts but I guess his production, or lack there off, wasn’t a bad thing for the Jets in week 1 (Hint-Hint).
Nothing should be taken away from the Jets week 1 victory. They played a great game and this performance is definitely something to build on. However, the true test for the Jets comes Sunday against a seasoned Pittsburgh Steelers team coming off a week 1 loss to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. The Steelers will look to avoid their first 0-2 start since 2002 and will give the Jets their best effort.
The defense will need to play well again and don’t bet on the Jets putting up 48 points next week. Sanchez will need to duplicate his week 1 performance as will the Jets wide receivers. And some might think I’m crazy to go out on this limb but I see Tebow having a bigger role against Pittsburgh if the Jets are going to prevail in that one. We Shall See Folks!