The Jets are back at .500. It wasn't pretty, but Gang Green defeated Buffalo tonight in Toronto to even the 2009 record at 6-6. Things are starting to shape up, and this team is starting to round into form for the stretch run. I'm not sure it will be enough to end in the Playoffs. If Mark Sanchez's injury isn't serious, though, this is going to be a tough out for the season's final month.
More after the jump.
Darrelle Revis: Defensive. Player. Of. The. Year. Once again, Revis shut down a top flight receiver, a guy who had exploded over the past two weeks. Terrell Owens had 3 catches for 31 yards. Revis was in his pocket all night long. T.O. had no room to breathe. Ryan Fitzpatrick told the NFL Network crew he would put it up to Owens even if he wasn't open. When a guy plays Revis these days, that's about the only chance he'll have to get a throw. Catching it? Probably too much to ask. Revis was breaking up passes all night and iced the contest with an interception. It's just incredible how consistently he has dominated this year.
David Harris: Another guy who should go to the Pro Bowl this year. Harris had 11 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. He's been in the middle of almost every play all year long.
Shaun Ellis: Ellis had a pair of sacks. The first was really made by Mike Devito pressuring Ryan Fitzpatrick right into Ellis. The second was all Shaun, a key one on the first play of the final drive that put Buffalo's back against the wall.
Lito Sheppard: He got burned deep by Lee Evans on the first drive. Evans did not have another catch.
Jay Feely: 4 for 4 on field goals, including a bomb from 49. The Jets needed 3 of them to win.
Mark Sanchez: I was surprised to see in the final stats that he only hit 7 of his 15 passes. He made nothing but good decisions. There were no forces. Beyond that, I haven't seen him look so assertive since early in the year. He made decisions quickly and fit some balls into incredibly tight windows. If Braylon Edwards holds onto that bomb, the stat line looks much better. You have to hope he's ok. It would stink if he has to sit right when it looks like he's starting to turn the corner.
Braylon Edwards: I know he dropped the easy touchdown, but I liked the way he responded, making the really difficult catch to extend a drive and fighting for a touchdown. He also did good work run blocking on the perimeter. I can't tell you how many times receivers get lazy when they think nobody is watching.
Offensive Line: 249 rushing yards doesn't happen by accident. The men up front dominated. They blew open huge holes all night for the backs.
Thomas Jones, Shonn Greene, and Tony Richardson: They may have had room to run, but all three looked explosive in the open field. Jones and Greene fought for hidden yardage all night and were able to get through Buffalo arm tackles.
Thursday Night Football: This and the thriller in Foxborough last year. Let's see more Thursday Night NFL Network games in the future.
Toronto: The NFL replaced one of the most hostile venues the Jets play in all year with a stadium that looked pretty empty and sounded like a library. Can we do it again next year?
Kellen Clemens: If you're a reader here, you know I've been willing to excuse Mark Sanchez looking overwhelmed at times. He's a rookie. Clemens gets no such pass. He's started 8 games. He's had 4 years in the system. He took 3 sacks. It was really troubling to see. Frankly based on what I saw, I'm not convinced Kellen knows how to read an NFL defense. Nothing we saw in 2007 suggests he does. Even though the Bills had good coverage on two of those sacks, something in his head should have gone off saying, "Throw it away!" Depending on Sanchez's status, the Jets may have to think of opening the quarterback competition to Erik Ainge and Kevin O'Connell.
Leaving Plays on the Field: The Jets had chances to blow the game open in the first half. Braylon Edwards dropped a pass with nothing but green in front of him. Mark Sanchez missed a wide open guy in the end zone, and the Jets squandered a forced turnover in Buffalo territory.
Breakdowns: On the same note, the Bills didn't sustain a drive on the Jets in the first half. Their points were set up by A) Lito Sheppard getting burned by Lee Evans, who he otherwise handled. B) Buffalo's blockers sealing all Jets up front during a brief sequence while the Jets dominated the trenches the rest of the night before and after.
The most important thing is the Jets got a win tonight and are now 6-6. Now we must all root for Miami like crazy this weekend (I can't believe I just said that).